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Ok it’s not the most beguiling picture I’ve taken, but we’re very excited about this. Clearing the house for the trades is a filthy job, but with every layer of modern renovation removed, if you know what to look for you are revealing the past.

What these marks at the angle of floor and skirting board represent are not giant rodents with square teeth – they are holes cut in the floor to take a set of bannisters. The wall in question is on the right of the door into the house where the stairs down to the basement start.

This means we can get rid of that dividing wall which covers the stairs down tot the kitchen and replace it with bannisters matching the originals which we have upstairs. Opening the basement to daylight and breathing life back into the kitchen.

In other news, we have not been idle these past weeks, we’ve been getting quoted from trades folk to do the difficult things. What an eyeopener  – there’s a dance we call “Kerching” and it goes like this…

“Been in Shrewsbury long?”

“A few months…”


Done many houses up have you..?

“One or two..”


and so on.. we’ve had quotes cover a range of over £3000 for the same job! Depending on the answers to those leading questions. We’re sorting the wheat from the chaff and we’ve found some very good people now that seem to want to do a good job for a respectable wage.

Advice for the unwary  – you come from a long line of craftspeople, woodturners to a man, you’ve renovated thousands of properties and your cousin is a building inspector for the council. You won’t get as many quotes returned, but those that do will be from people with nothing to fear!