My impulsive work on the fronts had unexpected consequences. I liked the colour scheme on the left-hand front so without any further considerations I painted and papered the inside.
I am very happy with this, although I still need to add fake mouldings. I will need to visit the DIY store and pinch some 1:1 embossed wallpaper.
But you may have noticed something. The windows are in. And the doors!
Yes, that's right. But it sounds far too simple, and it wasn't. I had completely forgotten what an ordeal it was to put in windows. Just to put me off guard, the first window went in nicely, but the remaining seven were a pain. I realised that I must measure and cut the opening in the paper before I put in the window, but paper after I have put in the window. With one window I forgot, and it was a lot of extra work. Sand, scratch, sand, sand, sand... But when I finally turned the front over to glue on the surrounds I felt that the time had come! Honestly, I hadn't planned to do this until much, much later. But I just couldn't help it.
Everything had been prepared: primed, sanded, painted and sanded again. But as with all steps in this project, the actual work implies much more than the instruction "Glue in place...". The pillars wouldn't go into the pillar caps, and in fact the pillars were 3mm too long and I had to saw it off. The supports didn't fit the openings. The quoins were either 5mm too long or too short, depending on how you view it. I didn't take step-by-step pictures because there wasn't really much to show, but I swore all the way. There were new edges to paint (I had thought I had painted them all), mouldings to cut ("Cut mouldings to size", says the instruction, child's play), yards of masking tape to hold things together.
But my biggest problem, that I had been supressing all the time, was the front door. My beautiful front door that I stained and painted more than six months ago! I said then that it would be months before I got that far, and I was right. Six and a half months later I must eventually face the problem I knew was there all along. The door is bigger than the opening. This is because I bought this door separately - the door provided with the kit wasn't nearly as beautiful.
Now, the kit has been cut with precision laser, and I had to make the opening 1 cm larger. I don't have a laser, and I don't have a proper tool to perform this operation. I won't tell you how I did it because you would view me as a barbarian, but it doesn't matter: after many hours of toil it's done, and whatever didn't look proper is now forever hidden behind the surround.
The French door wasn't much of a trouble except the very last detail that freaked me out: peeling off the protective plastic from the glass. I was clever and put in the door before I glued on the balcony rail, but I didn't want to take off the plastic in case I spilled glue or paint.
I am aware you are getting impatient and don't want any more words, you want a picture! And here it is:
I wish I could say: It's finished, but of course it isn't. The right-hand front isn't even started - you can see one window is crooked because it is just white-tacked. So six more windows, mouldings, quoins, and many, many tiny details that need attention. And of course there is the whole front staircase to build. Now the exterior feels odd without it.
And yet I am glad I have taken this important step. The house is not finished and won't be for a long time. But it looks more finished than a week ago, and an untrained eye won't even notice all the missing details. However, I do. Still a long, long way to go.