Scaffolding wobbles – a lot. This is normal, but no less scary. If your architect proposes a beautiful double-height ceiling, ask yourself not how lovely it will look but how frightening it is going to be painting it. Having nearly killed myself toppling backwards off a ladder a few years ago, we invested in a lightweight scaffold at one of Homebuilding and Renovating’s shows. Until now it has sat in the shed in its wrapping but now that we are decorating, it is a lifesaver. Ross is doing the man-job of building the kitchen so I am in charge of the womanly job of decorating. Happily, this sexist division of labour allowed us to avoid the sensitive topic of whether the chipboard platform would hold Ross’s weight. So I have spent the last two weekends with a paint roller in a very sweaty palm.

Which leads me to my other discovery – something all self-builders need to know: which brands of white paint need only 2 coats instead of 3 when applied to fresh plasterboard. To the average citizen this may seem like boring trivia. To housebuilders this is a matter of national importance. So, my friends, invest in the paint pictured above which costs only £15.99 for a huge tub. I have no commercial links with Homebase and have received no incentive for this post. I am simply very, very grateful.

The new paint discovery allowed us small amount of spare time to enjoy a walk after the first snowfall of the year in Moray. We decided to go and visit our water supply. Like many homes in the Highlands we are off-mains. Our water comes from a well in the hill above us and sits underneath a fenced-off concrete cap (see photo). We have been marvelling at the fresh spring water tumbling from our taps ever since they were connected. Now, having peered into the murky depths of the well, I think I might boil it until the filters are fitted.

  • Samuel Joy

    Useful advice Eleanor. After two coats, the idea of a third could lead someone to a breakdown! Can’t wait to see the house all come together now you’re on the home stretch.

  • Rebecca Clutton

    Thank you Eleanor-exactly the sort of practical hands on advice that’s needed 🙂

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