Our empty attic

This is the attic above our flat, yet another reason my posting has ground to a halt lately. Edinburgh top-floor flats don’t usually have title to the attic space above them, but ours does, and after five years of using it for nothing more than storage we’re finally about to release the inherent value that made us buy the flat in the first place. We’re getting the collars raised (those beams on the ceiling, which come down to my chin), two extra windows put in, proper insulation, and a staircase up to it rather than the ladder that’s been there since the place was built. (That was the original impetus. The kids are big enough to climb up the twelve-foot ladder, but small enough to fall down the hole.)

We started the whole process at the end of last year and planned to have the work done over the summer, but the storm that damaged our kitchen roof in January put paid to that. The delay caused by repairing the roof, kitchen and bathroom was followed by another over getting a building warrant from the council, a process which dragged on for months. Then came getting quotes from builders for the work, which were two to three times the initial estimates. Meanwhile, we got on with other things that needed doing as part of the overall rearrangement of the flat: clearing out the eaves, putting bookshelves along the hallway, redecorating a bedroom for the kids to move into, and finally clearing out the attic by carrying everything down the ladder and stacking boxes in six-foot-high piles around our lounge and bedroom.

Last night I carried six rolls of carpet and underlay down the ladder and three flights of stairs to the kerb for collection—and on Monday the builders start. We’re hoping that being able to close the door on it all will mean that the noise and dust and disruption will be contained, but who knows. I’m also hoping that the cold and snowy winter that’s being forecast holds off long enough to get those two new windows put in. December and January aren’t when we would have chosen to do it all, but it’s that or wait for another six months.

23 November 2012 · Journal