Thursday 12 September 2019

Test fitting - replacement pane for front door

I took a trip over to the cottage today to do a test fitting of the replacement pane on the front door and the supporting wooden bead. It went well and everything seems to fit well. Tomorrow, after some clean up work, I'll be setting a putty bed on the door window opening and installing the pane then locking it in place with the wooden beads (and one dozen stainless steel brad nails).

It was a relief, because the four sections of wooden beading had been cut off-site, and it is easy to get that stage wrong. Given the unique pattern of the wooden bead there are 60 ways to get it wrong and only one correct way. The beads are machine cut which pretty much guarantees an accurate 45 degrees mitre joint. If they were cut by hand, you'd have to be sure the angle are correct in eight locations. There's three ways to insert the glass pane wrongly in the door and only one correct one. Thankfully the glazing company has clearly marked the correct orientation.

Monday 9 September 2019

Is it worth it?

I've just run the annual accounts for 2018 - 2019 for the cottage. Not including our manpower costs in cleaning the cottage and other running around, the profit margins are slim, representing a return of 1.2% on the capital investment. If we took the same capital investment and put it shares we'd see an average return of 4% without having to lift a finger.

Taking account of running costs and assuming a very optimistic 75% occupancy, we have to see a fee of £103 in a week before we've covered operational costs. Bear in mind that the agency takes 25% of the booking (plus an admin fee) of the money paid by our guests. The agency deducts VAT at 20% from the balance it pays us as "income"; so the guest has to pay in the region of £160/week before we see a penny profit. Our multi-room cottage is about half the price of a room at the local Premier Inn.

To cap it all we have to pay income tax on any profit.  So when we have a guest saying we're too expensive or the furnishings need upgrading (hint; they are all less than three years old), we don't take them too seriously.

Saturday 7 September 2019

Protective glazing panel on front door

I've installed a Perspex (Acrylic) panel on the interior of the front door of the cottage. Its purpose is to protect the existing door glazing from the rare, but careless/negligent, actions of guests. A couple of weeks ago, a guest managed to put his fist through one of  the panes and scattered glass across the road outside the house. This is despite there being an inner door to protect the outer door. It's an old door with nine original, but obsolete privacy patterned annealed glass panes covering the upper half.
The acrylic plastic is colourless clear cast and is 6mm thick. It is almost impossible break without tools. I've milled out a solid oak frame, with mitre joints at the corners to hold the acrylic panel in place. The panel covers all of the interior side of the glass. I robustly mounted the panel on Friday morning in time for the arrival of the latest guests in the afternoon. 
Unfortunately, the replacement pane of toughened and patterned glass for the front door is not yet available. It is on special order via a specialist glazier and their supplier has encountered some production problems. So sadly, I've had to tell our new guests, while the front door is now secure there is still an unsightly temporary plastic sheet covering the missing pane. I've had some wooden beading bespoke manufactured to the correct (imperial) dimensions by a local company. The beading will be used to secure the pane when it arrives. The beading is a good match for the old beading which has received some damage. Despite many phone calls, I've not been able to track down a supplier who retails this obsolete wood moulding off the shelf.

I'll be holding discussions as to who pays for remediation of the damage!