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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A Bit Of A Bodger

I was going to give you the dictionary definition of a bodger here but it's a bit boring and, if there's one thing being a bodger ISN'T, it boring!

A bodger, contrary to common belief is not necessarily  lazy, often a bodger will actually spend far more time on a job than they would have had they done it properly in the first place due to the fact that almost everything they do doesn't work properly and so they have to devise a different bodge  to cover up their mistakes.

Point in question:

I live in a mid terrace Victorian house.  Now, there are many things to like about my house.  The rooms are fairly spacious.  It's not huge, in Victorian times it would have been a workers house so there's nothing posh about it and there are very few Victorian features to redeem it but by modern standards the rooms are a decent size.

It also comes with a huge host of Victorian problems.  Plaster that crumbles when you try to remove wallpaper.  There isn't a single floor, door frame or wall that is square or level and damp is an ongoing problem.

My bathroom is downstairs which, in the middle of the night can be a pain but the only other option is to move it upstairs and to loose a bedroom so we put up with it.

The main problem with my bathroom is the damp.  It's a single skin room built on to the back of the house which means that it's freezing in the winter.  When we bought the house it was also half tiled and the rest of it was papered with a hideous paper that was padded presumably for insulation with a tiled effect covered in little rainbows.  We also had an avocado bathroom suite with a matching avocado carpet that you could have grown mustard and cress on.

HORRIBLE!

Having taken advice regarding the damp we discovered that the only way to eliminate the damp (other than knocking the thing down and rebuilding, NOT an option) was to install an extractor fan the size of the back wall.  Failing that we had to find a bodge.

Putting in central heating (I KNOW, can you believe we didn't have it for YEARS!) and upgrading the extractor fan helped and then ripping out the tiles which just aggravated the condensation problem.  Putting in double glazing to replace the horrible metal framed windows that poured water down the glass and onto the floor and finally, cladding the whole room in tongue and groove so it resembled a sauna from a porn film.

Well, all of that helped enormously although I still fanatically wipe down all the windows and walls after Miss Macs has her marathon hour and a half showers and I regularly have to clean the mildew from around the windows and door.

And that is how it stayed for several years.  We did replace the hideous bathroom suite with a white enamel bath etc and we also installed a shower cubicle.  One of the GOOD things about my bathroom is that, like the other rooms, it's a decent size so there was room for a separate shower which is just as well as it has a sloping ceiling so, at 6ft tall, one over the bath would possibly only clean me from the chest down ...

My first job when my marriage broke down was to tackle the bathroom, now I didn't have anyone else to consider I could do it how I liked and so it became my beach hut bathroom as seen here.

Of COURSE I bodged it a little.  I didn't seal the nails holding the tongue and groove up so, after a few months the room was covered in lots of little rust spots which I then had to go over several times a year and the room was never quite finished due to lack of funds but it was a huge improvement.

Until recently the toilet wobbled which caused untold consternation to the uninitiated because it hadn't been fixed to the floor properly.  A job that WAS going to be done once new flooring was laid (Still waiting on that one ...).  It has been fixed now and I get endless pleasure from sitting on it and not rocking to an fro ...

Anyway, 5 years later and I'm bored with the beach hut look and so I've begun to redecorate it.

My first task is to cover the blue and white stripes.  Not as easy as you might think!  So far it had two coats of white and I can still faintly see the blue but I'm sure this will be covered by the final coat when the proper colour is put on.

I say it's had two coats ...  Well, SOME of it has ...

I started with the alcove that houses the bath.  I'd painted the whole of this alcove in blue rather than stripes and stenciled some seashells in white on the walls - I think it actually looked prettier than it sounds ...  I gave the alcove two coats before starting on another wall and then got bored so I started to gloss the window surround and the coving above the bath.  I didn't clear the bathroom like I should have so I've been constantly moving things around and tripping over things.  I haven't used dust sheets so I've spent some time removing gloss drips from the bath (non drip gloss IS an urban myth!) but so far I've only trodden on the upturned lid of the open paint pot once so I'm seeing that as a positive ...

I now have two walls that have had two coats of white, one that has one, one none at all.  One window frame (there are two windows) and some coving that has had one coat of gloss.

And I feel like I'm GETTING THERE ...

I've bodged it, of COURSE I have.

I should have removed these:

Picture hooks

Before painting rather than painting over them but they didn't seem to want to come out of the wall and then I remembered how hard it had been to get them into the wall in the first pace and anyway, I'll just put the picture up again anyway wont I ...

Actually, I have because I'm afraid I'll stand on them if I leave them on the floor ...

And Big D and the lovely L gave me a couple of these and I love them so they will be going back up.
They also gave me this:

A driftwood heart which could do with some new string ..
Notice, not even a proper picture hook this time - the wall behind the cladding must be made of concrete or something, it's almost impossible to get anything into it!

Bodgers are also inventive.

When the bottom part of my shower fittingkept falling off for some unknown reason and I got tired of putting it back on only to have it fall of again the next time I took a shower I fixed bodged it with a bit of blue tack  which worked really well.

So it's still there - yes, that's blue tack NOT dirt!
I was going to wait and write this post once the bathroom was finished but to be honest, it's anyone's guess which decade THAT will be so, in the absence on my thermomix I'm posting this now so that any DIY stores/flooring companies/builders who want to rebuild my bathroom/damp specialist etc (thank you in anticipation ...)  who happen to pick up this post and can't wait to send me free stuff/do work for nothing can contact me in my new guise as a DIY blogger before I get bored with it and move on to something else ...

18 comments:

Brighton Pensioner said...

A fellow bodger!! I love it!

Sarah said...

Glad I'm not alone BP - it sometimes feels like everyone else is so proficient ...

joeh said...

I thought it was just because i'm left handed.

No i have a name for it.

Sarah said...

You know Joe, being left handed COULD be the reason (now all I need to do is become left handed ...)

Feisty Cat said...

I learn so much when I read your blog. Now I have a lovely new word in my vocabulary. I plan to use it throughout the week. And, of course, I am a fellow bodger.

Haddock said...

Like that light house in that frame.

Sarah said...

I knew you would be FC ;-) xx

So do I Haddock and it's all the more special to me because my son bought it for me.

Kate N said...

I think your an inventor and skilled in time management :)
I don't know how you manage being a food blogger (made anything yet?) and now a DIY blogger!
You're inspirational! Lol

Sarah said...

Why thank you Kate, I have (in the past) also been a fashion blogger, a relationship guru and a goat wrangler - I like to think of myself as master of many things ...

Lydia C. Lee said...

I'm in awe that you would even attempt any of this, let alone actually successfully do it. You rock!

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Oh my goodness, we have the same issue with single skin walls but it's the whole of our upstairs that's affected. As you climb the stairs the temperature plummets and we have penetrating damp through the exposed gable end. I don't know what to do other than extend outwards and we can't afford that.
Your bathroom looks lovely with it's tongue and groove. Ours is original 1960 with cracked tiles and mould and leaky shower. Too big for me to fix. xx

Sarah said...

I'm not sure it's actually a success Lydia but a fresh coat of paint always makes things look a little better :-)

It's a no win situation isn't it Kate? It's probably cheaper to buy a new house than fix the problem! I really like the tongue and groove although I don't even want to think what might be going on behind it! Ours was very 1960's too, in fact the whole house was, I wish I had photos of some of the horrors!

K Ville said...

I think I recall we second skinned the bathroom walls in the end but OH at the time was a builder. But the damp/cold is the reason I will never go back to a Victorian house. They are spacious (by comparison) and characterful and homely and lovely and cold and damp!!!

I used to decorate properly, I am now a one pot, one coat gal that also paints around nails and over the parts that shoudl have been sanded. Life is very short and getting shorter ;)

Kate N said...

Did you get free goats?

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

Some of that sounds horribly familiar. Our house is a constant project! 'To bodge' is a well-known verb in my vocabulary and also comes with an interesting choice of adjectives.

Sarah said...

Ha ha, I've probably had my fill of goats Kate ;-)

It does here too Mike!!

Holly Hollyson said...

I am a borganised bodger - so how does that work then?! Love that heart, adorable x

Sarah said...

Ha ha, I'm not sure Holly - SD occasionally tried to borganise my bodging - it never ends well ...