Wednesday, 16 December 2009


Aaaah. Toasty warm house. I am writing this (literally) underneath the new boiler. It's making a comforting humming sound and the occasional rattle as gas or water moves through the pipes and vibrates into the hole shown at the top of this page. The new boiler is going to be housed in a cabinet (yes, another excuse for a bespoke cabinet) which should muffle the sound a bit. The lovely Polish builder who is "making good" the various holes and cracks around the house is popping back in the new year to sort the cabinet.

This photo above shows our sliding door solution - it's hung from a runner which is attached to the ceiling. I am so digging the sliding door action that I would recommend them for any room, preferably pocket ones if you can get inside a wall though. Unfortunately while our hung door looks impressive, it's quite heavy and the builder had to sort out a ceiling crack which appeared recently near the runner. The photo also shows the teeny hole made in the ceiling to accommodate the pipes into the new boiler.

And the photo below shows the boiler in it's new position in the spare room. It cost around £2,800 all up and took nearly three days to install, but by golly, it was worth it - we have OK water pressure in the shower and the heaters are all working better. Result.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Boiler update

I bet you've been wracked with nerves wondering what's going on with our boiler haven't you? No? Oh. Well I'll tell you anyway. Our mortgage is up for renewal early next year and in order for us to get a remotely agreeable interest rate we need the house to be worth quite a bit more than what we paid for it. We've done the sums and they stack up, but unfortunately our next door neighbours sold a few months ago for quite a lot less than what we paid for ours two years ago (because of a chain they needed a quick sale blah blah blah). This means that the value of our house will probably be lowered so that the postcode is all lined up, or whatever the excuse of valuers is.

So, we're going to bite the bullet and move the boiler up a floor into the spare room and box it in there, as having it on show in the dining space is an eyesore. This means my bespoke cabinet is getting further and further away, but it should mean the valuer sees a more streamlined - and expensive - looking property.

As for the boiler dilemma - the plumber reckons our water pressure is 1.7 bars so he says we can have a combi. This is good news because I just read this on a website: "Do not use water from a hot water system or your bathroom taps for drinking or cooking because it usually comes from a storage tank in the loft and is not as fresh or as safe as water directly from the mains." Gah! When hungover I have definitely refilled my bedside glass from the bathroom, and usually give the kids water from the bathroom to save trekking up and down two flights of stairs.

The combi is being delivered on Wednesday and it should take no more than one or two days to install. Of course there'll be a heck of a mess afterwards so we'll need a builder over soon into the new year to "make good" the plasterboard and flooring that will be ripped up to find the pipework. The combi won't have hotel quality water pressure like our current power shower, and it will cost about £2,800 all up (plus whatever the builder charges).

Putting a pump on the header tank in the loft (and installation) will cost another £500, but we're going to see if we can live with normal water pressure first. We used to at our last place so unless it's really bad I guess we'll get by. It is fabulous being able to run a bath in about three minutes but it's not actually necessary. My only concern is if the pressure drops off when someone flushes a loo or runs a tap in another part of the house. Our washing machine and dishwasher are plumbed with cold water only so they shouldn't have any impact on the shower. This is the sort of stuff people normally take for granted, but actually it can make a difference to your life if done badly.

Oh and the photo at top has nothing to do with this post, but the kid on the cover is my daughter from a shoot she did nearly three years ago. This issue of Junior is the January issue and is out now at all good news stands in the UK...