It seems that there are always a thousand things to think about at any given point in a house build project.
At this precise moment we’re appointing a Quantity Surveyor to manage and oversee the build quotes, and get a more accurate projection of build costs for budget. We’re hoping to have costs through and an idea of possible build start dates in the next few weeks.
We’re also looking at flooring in more detail again. The bathrooms, entrance hall and utility room will all be tiled for practicality, and although I started off considering stone floors, the maintenance requirement for regular re-sealing has put me off a little, and I’m now thinking more of big, matt finish porcelain tiles.
Samples will be winging their way through the post over the next few weeks so that we can narrow down the selection.
In parallel, we’re waiting to hear whether the Forestry Commission managed to get out to the croft before Christmas as they were hoping to in order to survey the land from a tree planting perspective.
It all feels as if it’s on the very cusp of happening. Just a few inches further…☺️
Now that the building warrant is in, we need to spend the next few weeks finalising decisions on kitchen, bathroom and flooring options. I started the process earlier this summer, but parked the initial designs when we got consumed with such things as the access road, electrical points and window types, all very essential for the warrant submission.
I didn’t really dare breathe much more on the more cosmetic elements, almost feeling that it was in danger of jinxing things somehow to spend time on this without having all the permissions in place. But on Friday I picked up the phone to the kitchen designer in Scotland, sent him the final room dimensions, and told him that it was time to re-engage.
Lock and load, kitchen designer! I’m back. And with some new ideas!
In some ways the break of six months without fully considering things like tile colours, tap designs and shower fittings has made things easier, and my vision of what we want clearer. I’m more convinced than ever that simple is best, with good quality, natural materials wherever possible. Most of the ideas that I originally hatched six months ago still hold water, but some things have changed, and I’m grateful that we have had that time to alter things.
The inner project manager within me is now itching to list out all the decisions we need to make, create mood boards, check out suppliers, arrange samples, agree visits wherever possible to physically try things out (like the bath), estimate costs, and get on with it…
I love a good bath. There’s something about the ease that it provides to a chilled and tired body after a day of work that a shower just can’t match.
So, despite the modest proportions of the bathroom in the new build croft house, we have decided that in addition to a free standing shower, that we must have a bath.
Husband is nearly six feet tall. I stand at a diminutive (although magnificent…) five feet and four inches. You can start to see the dilemma when it comes to a comfortable soak.
For husband to be able to stretch out luxuriously, I would have to learn to float like a jelly fish, my feet not able to reach the end of the bath. For me to wedge comfortably in for a long soak, husband would be left folded up with knees protruding from the water like an origami grasshopper.
We have found a solution, Dear Reader. It is a slipper bath. Supremely comfortable, the bather assumes a supported, semi-seated position, not requiring any wedging on my part to avoid drowning, and yet long enough for grasshopper legs to be comfortable.
The other wonderful thing about this bath is that it is excellent for reading. For those of you who know me this is an equally important consideration. There is nothing like a soggy page and neck ache to ruin an otherwise sublime bathing experience.
We are feeling rather smug about all of this, and I am going to try a number of them next week in order to find The One.
Wish me luck.
Only those of you of a certain age and a certain lack of delicacy will get that….I am not going to explain for those of you who don’t.
Apparently, the latest thing in bathroom chic is to have your bathroom appliances (eg. toilet and washbasin) suspended from the wall. Nothing between them and the ground except fresh air and a tremulous fear of suspension.
Why? I asked the bathroom consultant. What’s wrong with them being floor mounted? Have they not been that way since time immemorial?
Difficult to clean, he said, delicately. You have men in your home?
I sort of get that swishing a mop under a wall mounted toilet is easy, but seriously? How difficult is swishing it around the base of a floor mounted toilet?
Perhaps it requires manoeuvres that the current generation haven’t evolved or mastered. Maybe I get that. But I also get that the process of house specification has a lot to do with trends, and I had seriously missed that even a basic croft house would be subject to that.
I am finding the process of specifying flooring, sanitary ware, tiles, kitchen units and worktops much more tiring than I expected.
It’s such a privilege to be able to do this in some ways, and so important to get right, but the endless choice is so wearying. Some days I just want to curl up and have someone present me with my perfect kitchen/bathroom and say…
Yes! It can be yours, and it’s within budget….
I’m focusing on the fun.
When you’re eager to be somewhere, time passes slowly. This is a picture of the rocky shore down from the Church on the Sleat Peninsula, close to where the croft is. This image helps me with the passage of time.
Every now and then when we’re knee-deep in roof light specifications, or looking for the fiftieth time at how best to configure the bathroom, I pull up all the photos that I can find of the township, the croft or its views, and remind myself why we’re doing this. And I breathe more slowly…
It’s difficult to describe what we want so that architects and kitchen or bathroom planners understand clearly. We are realising that anything that deviates from the perception of the norm causes problems. Because we are clearly not normal.
For example, it appears to be inconceivable to certain kitchen designers, who have a preconceived idea of what needs to go into our space, that I do not want a steam oven. Or why a single small kitchen sink with no draining board area would not be perfectly adequate. Or why I could not live without individually programmable humidity-controlled salad drawers in the fridge….
Trying to keep things simple these days is clearly out of fashion.
Believe me, I know that this sounds strange coming from the lips of someone who has spent a lifetime working with technology, but I don’t want to have to programme my appliances. Even the induction hob that we were shown had reconfigurable cooking zones….
I’m feeling a bit like a frustrated Luddite.
I’m happy to listen to experts and take on what works for our lifestyle, but over-engineered appliances just seem to me an exercise in unnecessary expense.
I am looking at my calming picture of the shore. I am breathing.
We are making progress…