In the four weeks, on and off, we have been trying to do our bathroom and get water into our kitchen and back room (eventually going to be our winter kitchen). Well all I can say is its pushed us almost to the limit as far as our patience is concerned. As previously mentioned, when we bought the house there was no water inside, so we had to tap into the outside tap and lay drainage. We thought that was awkward enough but fitting drainage and water pipes in the house was a nightmare at times. Lets put it this way, we didn’t need the pool outside, we had so many leaks we could have gone indoor swimming! The t-joints would either not connect to the pipes easily or the seal would twist,ending up with leak after leak. The worst joints were the plastic to metal, no matter what we did we just couldn’t stop the leaks but after several attempts and rolls of PTFE tape plus lots of Loxseal we finally managed to stop the leaks. The toilet that we had installed about 6 weeks ago had to be taken out again as the floor need to be raised. Instead of raising the whole floor, we made a step which the toilet would be fixed on. The reason for this was because if we didn’t raise the floor the drainage wouldn’t flow correctly. 32 buckets of concrete later and we had a step. Once the concrete dried we were able to lay the Lino and fix the toilet and sink. At last we had water in the house, it was great not having to brush my teeth at the outside sink, while the neighbours walked by shaking their heads!
We decided to build some shelves around the toilet and a cupboard under the sink, after all a woman needs plenty of storage to keep her mountain of toiletries! It is amazing how cheap wood is here. It took us a few hours to buy the wood, screws,nails etc due to our inability to speak the lingo, it’s hard work playing charades all the time but at least it amuses the Bulgarians. We even managed to find a fully enclosed shower ( glass on all sides ). It had one big shower head, a hand shower massage jets and shower tray, all for the bargain price of 395 Levs. (£174). The final item to buy was the all important boiler, we managed to get an 80 ltr one that was on promotion for 170 Levs (£75).
As we were doing the pipework, we thought we might as well connect the sink in the kitchen and put a sink in the 2nd kitchen,as well as plumbing for the washing machine. We decided to tackle building a framework for the back sink with work surface/drainage board,also so that we could instal the washing machine underneath. It took us a day and I must admit we were pretty pleased with our end result. Ok the back room isn’t even done yet but just having a 2nd sink and being able to wash our clothes in a machine is a godsend. And I have to add we only connected the cold water as we hadn’t even fitted the boiler yet, but it was exciting for me. The washing machine is a cold feed anyway as it has a heater element . All t can say is I was like a child with a new toy, washing just about everything I could get my hands on, honestly you would think washing machines had only just been invented! The washing frenzy continued the following day in between building the shelving and cupboard in the bathroom. After hours of heated discussions due to the fact that we both had different ideas, we finally decided how it was to be built. On and off its taken us a week to build. The reasons it took so long is not only where we trying to do other things in between but because we changed our mind so many times as to the design. Apart from the tiling around the sink its now complete.
Over these past few weeks our ideas about how we want our bathroom to look has changed several times and all I can say is its a good job we are doing it ourselves as, if we had someone in to do it for us, they would have downed tools by now! We have changed our ideas, clashed over each others ideas, had tantrums, thrown tools in anger, shouted, sulked,etc,etc. everything we have done so far together, up till the plumbing/bathroom, we have worked as a team, but this has pushed us both almost to our limits. Most of it is frustration over the problems with the plumbing, some of it is just tiredness and the rest is ‘ battle of the sexes’ !
One idea we decided on was to build a platform to sit the shower on, partly because of the drainage pipes and partly as we thought it would even out the room better as the toilet was fixed to the step. To our surprise, it turned out well. Next was to assemble the shower, well all I can say is it was bloody heavy. All that glass made us nervous as it was a bit of a balancing act to start with. We had to build it on the platform, which made it more difficult and when we finished building it, it had to be left in the middle until we had connected all the pipes and were sure there wasn’t any leaks. Next came the boiler and electrics. We managed to mount the boiler with no problems. Electrics went smoothly, and as Andy was doing the electrics, he decided he might as well fit a few more sockets in the kitchen,bedroom and back room, plus fit a new light in the bathroom. It’s a good feeling when things start going smoothly especially as it had been hellish to start with.
Once everything was connected, it was finally time to move the shower into place, which is the back of the platform. Truth be known we were dreading it as it had to be lifted slightly in order to move it. One wrong move and it could have been a disaster but with a bit of patience we did it! Finally we had a fully working bathroom. It’s not completed yet, there is still the boxing in of the pipes, build a full length cupboard around the boiler and of course the tiling, but it’s such a relief to be near the end. Was it worth all the stress, arguments, frustration, tiredness ? Of course it was because, although we are far from experts, what we have achieved goes beyond our expectations. We have a bathroom we love, I no longer have to wash clothes by hand and I have a choice of kitchen sinks!
We have bought a fully original Retro 1960’s Caravan to live in whilst we travel and to live in whilst we do some of the renovations to our house.
Our House From The Front, apparently this use to be an Inn in the Village.