The first thing in restoring victorian floors in a house is to strip away the awfulness that hides them. I’ve never understood why, in so many of the houses I’ve lived in, people have opted to hide perfectly good floors below lino or worse, click board.
We spent the last few weeks getting rid of the rubbish so that we could actually see what lay beneath. We still have two carpets to get rid of, but so far the condition of the floors has been good. The ground floor (pictured) has had the whole floor replaced at some point in the past, but the not so new pine is in excellent condition.
The first floor is a different story, original victorian floors remain untouched – well, I say untouched but the heavy hands of plumbers and electricians have created carnage in places, so we are going to have to replace a few boards. The Victorians did’t do stripped pine, they usually used Pitch Pine or Oak and they stained it black. You’ll find original floors clearly show the size of the rug that would have been placed in the centre of the room.
On balance we’re pleased – there’s always a risk that a modern floor covering will reveal something terrible like dry rot, woodworm or gaping holes. In this house though the floors seem fine though I would be interested to know what caused them to replace the original floor downstairs – woodworm? We’ll have a look at the joists presently to check their condition.
In other news, we’ve had a few people in to quote for renovating the windows – the good news is they are not too far gone, so that’s a task that can be addressed as soon as we can find space in somebody’s diary.
We also have brand new smart meters. The jury is out on the smartness of the meter – we’ve learned one lesson the hard way – if you move house, your credit records take a while to be updated, a fact that British Gas have been quick to capitalise on in refusing to give us a cheaper tariff. I spent a frustrating half hour on the phone with Experian that revealed that not only had my records not been updated, but they appear to have lost all trace of me – its official, despite having lived in Shropshire for four years, having had gas and electricity accounts with various suppliers for forty years without ever missing a payment and having voted in the referendum from my previous address, Experian say I don’t exist and British Gas say I don’t qualify for a credit account. The computer says “No”.
I’m going to give it a month while the electoral roll is updated then I’ll start to panic – in the meantime it’s costing us 55p a day to run a smart meter and no other appliances..