Day One: The work begins

Early on Saturday morning we skipped down the road to the Rocky soundtrack as we set off to start the renovation project at our new flat, the Queen’s Park Money Pit.

By 10am we’d made some serious progress. The photos tell the story and we were very pleased that by 3pm we had gutted the flat, ripped out the kitchen and had two guys with a van clear everything out.

In the hall
The room formerly known as the kitchen, destined to be the bathroom  
Timber!… in the garden
Some of the kitchen
Crap in the hall 
Plastic lino ripped up, I am never using that bath
The under stair cupboard 

There’s nothing quite like clearing out other people’s stuff. Dead man’s shoes was all I could think as we pulled suitcases out of the under stair cupboard. There’s still a massive trunk which we couldn’t fit in the van and another couple of suitcases to go.

One clear room – future bedroom
The front room – cleared

 By lunchtime we had done a huge amount of work. The front room was looking great and a huge contrast from the room with burgundy carpet.

Front room – chimney breast (imagine a lovely Victorian fireplace here)
Hall – cleared

I am intent on knocking down the wall pictured above to create the Master Suite (a rather optimistic title). Hopefully the ceiling won’t collapse. We’ll wait until we’re sure…

Hall – cleared 
Bay window – front room – cleared. A window seat perhaps?

We did make a surprise discovery in one of the bedrooms. We know damp is a problem but we found a very wet wall and have to deal with the cause rather than the symptoms first. There was also a hole in the floor and some very dubious plaster. Lots to do in that room.

Bedroom – cleared
Nasty surprise in the bedroom
A very wet wall – bedroom
There’s a hole in the floorboards, dear Liza, dear Liza
Mouse hole? Not good

Amazingly we didn’t see any rodents or slugs and only one tiny snail so that was a plus. We noticed how quiet the area is compared to the sirens of Camden and an amazing amount of birdsong filled the sky. In Chalk Farm we have magpies, crows and jays around us, all the nasty birds. In Queen’s Park we saw a blue tit and sparrows so think a bird bath may be nice. The birds may get their bath before we do!

By 3pm we’d done all we could. We tidied up, locked the door and collapsed on the bus back to Chalk Farm. Exhausted was an understatement.

We were really proud of what we’d managed to do. We have guys coming round on Monday to look at the drains, the damp and the rot and we’ll get estimates in so we know what we’re dealing with.

And so after baths (thanks to the luxury of Chalk Farm) it’s an early night for the Renovators.

Seriously knackered.

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