What is in a soffit board?

So typical. I take the rubbish out and what do I see? Little bits of tile on the path next to the kitchen door. I look up and can see that some of the mortar that keeps the tiles in place have fallen down. Why is it that when you come to sell a place all of a sudden a load of little jobs need to be done? There is no way I could morally sell the house with a “slightly dodgy roof”… Queue phone call to local roofing company to get it sorted.

So far so boring I hear you cry. However on the website of the firm we are going to use they have a very nice diagram of “bits of roofs” so if you don’t know your barge boards from your soffits, feast your eyes on this little gem:

Is that a Barge Board or a Soffit mate?

The source was the http://www.harpenden-roofing.co.uk/.  it is a shame that when we move we can’t use them as we will be about 250 miles away!



We are slowly making our way towards The Victorian Pile. We had our purchasers  viewing our house for the 4th time on Saturday. Nothing to worry about, I think that they are just excited about moving in. I am not surprised – although our house was built in 1978, it is still a detached 4 bedroom , one  with en-suite, great neighbours in a nice part of the world! What was slightly non normal was that they took photos. Now taking photos of our house that they want to move into is not that strange… taking photos of the inside of the cupboards was not something that I would have expected. Each to their own I suppose. Ideas on what they were going to use the photos for on a postcard please (or please the comment section!).

Having said that – the one room that we could not see in the Victorian Pile was the utility room because that is where the tenants kept a vicious dog (well vicious looking anyway). We did not feel like doing battle with it, so using my phone I took photos around the door to see what was in there. Perhaps that is weird as well!

Wot no photo

Apologies for the appalling spelling! But many people have asked for photos of The Victorian Pile. Now perhaps I am just super superstitious, but I just feel as though I am going to jinx the whole thing if I post a photo of the house when we have not exchanged contracts yet. Gentle reader, rest assured I will post some photos once we are actually there!

However good news. Things are creeping forward with mortgage forms to send, draft contracts to read and the lawyers have started to do searches. We did a bit of a chaser call on the Estate Agents today, and the people selling our house admitted that they took a peek at The Victorian Pile and said that it looked “lovely house”. Now coming from an estate agent who is not trying to sell it, that is fair praise indeed in my book!

FOUR viewings!!!

What is it nowadays? Have just been contacted by the estate agent and our purchasers want to see the house AGAIN! This makes a total of four viewings! The house we are buying we had one prior to putting in the offer, and another afterwards. Infact there is still one whole room we have not seen…

I don’t think that I have a cavalier attitude to risk but four viewings seems a bit excessive. What do people do other people do? .

Sash Windows

While we are waiting for the paper work to be sorted, I have started looking at sash windows. Sash windows were invented by Robert Hooke (famed for Hooke’s law – which is the law about springs you did at school).

The house that we are in the process of buying has a whole stack of windows. We counted them from the floor plan and it is about 20 odd. 4 huge windows on the ground floor and then another load dotted around the house.  Now 20 odd windows sounds like a lot. The UK government up to around 1851 used to tax your windows. This house was built in about 1858/60 so in celebration they seemed to have whacked as many windows as possible.

I don’t think that they are all sash windows, but I know that the ones we saw need to be mended.Now luckily one of my colleagues at work is renovating a house, so I thought I would tap him for information. He reckons that the budget is around £1000 per window for full renovation. The issue can be that the sills become rotting and the rot begins to creep up into the boxing of the sash. He also recommended getting them painted in a kind of stitch in time saves nine way.

Looking further I found this handy guide to sash windows: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/caring-for-your-sash-case.pdf if you want to know more.


I never knew time passed so slow
I wish I’d never met you, or that I could bear to let you go
At dead of night, ’till break of day
Endless thoughts and questions keep me awake
It’s much too late

Jealousy – Pet Shop Boys

So here I am reading about other people renovating their houses. The guys at Kenwyn are braving the dark tower, installing lino and generally seems to be getting to the end. The photogenic couple (Victoria Elizabeth Barnes and hubby) are going for it by buying unweidly items from Craig List

What am I doing?

I am trying to get all the documentation together to send to the mortgage company and solicitors. Now I am sure all these other people have been through the same boring process, but it is still boring none-the-less. I have spent the last hour battling with scanners and printers so that I can copy the various electric certificates, builders certificates and central heating installing certificates. This is for the property I am selling, and not on the Victorian Pile I am buying.

This is not what it should be about: the blog should be about the excitement of lifting carpets and finding hidden gems of parquet flooring, renovating mouldings, tapping on walls and finding hidden passage down to smugglers coves (well perhaps the last one is a bit fanciful). Instead I am stuck getting together a load of pieces of paper.

Now last time I moves was about 5 years ago and I am sure that it was less that was required. It does not help that I work for myself so I now need a number extra pieces of paper including end of year accounts (fair enough) but a a new tax document SA302 which details the income tax for the last tax year. Yawn. Boring boring boring.

Hoping to get past this and be able to write about the excitement of a house. When I believe that  we will get into the house then I will write a bit more about it! Till then you will have to leave me with a bottle of English Wine (yes – we do nice wine, we just don’t tell people about it!) and me sulking in a pile of paper…

Restoration Day

It is Restoration Day on UK television today. Restoration Home One Year On and a new series of Grand Designs. Watching the Restoration programme is making me happy as people have taken on some huge projects and ours is not that big. At least our building is pretty much watertight and has not fallen down!

Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs fame is a bit of hero if you are interested in buildings. Whenever I put up some shelves I can always hear Kevin’s dulcet tones in my head describing my “Project” and discussing whether I can complete it within the £10.72 budget and in the afternoon allocated!