Renovating my Study-Bedroom

Stará Oleška 44 © Ricky Yates

I have now lived in my retirement home in Stará Oleška for six years. During that time the only major work I’ve had done to the interior of the house was the refurbishment of the kitchen and adjoining shower room in January 2018 when, for three weeks, I was living in the middle of a building site

At that time, I did ask Elefant, the firm that installed my new kitchen and shower, if they would be interested in carrying out further work on the house. But they were booked up for several months ahead and also were really only interested in work that involved kitchens and bathrooms, installing units and fittings that they themselves sell out of their showroom in Decín.

Over the past five years since then, I’ve had work done in the garden and to the outside of the house, such as the completion of the lean-to. But nothing further has been done inside for two main reasons. Firstly, I’ve struggled to find a person or business, capable and interested in doing the various things I’ve wanted doing. Secondly, I’ve been dreading the prospect of again having to live in the middle of a building site whilst any work was done.

Just over a year ago, I had to have work done to the outside of my house after strong winds blew numerous tiles / asphalt shingles off my roof. As described in that post to which I link, my roof was re-tiled and repaired by K & K renovace nemovitostí Decín, a father and son team, both of whom are called Karel, hence K & K. Karel junior promotes and advertises the business using social media, especially Facebook. Videos and photos of their work on my roofs have appeared several times 😉

More recently, Karel junior has been advertising that he is taking on more people with different trades, so that they can undertake a wider range of projects than just roofs, downpipes and gutters. So in mid-February I contacted him, asking if he would visit so that I could discuss with him, the work I wanted doing.

Two visits followed, the first with K & K together, the second with Karel junior and his bricklayer Richard. Following those visits, Karel Junior gave me an approximate price for labour to which the cost of materials would need to be added. During the second visit, they indicated that they would be able to start work in about two weeks time which gave me a provisional start date of 27th March.

After hearing nothing for several days, on Palm Sunday 2nd April, Karel junior messaged me. He apologised for the delay but said he had been waiting for Richard and his Ukrainian colleague Ivan, to be available as their work, particularly on the walls of my study-bedroom, had to be done first before he and his father could do anything. Could they start work on Holy Saturday 8th April? Despite this meaning that celebrating Easter wasn’t going to be possible, I felt that having waited so long for a start date, I couldn’t say, ‘No’.

My study-bedroom in May 2017 © Ricky Yates

My study-bedroom was the room requiring the greatest amount of work and is the oldest part of the house. In particular, the wall at the back of the alcove in the centre of this photograph, was extremely thin. In the top right-hand corner of the alcove, where you can see that a small amount of plaster is missing, it was nearly possible to put my finger right through it!

The photograph, taken in May 2017 just before I moved in, also partially illustrates another issue I wanted solving. The limited electrical fittings within the room were all fitted external to the walls, rather than being within the walls. The two power sockets were also halfway up the wall, rather than being near floor level. There was an identical fitting on the pillar on the opposite side of the room.

New wall being built in my study-bedroom © Ricky Yates

On Saturday 8th April, Richard rapidly got to work building a new insulating wall filling the alcove, as you can clearly see in this photo. He also removed the old electrical wiring and power sockets. The new wiring now goes down behind the new wall and comes out near the bottom where Richard carved a hole in the pillar for two new power sockets.

What this photo also illustrates is the amount of mess this work inevitably created. Yes, that is my bed, covered with a couple of old sheets to try and keep it reasonably clean. And having nowhere else, that is where I had to sleep each night!

New wall rendered © Ricky Yates

With the new section of wall completed, the whole of the wall on that side of the room was rendered, ready to be decorated.

Channel for new electrical wiring & power sockets © Ricky Yates

In the opposite corner, Richard carved a channel in the existing wall to both reposition the main light switch and to create four new power sockets, adjacent to where my desk is normally located. Up until now I’ve had an extension cord with three sockets at the end, plugged into a socket halfway up a wall pillar across the room, in order to plug in my laptop, printer and desk light. I have lived in constant fear of tripping over that extension cord and sending a whole load of expensive equipment flying across the floor.

New electrics installed & the wall rendered © Ricky Yates

By Easter Monday lunchtime, all the building and electrical work was completed.

New wall decorated © Ricky Yates

Walls decorated © Ricky Yates

And by the end of Thursday in Easter week, K&K had prepared all the walls and completely decorated the whole room despite no work being done on the Wednesday as Karel junior got serious toothache and had to seek emergency dental treatment 🙁

Showing the dirt © Ricky Yates

With the room being decorated white, it showed up just how dirty everything else was 😉 This photo shows the difference when a small section of wood beamed ceiling was cleaned. So I accepted Karel junior’s offer of my study-bedroom, kitchen and shower room all being given a thorough clean on Friday 14th by himself and a young lady called Simona. The transformation was wonderful 🙂

On Saturday 15th April, as well as giving all the walls a second coat of paint, K&K commenced the final part of renovating my study-bedroom – laying a new wood laminate floor. Unfortunately, progress was not as quick as they had hoped, because of the unevenness of the floor which became clear once all of the disintegrating linoleum covering it had been removed. One half is solid but covered with three different varieties of tiles. The other half is constructed of wooden boards, several of which needed to be more firmly screwed down.

Wood laminate floor partially laid © Ricky Yates

This photo was taken at the end of work on Saturday 15th April. It shows the nature of the underlying floor with two of the three varieties of tile on the left and wooden boards on the right. It also shows the foam underlay on which the wood laminate flooring was being installed. And finally, my bed was back where it belongs.

Fully renovated study-bedroom © Ricky Yates

K&K completed laying the new floor on Monday 17th April. So, a month short of six years from when I moved into the house, I finally now have the study-bedroom in the state I have always envisaged, except for bookshelves which is another topic. And K&K have also done work in other parts of the house but that needs another blog post as this one is already long enough 🙂

Fully renovated study-bedroom © Ricky Yates

Fully renovated study-bedroom © Ricky Yates

5 comments to Renovating my Study-Bedroom

  • Pauleeen Bang

    Dear Ricky
    You are lucky to have found a great team of workers and haven’t they done a great job. It is wonderful to follow all the things that are going on in your life. Thanks for sharing.
    Love Pauleen

    • Ricky

      Hello Pauleen – Yes – I’m very pleased to have finally found people who do good work and who come when they say they will, or at least, send an explanation if there is a delay. There will be another post about the other internal work they’ve done. There is too much to put into one post. I’m glad you enjoyed my post & thank you for following my blog.

  • Kathy Ferguson

    What a wonderful transformation, Ricky. A very long time to wait to find the right workers, but they’ve done a great job.

    • Ricky

      It is a wonderful transformation, Kathy, and you should also see what else they’ve done which will be in my next post 🙂 But finding the right workers has been much of the problem, one that is fortunately now resolved.