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Refurbishment updates

Refurbishment of Madras Lodge - loft commenced on 17th January with the arrival of SGN to reconnect the gas supply to the loft. An initial heating survey undertaken in late November last year identified that a gas supply existed to the Loft but at some point had been disconnected. New non- corrodible pipes were used to replace the old steel ones and a conservation area meter box attached to the external wall of the loft for the meter. 

The holes were refilled this week (23rd January) and work commenced on the fitting of gas central heating using a boiler that can be converted to hydrogen fuelled when the time comes. Our heating survey recommended gas central heating over new night storage or electric central heating as these are very expensive to run, whereas the new heating can be individually controlled in each room using either an app or manually making the system much more efficient. 

In order to have the boiler positioned in the most effective place flooring was introduced into the attic space, over time further

flooring will be undertaken to assist insulation and

make storage easier.

The central heating installation started on the 23rd as well; with the night storage heaters being

removed. The bricks will be used in the garden either as paving or to build a barbecue area, as we wish to try recycle as much as we can.  Radiators have been placed in all areas of the loft, and the water will also be heated by the boiler for the wash hand basin, bath and kitchen sink. 

The hot water tank has been removed from the garage, with blank-ended central heating pipes run into the garage in case in the future we wish to put heating into this space.

The heating engineers have done an amazing job of hiding pipes where at all possible, and this allowed us to see under the raised floor in the hallway which was interesting. Of course, some walls will need their decor tidied up a bit until we can start the painting and decorating. Our builder/interior designer friend advised that we should get the major disruptive work completed then redecorate one room at a time to help with the financing of the project.

The boiler in the attic, the new radiator in

small bedroom and the floor under hallway.

Water pipes under bath and new radiator in sitting area. 

Last weekend, to allow access for the electricians who are due on site on 20th February to replace non-compliant wiring, some of the committee cleared the small room off the lounge in the house, sorted the materials out and secured the shelves (some had pulled away from the wall). Interestingly, this small room would previously have been the pantry as the lounge would have been the original kitchen for the property.

Some research has been being undertaken into the history of the house and stables and it is planned to produce a wee booklet about the house, its previous owners and the Misses White's ownership. We think it would also be interesting to have a history of the White family given the numbers of photographs and paintings available so hopefully this will be tackled too. One of the photographs found whilst sorting out the cupboard was that of the gateway into the property in 1939. Interesting to note the wooden pillars have gone now which explains the unusual size of the current gate. 

Update 2 - 20 February

So - how is it going?

Well we are still fighting to get a date from Scottish power for the gas meter for the Loft and also a smart electric meter.  This has been on-going since early December 2022, with Kath (Treasurer - Madras) and Lindesay spending hours trying to get this sorted. Suffice to say - we are now waiting to hear re installation of these meters - the deadline to hear from them is next Tuesday 28th Feb when if no contact Lindesay plans to  go through to Glasgow and see someone face to face in their customer services building, as clearly by phone and on-line does not have any effect at all. So the Loft is currently in abeyance in terms of progress although the old sofa bed has been despatched  and a new one on order. 

Much more positively, the house is going along well. So far, we have removed the large sideboard from the dining room and put it to use in the garage, replaced missing skirting boards in dining room (where night storage heater was, and where sideboard was) and also filled in a large gap in the wall where there was a whistling draught coming in.





















The short hall has also had skirting added opposite the porch door. 

The central heating system is in, up and running and can be controlled by an app (Hive) , or on each individual radiator; so each room can be heated when in use but we don't need to heat the whole house unless we want to.  The flooring is on order and will be fitted next week, which meant we needed to remove the floor coverings in all rooms on the ground floor of the house.

This threw up a few issues.  The vinyl in the kitchen was hiding a soaking wet floor, and the wall of the kitchen was also soaking due to - we suspect- a slow fine mist leak from the junction of the dishwasher pipe and the mains. Since lifting the vinyl and turning off the mains feed this has dried out well so should be fine for the new floor. 

The carpet in the dining room and hall both lifted brilliantly and with little effort.

The major surprise was the lounge which had several layers of previous floor coverings on it, including what looked like the original tar/rubber backed paper flooring which we had to remove using wallpaper scrapers.


Luckily we had a few volunteers to assist with this, and the majority of the floor coverings have gone to the local recycling centre. Today the electricians arrived to update and replace any non- compliant wiring and fuse systems. Rory (Brightwire electrical solutions) is positive that there will be no major horrors revealed so fingers crossed. 

Update 3 - March 31 2023

Where have we got to- 

The good news is that we open the House tomorrow 1st April to a group of guests. sadly as we are still awaiting Scottish Power to sort out meters for the Loft this closure has been extended until end of April ( for which we do apologise) but we are expecting SP on 5th April at the loft to sort our meters. 

Meanwhile, the electrical work went ahead as scheduled with no major issues identified and we now have two lovely trip fuse boxes one in each property. Rory the electrician has labelled almost everything and apart from the removal of some electric heaters on the walls, which we will do when decorating the rooms, the electrical work is up to date and now conforms to current regulatory standards. 

This then allowed us to get the flooring in the house ground floor replaced, which was done over one weekend, again to an exceptionally high standard.  We were all terrified to walk on it at first in case we made is took scruffy. Julie did a great video walk through of it which you can view here. 

old fuses loft
new fuses loft1

Last week we spent most of our time on the dining room. The external wall has been repapered with insulating lining paper, the ceiling has been repainted, walls were painted using the committees choice from the mood boards of duck egg blue. All woodwork and doors have been double coated in acrylic eggshell.  


The furniture has been added in again, with the chairs being recovered in a red rust coloured linen to contrast with the walls. The display cabinet from the lounge has been repurposed into the dining room and now stores the glasses and table mats.

New side lamps were purchased from the Dunbar Zero waste shop, and the half moon side table (now treated for its woodworm!) replaced in its' alcove. The new pictures have been hung, the mirror replaced and the medals back in their corner. And finally curtains added. 

In the lounge, we have not yet redecorated, however, we have added a few things to refresh and brighten the room until that is done. 

lounge 1

A couple of cream throws over the sofa's, new lampshades, plus a couple of new lamps from Dunbar zero waste along with a cream rug and new pictures have lifted the room. 

Finally we have rearranged some furniture upstairs and added a couple of furnishings to freshen the decor until we can move on to these rooms. 

Final update 10 May 2023

We had to remain closed a little longer for the loft due to lack of gas meter and heating.  However, the saga became more complex as guests in the house had another drain blockage!  On investigation by Drew - our long suffering but excellent drain man- we discovered that when the new gas pipe was put in for the loft they manage to put it through the drain from the house and this had caused it to block. 


Luckily by using the camera it was spotted in time and Drew did not rupture the pipe with his cleaning kit. SGN came the next day and dug out the hole, Drew took out the fractured drain, replaced it, locating the gas pipe underneath and the hole was refilled and finished in two days.  As luck would have it, Scottish power arrived with a meter for the gas the same week, and the heating was finally connected and is doing a great job controlled by a Hive system. We also had fitted a boiling water tap in the loft as a second measure. So we were able to complete the loft on time for the guests due on the 12 May.

There is new high level insulating flooring in the hall and bathroom in the loft, the skylight in the big bedroom has been double glazed, cupboard doors fitted in the Library space at top of stairs and furniture in the lounge area refreshed. 

Of course, there is still a bit to do but for now we would appreciate your feedback on the changes and we will move forward with the decorating and other works after the summer. 

If you wish to contribute to the upgrading you can do so through the booking of Madras Lodge or by donation.

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