A long long time ago in a utility room not too far away
Phew this is difficult, I have a midlife memory and plenty of blogging to catch up with. A word to the wise, make sure you write up blog posts as you do them,
Long ago (well July 2017) in a utility room not too far down a little corridor, I had just finished bodging the walls and coaxing paint onto them. It had been a difficult room; the walls had been up there with the worst walls I had tackled in the house. The walls had been temperamental and as well as plastering and filling they had taken some persuading to even have parts of them hold onto the paint. It had not been the simplest of jobs, there was a bit in the corner that simply wouldn’t dry and another bit that just seemed sopping wet.
The area where the paint refused to dry was a mystery, the wall was dry but even with windows open and the heating on full it just would go off. In the end, after much mopping off of failed coats of paint I resorted to more plaster and then to some of the cure-all Thompson’s Water Seal, again working a minor miracle and solving the issue. The other area of concern was rather a damp wall but once the stonework was cleared of hardboard, the drains had been cleared and a dripping water heater had been removed it started drying out nicely and took paint.
My plastering too had left a little to be desired, it was rather like a lunar landscape in places with dips and troughs spanning my newly plastered chimney and sink area. A sturdy application of some filler and some vigorous sanding sorted it all out, I need to up my trowel skills but my counter attack filling skills are still pretty impressive.
Once the first coat of paint had been applied there was further needs for my filling skills, the walls despite my first attentions to fill and level them were still in a bit of a state and I wouldn’t rest until they were suitably level but still with a little bit of utility room distressed-ness about them.
Still though, I had been looking forward to working on the utility room, I don’t think it was the prospect that it would be potentially the last room that I would be working that drove me to this fancy. I think it was more of the prospect of working on what could be an interesting room that made me look forward to the job. So far, though the anticipation had not been very accurate, it had been a nightmare. Still though there was the potential of better and sexier jobs.
Not sexy at all but the next job was to get the base in for the washer, drier cabinet. I planned to have a ground floor, larder, pantry, washroom and utility room and central to this would be a cabinet to house my washer, my tumble drier, the main boiler and a Belfast sink while providing a large rough and tumble surface to do manly projects on. I’d lucked out on my delivery of timber and had had to get my supplies from B&Q and they were ready to fit into place. Anyway, a simple ladder frame sufficed with massive fixings to enable them to support a washer on a 1200 spin cycle loaded with sodden towels and anything manly I may need to do on the worktop. I then topped this all off with a nice slice of plywood, cut to size, waterproofed and subsidised with a little extension to box in some annoying pipework that was feeding into the boiler.
The first funky job was working out the plumbing, I had done a little work so far but I was not happy with the results that consisted of a few pipes pinned to the newly painted wall. What I wanted was to show off my artistry as an amateur plumber. So with a planned mains pump to speed up the delivery of potable cold mains water I set to a cunning design that would allow for all the appliances in the kitchen, the delivery of cold mains water and a circuit that would allow for the pump to be bypassed should I wish to bypass it.
Screwfix Bishop Auckland staff were now all best buds and Darren was beginning to remark on my healthy love for all things plumbing elbow-ish, as I seemed to buying them as though they were going out of fashion. Well this day I did not disappoint and bought a smattering of elbows, some lovely stopcocks too, the ones with the lovely long handles…. crikey and a variety of other clips and plumb ware. Next, I cut out a piece of plywood to fit the wall and planned cupboard, I waterproofed it and carefully laid out all the plumbing ephemera on it in the pattern I planned to populate on it. I then measured and cut pipe to size and pieced it all together before clipping it all to the board. Such a satisfying job, the product would make most plumbers gasp in amazement… well some at least J the results were good.
In order to make things a bit easier for me I first cut a piece of MDF to size to fit the area where I needed the plumbing fitting. I then used a liberal dose of water seal to make the wood impervious to all damp and spillages and left it to dry. I then figured out where all the inputs and exits of pipe would be on the board and marked them up neatly. The next job was one of my favourites and harked back to doing jigsaws as a kid, neatly laying out all the pipe fittings on the board. The next thing to do was accurately cut pipe to fit and then join the dots fitting the full pipe system together.
One all done it was a simple matter of pinning to full design to the board and then the not so easy job of fitting the contraption to the wall and into the water system. I think you’ll agree that it is pretty amazing, I just love the bit lever valves and the vertical verticals and horizontal horizontals, I just think it look brilliant.