Wednesday 14 April 2010

Jake's new playroom

We're nearly there. After almost two and a half years of wanting a new kitchen, it's almost finished. These things always take longer than you think but, genuinely I now think we're at most, a week away from properly living back in the house and enjoying the new room. Most of the kitchen is fitted and will be completed on Friday when the new boiler is fitted so we can move back in on Saturday and get cleaning and putting away. I think the most important part of the project is at the back of the kitchen (which used to be the bathroom), where it widens out to around 9 feet by 6 feet. This is not a large space but it means that the kitchen can be a place for people to be in without being in the way of whoever is cooking or washing. It's also a place for all Jake's toys and in theory, somewhere he can play with them as well. This basically gives us back a large corner of our lounge so that we can do that room up nicely knowing that it won't be a dumping ground for brightly coloured plastic and wooden toys as well as the rainforest's worth of books.

The builders are part of a firm my father is a partner in and as such, it's all being done at cost price. This means that whilst it's undoubtedly the cheapest way of doing the work, I don't have a fixed price or even an estimate come to think of it. I told them my budget and heads were sort of nodded a few weeks back. I've kept everything on a spreadsheet but my original budget is bound to be broken (as they always are). We can't get cracking on the loft conversion until we know exactly what we've spent and how much we have left. At the moment I have a buffer on the kitchen budget but that buffer is also part of the loft budget. There will be no buffer on the loft budget so that will need to be costed in minute detail.

The next dilemma is that since we started doing the kitchen I got confirmation of the full planning permission to do the loft with a dorma. On a previous post I'd mentioned that the roof was a sensible option to put a single room in for Jake and a new bathroom. The dorma option is now tantalising us into perhaps making the loft into our room. The benefits of this are that we would get the benefit of the new space and would be much more likely to use the new bathroom given that it would be on the same level. It would also give the house a third double bedroom instead of being a house with two doubles and a small single. Lastly, it would mean that the spare bed goes from being in Jake's room into our current bedroom which would give Jake an enormous room for a boy of less than two years old and he could have the train set out, instead of it still being in its original packaging under his cot. Also, it means we don't need to redecorate his current bedroom. The issues with this are however, that I don't know if the dorma would make enough of a difference in size that the new bedroom would be bigger than (or even the same size as) our current bedroom and also, fundamentally, what this would do to the budget. Given that I don't even have a costing for the sensible version which doesn't breach the roof space and the lack of buffer, it could be a step too far.

Anyway, next week phase 1 will be complete and a major headache will be over just in time for the next one to begin!

More photos below

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