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Ten workmen-free days?

…..You must be joking! I had three burly workmen around earlier this week to install a new kitchen window. Admittedly, I probably wouldn’t have commissioned it if I had known that my chimney needs repointing and releading before winter, which is going to be a fairly big job next month. However, by the time I realised that my roof was dodgy, the window was already half-built so I was committed.

I have disliked the original window ever since we moved in. It was metal-framed, out of keeping with the rest of the house, the double-glazing seal had blown so there was internal condensation, and I couldn’t reach the fittings to open it without standing on a chair. The central window at the top was even worse – I couldn’t reach that even on a chair and had to get the stepladder out if I wanted to open or close it! But it’s funny how you sort of get used to things, and think that because that’s how it is and how it’s always been, you just have to accept it. Well, I’m not in a particularly accepting state of mind these days and I decided that I wanted a kitchen window which I could actually open without risking my neck!

The new window is wooden, with decent double-glazing, and matches the rest of the house. Nothing in my house is a standard size, and so called ‘right angles’ aren’t necessarily 90 degrees, so everything had to be measured carefully and hand built. The joiner came round a few weeks ago to measure up, and copied the details from the other windows to made sure they matched. The best part of it is that the fittings are placed very low, probably less than a third of the way up the window, so that I can stretch across the sink and open them without having to climb on a chair. I tested that out before I let the fitters leave, as it was a vital part of the specification! I have to say that I’m very pleased with it.

One of the fitters was the same chap who has been working on my dodgy porch roof and leaking gutter / down pipe. Although it was dry on the day, it had been raining heavily overnight, and he wasn’t entirely happy with the location of the damp patches on my path near the front door. So he had yet another attempt (that’s three to date!) at fiddling with the guttering to try to seal it better.

They’ll be back next month to do the chimney, and then I’ve got Rob my reliable decorator booked in to come along after them to paint all of the new woodwork on the porch and the kitchen window, and to cover over the damp patch on the kitchen ceiling. So all in all I’m expecting a good few more visits from tradesmen over the next few weeks! But I want to make sure that the house is largely sorted (or at least as ‘sorted’ as a Victorian cottage can be) before winter.