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Chris 'n' Steffie

Gaming, adventuring, DIY

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More extension related things!

With the concrete lorry off of the driveway, more jobs could be completed.

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Such as, putting in the flashing, the guttering, the uPVC boards, wood for the inside of the car port, and cementing in the drainage:

The fire-rated door inbetween the garage and the utility room has been started, as well as the waste for the sinks and washing machines:

The doorway into the kitchen has been moved a foot so that we can fit the new kitchen in:

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Although…

img_20170224_154251using it might be a little bit diffcult!

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Caravan hooks

We used to have a kitchen roll holder in the caravan, but it fell off! Reluctant to put any screws into the wall as the shower cubicle is the other side, we stuck up some hooks instead. Easy!

Garage – holes dug!

Not much footage of the holes being dug, very dark this time of year!

Everything comes at once, the blocks also arrived, so our previously large drive is running out of room rapidly!

Back garden Cull

One of our projects for this summer holiday was the get the back garden in order. Over the 18 months of us owning the house we have tried to keep on top of it but aparently not with enough vigour and as such, it was looking somewhat…bedraggled. The trees and bushes were encroaching on the grass and making the whole garden (which is actually a very reasonable size) look much smaller.

We mostly focused on the left hand side where the flower beds were full of weeds and unwanted plants and the trees and bushes were far too big.

First we re-discovered the dry wall that separates the two parts of the garden:

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Then we worked our way around the corner:

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Now, those first two sections took us an hour each.

Yesterday however, we decided to get a little more serious!

This is how we began the morning…

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We had three pairs of hands today. Chris ‘pruning’ (more like hacking) the trees and bushes back as much as we dared, Chris’s Mum pulling up weeds and generally being an expert eye so we didn’t kill anything and me on the shredder…for hours! We had piles like this everywhere!

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We uncovered trees that we didn’t even realise existed, found weird and wonderful plants of all sorts and even re-discovered the rockery. We also filled the trailer with mulch!

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It looks awfully barren now but we hope that the bushes will start filling in again, but in the right places, soon. Here is the current look:

Sports Camera   Sports Camera

Driveway Part 2

Now this is the second time I (Steph) have written this blog post. The first time I managed to completely overwrite it with the post about the back garden so hopefully this time I wont make the same mistake.

After having the driveway cleared of grass and semi paved we thought we had better do something with the borders which we decided to keep. Now eventually we would like these to be raised beds with plants and decorative features but until we have the time/money to do that, we wanted to have a somewhat more presentable front view.

BEFORE:IMG_20160528_170133.jpg

From this picture you get an impression of what we wanted to achieve. We wanted rid of all the green here, apart from a few select plants. This includes trying to remove more large bushes and their root systems!

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We started from the left and worked our way around. As well as removing the larger bushes we have removed all the smaller plants. To do this we used a combination of a few tools. First we strimmed the areas with our battery powered strimmer, then (after much research on the right tool for the job) we used our new Dutch hoe to remove the plants just on top of the soil. Combined with our sprung rake to collect all the cuttings, the tools made light and quick work of the clearing. Soon, we had it looking like this: IMG_20160529_173404.jpg

All that remains is a few roses along the front wall, a gorgeous lavender in the corner and a handy rosemary bush in the far right corner.

To further avoid the reappearance of weeds and the plants that were there before,w e also decided to cover the beds with mulch. Again, much research went into finding the best solution of what kind of mulch but eventually we went for medium sized wood chipping. It did take a lot more bags than we expected but they always seem to be included in some sort of multi-buy deal!

AFTER:

Much better! 🙂

Taming the jungle

Don’t get me wrong, our back garden is gorgeous. We have a huge amount of space, mature plants, bushes and trees and even a green house and shed. In our amateur gardeners hands, the garden has become more and more like a jungle since we moved in and what little work we do seems to make little impact. Therefore, we are getting more drastic! It is time to tame the bushes that encroaching further and further into the space.

I started with the back section of the garden, where the greenhouse and shed are. There are paths and stepping stones here that are being eaten by grass and bushes far to big for their own boots!

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This first picture was taken after i had already hacked down a tree that had sprouted up between the shed and greenhouse. You can just see its remains at the bottom of the picture. 20160702_133659

6 hours and 1 green bin full of shredded bushes and trees later, I had made…a slight bit of difference…maybe…kind of….

A newly laid path in front of the shed:

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A rediscovered flower bed beside the greenhouse:

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And a bush with a quite severe haircut:

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Underneath the bush it seems there are actually scalloped flower beds…who knew!

 

This is only the start of a very long journey but I was proud of the little dent I made in the process that day.

Operation Grow!

On receiving a text from a friend that she had spare sugar snap pea plants I decided it was time to see if I would ever be capable of growing our own vegetables. She provided me with 4 small plants that she had grown from seeds and left them in my care…no pressure!

First things first I needed somewhere to plant them. It just so happened that the weekend before the plants arrived, I had been clearing some unwanted plants in the back garden and had created the perfect spot.

I removed the bricks  and mixed the soil with a little that I found in the green house. I also bought some bamboo and garden string and made a little frame to support them as they grew. I popped each at the bottom of a cane and then crossed my fingers with all my might…I am not the best at growing things…I tend to forget the watering part!

Here they are…all set up:

 

Triple Glazing!

So Chris has been on at me to write a post for several weeks now…here it is and it is about our sparkly new upstairs windows!

We decided to go with a reputable brand over all out cheapness as we wanted a company we could trust as well as one we knew would still be around when we need the downstairs windows and doors doing. This way we can be sure they will match and all will be covered by the same guarantee etc.

As we were both working we weren’t here for most of the installation however we did manage to get a few pictures…IMG_20151128_095659

In terms of preparation – tiles needed removing from around the bathroom window! I jumped at the chance to finally start destroying the horrid yellow tiles! You can see how happy I was!

Other than that, we only needed to remove a little of the wall paper around each window.

It was particularly interesting to see how the windows were deconstructed and the look of the building with no windows at all!

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We did however have a few hiccups during the installation processes including one window measured over an inch too big (the old bathroom window on the right had to be put back in) and one smashing on inserting the glass.

 

 

 

After a few weeks wait, lots of phone calls and 3 days of asking relatives to sit at the house, we finally had all 5  windows correctly installed and all with the correct handles!

We think they look great and are just what we wanted! The reason to go triple glazing for us were mostly around keeping the house as efficient as possible but other features were a bonus such as an increased element of sound proofing. We haven’t noticed any differences yet in terms of reduced bills (downstairs is still very inefficient) but we have noticed a reduce in noise from the road. It is not as quiet as we thought it might be but then again….the windows downstairs are still very noisy!

 

Here are some pictures of the completed windows…excuse the ripped wallpaper…there was just no way around it!

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