Saturday, February 03, 2007

DIY Saturday

We ordered a new carpet for the hallway today. £550(!!) for a new carpet in the stair and landing only. The carpet (and underlay) itself was only about £160 but the fitting costs £220. Plus there are other bits and pieces like grippers and whole load of things I had never heard of.

I'm not surprised at the cost of the fitting - it is why everyone in the UK is obsessed with DIY. You have to sell your kidneys before you can afford to have any work done in your house. So the only alternative is to do it yourself. Carpet fitting is beyond us... but no way am I paying someone £200 a day to do the "general" stuff. Fuck, how hard can it be??

Mr K-E and I spent the whole day DIY-ing. Things I never knew before moving to London:
  • The stuff on used on walls is "emulsion" and not "paint". It is also normally water-based. Although I always say "painting" for everything.
  • "Paint" goes on wood or metal and is normally oil-based and looks glossy. If you emulsion your doors and skirting boards, they will look rubbish. (The previous owners of our flat did this - and it looks cheap and shit)
  • Before you repaint wood (especially if it has been neglected), you need to de-grease it with sugar-soap solution and rub it down with sand paper or else the new paint will not "take". This means it will come off after a few months.
  • There are different grades of sandpaper.
  • Never try to start painting if you don't have masking tape in the house. Or else you will get paint all over the light switches/door jambs/window sills etc. Nightmare.
  • Painting with rollers is not as fun as it looks on TV. It gets pretty boring after 5 minutes and then it starts to feel like hard work.
  • Polyfilla is your new best friend. Cracks? What cracks?
  • And last but not least...I hate DIY. When oh when am I going to win the lottery?

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