Building A House – On Site With The Builders

Hello my fellow designers!

This video is going to show you what building a house is really like.  This morning I have been doing some paperwork and thinking about what the Chelsea job has in store for me when I take a look at it this morning.  I’m looking forward to seeing what progress has been made house. This is always the way when you have been away from the property for a particular time.  Generally things can move quite fast when you’re not looking at the property day in day out as I always do.  I know that many things happened whilst I’ve had my week away.  But now I am back, I’m back in the thick of it.

I  had some contact with the builders on the telephone whilst I’m away on holiday and this is something which I like to do. 

I always tell my builders and suppliers that they can contact me either by telephone or text and I will come straight back to them.  I do this because I know that not only am I a control freak, but if the clients have any questions or issues, it will mean that I know what they are talking about and that even though I am away I am fully cognisant of what is happening at the property and with their project.

Paperwork bills invoices and emails will also mount up whilst you are away from a project. It is important that you manage your inbox whilst you are away, because there is nothing worse than coming back from holiday to a crisis that could have been averted, if you had just sent a quick answer by email or text.

I always make sure I have access to my emails, so I have peace of mind and do not return to full a inbox and feel even more stressed than before I left!

One thing that I have been doing of late, has been managing my new podcast over on Anchor.FM

Anchor is a platform that allows you to record your voice, play music, receive audio, and acts very much like a radio show.  With the added benefit that your audio content can be turned into a podcast and streamed on iTunes, Google Play and other platforms on the web.

I already have my podcast which you can find here. But Anchor is a very good secondary platform that can be used throughout the day to describe your work, your social time or even to learn about interior design; as I am hopefully using it to teach you about the life of an interior designer, on a day-to-day basis.

If you want to listen along then please find me on Anchor and do call in and I can answer any questions you may have about the projects that I am undertaking currently.

If you would like a condensed version on a weekly basis then head over to my normal home conscious podcast to listen to my updates all in one sitting.

I’ve also taken delivery of my new Apple AirPods.

These are a great product and hopefully they will be able to catch much more of what I’m saying and certainly more clearly than the current headphones that I am using.  So it’ll take some time to get used to but I hope they work as well for you, as well as they do for me.

Back to the Chelsea house..

You will see from the video that the flooring is up and this is a normal occurrence when you are either installing new wiring, new plumbing, underfloor heating or just replacing the current flooring.

It’s a messy business and it means that it’s best to stay away whilst this is happening.  I usually inform the clients when this is taking place to let them know that if they did want to visit, they should be aware that they won’t be able to walk around as normal.

The new flooring has arrived and is currently sitting in its boxes ready to be installed. There is a difference between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring.

The former can take a good few days sometimes a week or two to acclimatise into the property before you lay it into position. Engineered flooring is better because you do not need to acclimatise the wood to the temperature of the house, and so therefore it can be laid immediately it gets delivered.

But today the underfloor heating panels are going in and all is looking good.

We’ve had to wait until the gas pipe work has been completed for the gas fire – so you can see that all in place today.

Speaking of deliveries, quite a few of deliveries have come in and are currently sitting in the kitchen. These are not in harms way and are ready for installation when the timing is right.

It is always best to check with your main contractor about what deliveries coming in just to be courteous and so that he can inform the workmen on site so that they can make space and already when the delivery takes place.

Front Door

The new front door is also onsite –  and this was one of the items that the client was deciding whether to do or not. This could have been something that they decided to leave off the plan. But it was taken off and then added back on. We changed the fan light (the pane of glass above the door) to a new toughened glass version to help with insulation.  It needs painting of course – which will no doubt be black!

New Windows

Also as I have been away, the new windows have been installed. These were arranged by the clients and these suppliers although they are known to me have very much have to fit in around my building work and contractors.

They have done a good job, but there will of course, be reparation around the windows that my builders will have to take care of when they are decorating the rooms.

It is a sign of good contractors that the windows have been covered in polythene to protect them from dust plaster and paint. They are an interesting addition as they are not the normal sash windows that you could expect in this building.

The clients wanted a window that would encompass a blackout blind between two sets of glazing. This means that the resulting window will somewhat protrude from the wall making any curtains or blinds difficult to install.

They have come out well and I am happy to report that the clients are delighted with them.

Sanding and Painting

So it’s very messy as building a house always is. You will see that the first coat of paint has gone on to the walls and this is to cover up the previous paint which was Lulworth Blue by Farrow and Ball.

There is also sanding taking place in the master bedroom – ostensibly to smooth over where we removed the air vent.

Builders will generally work from the top of the property downwards. This is undoubtedly to do with the amount of dust that will travel down the property during building work.  But it also means that once rooms are done, the door can be closed and sealed off to the other trades so that the new work does not get damaged.

Bathrooms and Tiling

On the top floor you will see the bathrooms taking shape where the first fix of plumbing has been installed.

New plaster work and pipework is much in evidence at this time. We can also see the new limestone tiles that are in the Guest Bathroom. Very smart they look too!


One of their hot topics on this particular job was the amount of joinery that needed to be done and a lot of the work was actually removed from the spec, being a little too costly.

Which means the clients are happy to use the current joinery they have, rather than remove the existing woodwork and build all new wardrobes and cupboards.

In effect we have just added new handles or knobs to the existing doors, to personalise them for the clients.


I have also been looking at the lighting in the sitting room.  Placement of lights is one of the more scientific and interesting parts of interior design. There are specialist companies that will come in and advise both you and clients on what products to use.

But you will soon realise what you do and don’t need in certain properties. You will soon make your own mind up as to what the client can afford and what would be suitable for them. All part of building a house and home.

We have used mostly recess spotlights in the ceiling, with a few up lighters positioned at certain points in the new wooden flooring.  It’s going to look great when it’s all finished!


I also touch on clothing in this video. It’s a wise person that doesn’t wear anything expensive onsite. It’s simply not worth the worry. I’ve lost count how many times builders have looked anxiously at me and my clothes. I always have to put them at ease and tell them not to worry!

So that’s all to this visit to Chelsea looking forward to the next one very soon.

Happy designing!