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Making Our Dream A Reality

Back in September I wrote about something very exciting that was about to happen to us:

  We have been in our house eleven years and during this time we have installed double glazing and a new central heating sysyem and last year we had new facias.  These things were all necessary things, but we hadn’t really done anything cosmetic to the house, except to give it a quick lick of paint.

Our kitchen was really small and impractical for the amount of cooking I do and I so enjoy preserving, freezing and storing my produce so we can eat like ‘kings’ on a small budget.  But unfortunately this has always been a real challenge in my tiny kitchen.

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After my good friend passed away in February, it made us both realise that life is short and we should follow our dreams.  So this is why we finally decided to make our dream a reality and convert our small kitchen and back room into a kitchen diner.

Below are photographs of the rooms just before the building work began.

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We were very careful in choosing our builder and had various different quotes.  The builder we chose to do the work is called ‘Forestside Building Services Ltd’.  They were very professional each time we spoke to them and they helped us alot at the beginning when we didn’t exactly know what we wanted and this was before they knew we were going to ask them to do the building work.  In fact it was their idea to knock out our chimney breast to make more space for the cupboards that we so desperately wanted.

We also went to view some of their work and spoke to people that had work carried out by them.  So we did our homework first, in the hope that we would make the right decision.

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Leading upto the building work, I cooked loads and loads of meals ready to freeze and we moved everything into our front room and bedroom.  This seemed to take ages as I didn’t realise how much I had packed into such a tiny kitchen!

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As we had to clear our kitchen and back room completely, we had to fit an enormous amount into our front room.  I even had to plan it on paper first to make sure it would all fit in.

So for the next eight weeks our front room became the room we would sit, cook and eat in and my daughter even practised her piano in it.

Altogether the front room had the following things in:  A settee, armchair, TV, fridge, piano, large table (with legs removed and chairs in my greenhouse in the garden), three freezers, a microwave, electric steamer and a slow cooker and a camping stove which I would take outside to boil a pan of pasta twice a week when it wasn’t raining.  I also had a kettle with tea and coffee and plates and cutlery.  It certainly is amazing how you cope when you have to.

My eldest daughter made me laugh on the first week of living in the front room, she said that she really liked the room as she could get a drink out of the fridge and switch the TV on without even moving from where she was sitting!

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….And so the work began:

The kitchen cupboards and worksurfaces were removed, the fire and fire surround was removed and the ceiling was taken down.

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The chimney breast and the wall between the two rooms was removed and steel supports were then put into place.

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The backdoor was taken out and blocked up and the entrance to the old back room door was blocked up too.

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The builders had warned us about the amount of dust there would be, so each morning I used masking tape to stick a dust sheet over all the doors in the house and I’ve got to say it worked really well.

The pantry door was blocked up in the old kitchen and a new door was created in the hallway, which gave more room for cupboards in the new kitchen.

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Next they knocked out our window and put our lovely french doors in place:

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Afterwards the plasterer came and this was when it first began to look like a room again.

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Then the really exciting part…the room was painted and the kitchen cupboards arrived:

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The builders worked very hard installing the kitchen and laying a new floor for us.  We did have one or two hitches with the kitchen, but this was due to the kitchen suppliers (Howdens) sending the wrong end panels and the incorrect cornice for the top of the cupboards, unfortunately the kitchen fitters had installed them before we noticed.  Forestside Builders Ltd were brilliant though and sorted it straight away with Howdens and refitted the correct end panels and cornice without question.

I can only praise Forestside Builders Ltd, as nothing has been too much trouble for them.  In fact they have even given us a new central heating timer, a  new radiator, put up shelves in my pantry and fixed my new curtain pole and they fixed our wall outside for us and haven’t charged us any extra for doing this.  Adam (who oversaw the project), even came to help our piano tuner to move our piano back into the kitchen, to make sure the floor wasn’t damaged in the process.

We still have the odd bit in the kitchen that needs finishing, however this weekend we were been able to bring all my cooking equipment back into the kitchen and we finally had a meal at our dining table….a luxury we have really missed.   The fire and fire surround still needs to be put into our front room and hopefully it will happen this week and I still have to make curtains for my french doors and a roman blind for my windows.

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We asked for a practical kitchen with room for a piano and three freezers, but we wanted it to look beautiful as well without looking too modern.  We knew this was a tall order in such a small space but we think we now have all of those things and more.  It’s our dream come true and I can’t quite believe it’s ours.

Thank you so much Forestside Building Services Ltd  for all your hard work.

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Presenting our new kitchen-diner:

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back at my usual time on Friday.

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