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Author Topic: That 'big project' I've been banging on about for a few years now....  (Read 33716 times)
James Harrison
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England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #300 on: June 20, 2020, 09:28:12 am »

And looking very nice indeed, James!
Do you have one of those electric floor polishers with the stiff bristle pads, and the soft polishing pads - regular scrubbing and polishing with one of those might help over time - or did you do it all by hand?

I've done it all by hand, on my hands and knees with nothing more sophisticated than hammer and chisel, hot water and white vinegar. 


I concur. And as a conservationist would you consider the silicone sealant afterwards just to bring colour back a bit? You might not be able to get rid of every single bit, but isn't that part of the history now?


I'm fighting shy of anything that's irreversible, the view I'm generally taking is to (within reason) present restored areas in 'as uncovered' condition.  The wear and tear, discolourations, scuffs etc are part of its patina and although I could remove them, I'd be looking at more destructive cleaning methods that irreparably damage the fabric of the tiles.  I think from this point on any improvement in the colour is likely to come about from repeated gentle cleaning over a period of months rather than swift harsh measure.
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Sorontar
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia


All ideas should have wings


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« Reply #301 on: June 20, 2020, 12:16:08 pm »

It certainly could be in a worse condition. In Sydney, the following Victorian terrace house just sold for over 4.6 million Australian dollars (3.1 mil USD, 2.5 mil GBP, 2.8 mil EUR). Its hallway has a similar tiled pattern (though larger tiles) but the rest of the house needs a bit of work (the photos show how much).

https://www.domain.com.au/112-surrey-street-darlinghurst-nsw-2010-2016260156

Strangely I think it was sold more for the location than the building.

Sorontar

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Sorontar, Captain of 'The Aethereal Dancer'
Advisor to HM Engineers on matters aethereal, aeronautic and cosmographic
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Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #302 on: June 20, 2020, 01:56:03 pm »

And looking very nice indeed, James!
Do you have one of those electric floor polishers with the stiff bristle pads, and the soft polishing pads - regular scrubbing and polishing with one of those might help over time - or did you do it all by hand?

I've done it all by hand, on my hands and knees with nothing more sophisticated than hammer and chisel, hot water and white vinegar. 


I concur. And as a conservationist would you consider the silicone sealant afterwards just to bring colour back a bit? You might not be able to get rid of every single bit, but isn't that part of the history now?


I'm fighting shy of anything that's irreversible, the view I'm generally taking is to (within reason) present restored areas in 'as uncovered' condition.  The wear and tear, discolourations, scuffs etc are part of its patina and although I could remove them, I'd be looking at more destructive cleaning methods that irreparably damage the fabric of the tiles.  I think from this point on any improvement in the colour is likely to come about from repeated gentle cleaning over a period of months rather than swift harsh measure.

Electric floor polisher, with lavender and beeswax polish, with thick lambswool polishing pads, wouldn't hurt your floor, and would reduce the wear and tear on your knees and shoulders!!
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James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #303 on: June 20, 2020, 02:26:27 pm »

I've done something really  Lips sealed -ing stupid. 

I've tried to disconnect two of my radiators so I can get them off the wall to redecorate behind them (one of them I'm actually replacing so that probably fed into what follows....)

The one in the hallway- which is staying for the moment- was OK.  The one in the sitting room- which is being replaced- well....

I *thought* I'd turned the feed / return valves off.  Bit difficult because of the state they are in (the lugs to actually turn them off and on are broken, at best).  I tried to open the bleed nipple/ airlock and the edges of that had been turned, so I couldn't get any purchase. 

So (and I can't believe I did this)- I drilled the airlock.  Water gushing everywhere, massive panic.... I've plugged it temporarily with Milliput but that's failed twice (so I've now got Milliput with a towel over the radiator, so if it fails again it will hopefully coerce the water into a bucket rather than up the wall), emergency plumber has been called out- we'll see what they can do (once they've stopped laughing at my ineptitude).  Best case- seal the radiator off, cap the feedpipes and then leave it until I can get the new one fitted.  Worse case, I guess, turn off the central heating, disconnect the water, bleed the whole system out....

Gah!
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Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #304 on: June 20, 2020, 02:29:22 pm »

I've done something really  Lips sealed -ing stupid. 

I've tried to disconnect two of my radiators so I can get them off the wall to redecorate behind them (one of them I'm actually replacing so that probably fed into what follows....)

The one in the hallway- which is staying for the moment- was OK.  The one in the sitting room- which is being replaced- well....

I *thought* I'd turned the feed / return valves off.  Bit difficult because of the state they are in (the lugs to actually turn them off and on are broken, at best).  I tried to open the bleed nipple/ airlock and the edges of that had been turned, so I couldn't get any purchase. 

So (and I can't believe I did this)- I drilled the airlock.  Water gushing everywhere, massive panic.... I've plugged it temporarily with Milliput but that's failed twice (so I've now got Milliput with a towel over the radiator, so if it fails again it will hopefully coerce the water into a bucket rather than up the wall), emergency plumber has been called out- we'll see what they can do (once they've stopped laughing at my ineptitude).  Best case- seal the radiator off, cap the feedpipes and then leave it until I can get the new one fitted.  Worse case, I guess, turn off the central heating, disconnect the water, bleed the whole system out....

Gah!

At least if they turn the central heating off it's summer time!!
No -40 overnight, and maximum of +40 daytime temperature!
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SeVeNeVeS
Master Tinkerer
***
England England



« Reply #305 on: June 20, 2020, 04:39:30 pm »

pop the plastic caps off the valves, get a small adjustable spanner and tighten the valves clockwise hard.

Have you got TRV's? a penny in between the the valve head and the pin tighten to off position should stem the flow.

A combi? worst, drain the heating, sort the leaks and re-charge to 1.2 bar...........vent all other radiators, charge, repeat.........
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 04:42:10 pm by SeVeNeVeS » Logged

James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #306 on: June 20, 2020, 05:16:53 pm »

I had the plastic-covered valves, but it would appear some of them are life-expired (including the ones that I buggared up in the sitting room).  I still can't get over that I thought drilling through the bleed nipple was a sure-fire route to a successful outcome... lesson learnt there.

So; buggared-up valves that shear their heads before opening and closing; bleed nipples with turned heads that shear rather than open or close; and then something interesting going on with the pipework that means some of the radiators re-pressurise as you're trying to bleed the system. 

I think, in future, I'll leave the waterworks side of things to the experts. 
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Deimos
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #307 on: June 20, 2020, 05:43:48 pm »

...I think, in future, I'll leave the waterworks side of things to the experts. 

My philosophy [almost] exactly.

I do very minor plumbing such as changing out sink/lav faucets and replacing the supply lines.
Same with electrical, very minor, such as replacing wall outlets and switches.
Anything that can result in a flood or fire, I leave to the experts(?)

My plumber told me his first calls on Monday morning are from the wives whose husbands attempted something over the weekend--despite the wife's protest that they should wait and just call the plumber later in the week--and resulted in exactly the fiasco the wife feared.
 
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Here is a test to find out if your mission in life is complete:
If you're alive, it isn't. -- Lauren Bacall

"You can tell a man's vices by his friends, his virtues by his enemies."

"Only the paranoid survive."
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #308 on: June 20, 2020, 05:50:55 pm »

I fear my problem is that my enthusiasm swiftly leads me into territory I then find myself anxious to quit. 
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Deimos
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #309 on: June 20, 2020, 07:26:06 pm »

It certainly could be in a worse condition. In Sydney, the following Victorian terrace house just sold for over 4.6 million Australian dollars (3.1 mil USD, 2.5 mil GBP, 2.8 mil EUR). Its hallway has a similar tiled pattern (though larger tiles) but the rest of the house needs a bit of work (the photos show how much).

https://www.domain.com.au/112-surrey-street-darlinghurst-nsw-2010-2016260156

Strangely I think it was sold more for the location than the building.

Sorontar

It just breaks my heart to see these stately and elegant homes fall into disrepair and/or ruin.
After looking at the pics I think it will take quite a chunk of change to restore it... maybe another million USD....?   
In light of your surmise (high-lighted) do you think the new owners bought it merely to raze it and build something more "commercially profitable" on the site?
 
"Out with the old, in with the new!"  If it's older than 50 years, (never mind a century) get rid of it!
Kind of like that clock "repair-person" who wanted to gut an old clock of its mechanical movement and put in a quartz movement.
(Must stifle the urge to kill, must stifle it...must....must....must...stifle...) 
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Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #310 on: June 20, 2020, 09:51:51 pm »

It certainly could be in a worse condition. In Sydney, the following Victorian terrace house just sold for over 4.6 million Australian dollars (3.1 mil USD, 2.5 mil GBP, 2.8 mil EUR). Its hallway has a similar tiled pattern (though larger tiles) but the rest of the house needs a bit of work (the photos show how much).

https://www.domain.com.au/112-surrey-street-darlinghurst-nsw-2010-2016260156

Strangely I think it was sold more for the location than the building.

Sorontar

It just breaks my heart to see these stately and elegant homes fall into disrepair and/or ruin.
After looking at the pics I think it will take quite a chunk of change to restore it... maybe another million USD....?   
In light of your surmise (high-lighted) do you think the new owners bought it merely to raze it and build something more "commercially profitable" on the site?
 
"Out with the old, in with the new!"  If it's older than 50 years, (never mind a century) get rid of it!
Kind of like that clock "repair-person" who wanted to gut an old clock of its mechanical movement and put in a quartz movement.
(Must stifle the urge to kill, must stifle it...must....must....must...stifle...) 


That area of Sydney, and those houses are pretty much all heritage protected - one of the caveats of sale would be that they can't raze the building, the purchaser must preserve as much of the heritage aspects of the building as possible.

The facade must stay at least. Most of the shells are ok, it's just the innards that fall to pieces, especially if the roof leaks. Judging by the amount of internal damage to the lathe and plaster ceilings, the roof is the first thing to be replaced. Start at the top and work down.

I wouldn't expect much change from AU$1.5 to 2 million.

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Sorontar
Zeppelin Admiral
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Australia Australia


All ideas should have wings


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« Reply #311 on: June 21, 2020, 04:33:30 am »

My parents live in a terrace in a similar part of Melbourne. The previous owner was an architect and kept the original building (that was in a decent condition), but added a modern kicthen and lounge to the back, then subdivided the rest and built another (modern) house there with entrance from a lane. From the front, you would be none-the-wiser.

A few doors down though, a modern terrace house has been built. It is flat, concretey and not Victorian or Edwardian at all, but they have at least given it a balcony etc but it does not really fit in with its neighbours.

James, I can't remember if you said whether your area had any historical gradings/restrictions. Can some-one build a modern brutalist construction next door?

Sorontar
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James Harrison
Immortal
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England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #312 on: June 21, 2020, 09:42:45 am »

It certainly could be in a worse condition. In Sydney, the following Victorian terrace house just sold for over 4.6 million Australian dollars (3.1 mil USD, 2.5 mil GBP, 2.8 mil EUR). Its hallway has a similar tiled pattern (though larger tiles) but the rest of the house needs a bit of work (the photos show how much).

https://www.domain.com.au/112-surrey-street-darlinghurst-nsw-2010-2016260156

Strangely I think it was sold more for the location than the building.

Sorontar



I'm just looking at the plans for that; the ground and first floor are approximately the same as mine (though about half as wide again), but the depth of the building is no more (in fact maybe a little less, considering my rear range juts out 5 metres or so) and my garden is... nearly twice the length of theirs (including the terrace).  You're getting maybe three times the house (two extra floors and the extra half width to all) but paying something like 15 times more for it.  I'm not convinced that's a square deal. 

Historical significance?  Who was/ what is Darlos?  Were they an architect?  Local politician or administrator?  An early area of the city?  And why is it significant- 'because it's old' isn't really a valid reason in and of itself.  And would the majority of people know, or care?

Location?  'Close to the amenities'... so am I- 10 minutes walk one way and I'm in the town centre, 10 minutes the other way I'm out in the countryside. 

So again I find myself wondering exactly what merits the price tag for such a wreck. 
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The Bullet
Snr. Officer
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Germany Germany



« Reply #313 on: June 21, 2020, 09:56:25 am »


Location?  'Close to the amenities'... so am I- 10 minutes walk one way and I'm in the town centre, 10 minutes the other way I'm out in the countryside. 


That´s exactly my point. 35 km to work by car, ok. BUT
Small village, big garden (the whole plot is about 1000 square metres)

100m to the fire-station (you can see me sprint this distance quite often)
300m to the hardware shop
500m to the huge supermarket
750m to the Kindergarten (our daughter starts there in August)
1.5km to another huge supermarket

Bonus: this is the village where I grew up.
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James Harrison
Immortal
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England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #314 on: June 21, 2020, 10:07:31 am »

My parents live in a terrace in a similar part of Melbourne. The previous owner was an architect and kept the original building (that was in a decent condition), but added a modern kicthen and lounge to the back, then subdivided the rest and built another (modern) house there with entrance from a lane. From the front, you would be none-the-wiser.

A few doors down though, a modern terrace house has been built. It is flat, concretey and not Victorian or Edwardian at all, but they have at least given it a balcony etc but it does not really fit in with its neighbours.

James, I can't remember if you said whether your area had any historical gradings/restrictions. Can some-one build a modern brutalist construction next door?

Sorontar


No restrictions whatsoever.  It's not listed nor is it in a conservation area.  If you took a walk along my street you'd see probably 75- 80% of the houses date to the 1890s/ 1900s, there are a few which are 1930s and a few which are probably about 1970s.  That's the case for about half a mile.  Once you get past that first half a mile, there's a change to mostly inter-war or 1950s housing and then another a little further on to predominantly modern brick identikit snotboxes.  

I can't recall if I've shown this before?



A postcard of my street dated to sometime in the first decade of the 20th Century as a marketing tool to attract tenants to the area.  In fact it was taken just outside my house!- but cuts it off (as well as the general stores and post office on the opposite corner).  The scene is remarkably similar today, if you overlook that the road has now been tarmacked and most of the garden walls demolished as everybody demands their own horse.  The wonder is why the local civic society haven't slapped a conservation area order on it.  
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 03:40:41 pm by James Harrison » Logged
Mercury Wells
Rogue Ætherlord
*
I insiste that you do call me WELLS. :)


« Reply #315 on: June 21, 2020, 02:16:43 pm »

James, you may want to cover up the village name.
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Banfili
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Australia Australia



« Reply #316 on: June 21, 2020, 02:22:51 pm »

James, you may want to cover up the village name.

Now we know where you live! Grin
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James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #317 on: June 21, 2020, 03:41:44 pm »

James, you may want to cover up the village name.

Indeed; done.


Now we know where you live! Grin

Just so long as you don't send some blokes around.
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The Bullet
Snr. Officer
****
Germany Germany



« Reply #318 on: June 21, 2020, 05:47:27 pm »

Just so long as you don't send some blokes around.

We might come around and help...
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James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #319 on: June 23, 2020, 08:38:00 pm »

So; sitrep after The Event. 

The sitting room radiator is down.  The valves for the new radiator are fitted.  The brackets for the old radiator have been removed (and the holes and cracks they left behind filled, ready to be smoothed down probably this coming weekend). 

Meanwhile work carries on in the hallway, specifically stripping the paint off the skirting boards. The intention is to have stained skirting boards as a border between the floor tiles and the walls, which I'm intending to clean down and paint in a light cream colour. 
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James Harrison
Immortal
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England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #320 on: June 25, 2020, 05:23:50 pm »

Another case of enthusiasm running away with the programme. 

I've been looking at sanding down the skirting boards in the hallway and then varnishing them instead of painting.  Last night, whilst removing the paint, I wondered firstly why there was gum on top of the skirting and secondly why the coard seemed to pant as the scraper was being worked over it. 

Turns out the plaster doesn't go all the way to the floor.  This seems to be a fairly common Victorian/ Edwardian way of avoiding damp working up the wall surfaces from a solid floor, and the usual means to attach the skirting was then to screw it to wooden blocks fitted into the masonry. 

In mine, the wooden blocks have gone, replaced with random lumps of broken ply wood, offcuts of moulding and about half a can of mastic run along the top to get rid of any rough edges....

So the skirting board is now off, which actually helps me out when it comes to cleaning it down considering some radiator pipes run right along the top, and I'm looking at reinstating the wooden blocks. 
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Deimos
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #321 on: June 25, 2020, 10:41:07 pm »

I'm going to go out on an opinionated limb here (which I never do Grin) about your plans for the hallway skirting.

If the other skirting throughout the house is --or is going to be--white, the convention (which I happen to agree with) dictates that the hall skirting be white also.
The argument (one of them at least) for this is that doing it all one color skirting maintains a visual continuity/integrity throughout the house.  

I have seen done what you are planning, to stain/varnish some of the skirting.
Where that stained varnish meets the doorway casing (US: trimwork/millwork  around doors/windows is called casing) was, to my eyes  anyway, not a little bit jarring.
 My first thought was  "Why on earth did  he do that? It would have looked so much better to continue with the white baseboard." (US:  baseboard=skirting).

Your plan to paint the walls a light cream need not change. Painting the skirting a bright white (US we would use "appliance" white) would still contrast very nicely with the cream.

Pic (stock) shows cream walls with white trim.





  
« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 10:50:59 pm by Deimos » Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
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England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #322 on: June 26, 2020, 06:22:00 pm »

Currently it's a bit of a mix between white and plain timber.  Hallway, sitting room, dining room and both bedrooms white.  Kitchen and bathroom- timber...  It also clashes with the varnished balustrade and bannister on the staircase.
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Deimos
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #323 on: June 26, 2020, 08:11:15 pm »

....  It also clashes with the varnished balustrade and bannister on the staircase.

Oh yeah,  I forgot about the staircase being wood.  Embarrassed
Neveeerrrrrrr miiiiiinnnnd 
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Cora Courcelle
Snr. Officer
****
England England



« Reply #324 on: June 26, 2020, 08:43:52 pm »

Currently it's a bit of a mix between white and plain timber.  Hallway, sitting room, dining room and both bedrooms white.  Kitchen and bathroom- timber...  It also clashes with the varnished balustrade and bannister on the staircase.

I always think of white as being more traditional, but I suspect my bias comes more from the fact that my father always bought white gloss paint to do the doorframes, skirting and picture rails!  I won't distress you by mentioning some of the colour schemes the rest of the family came up with, suffice to say that I think white and wood not only 'go' but are remarkably restrained  Cheesy
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