Dick Strawbridge ‘embarrassed’ by Escape to the Chateau project ‘Matter of urgency!’

Escape to the Chateau: Dick says fixing balustrade is 'urgent'

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Escape to the Chateau’s Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree have an ever-expanding list of projects to help restore their 19th-century home to its former glory. Dick decided to tackle his crumbling balustrade which he revealed was intended to be the perfect place for wedding pictures. However, the “embarrassing” project was a lot more complicated than the Channel 4 star first thought. 

Dick explained: “As a matter of urgency we know we need to make this part safe because it’s a bit wobbly and falling off the balustrade would be a bit embarrassing for everybody.

“Or if somebody walks underneath and gets a rock on their hand, it doesn’t sound at all funny when you say it like that.”

However, the Escape to the Chateau star admitted he had struggled to find a builder for the work.

“I got a stonemason who quoted €3,000 to fix it €1,000 of which was for hire of scaffolding for a week,” he continued.

Read more: Angel Adoree net worth: How much is Escape to the Chateau star worth?

“So having asked him to do it but we thought we’ll get the scaffolding but he can come and do it – haven’t heard from him for three months.

“Tried emails, phone calls and can’t afford to wait any longer so bottom line is we’re doing it ourselves.

“Steve the tiling, plastering, painting guru that we’ve got has also done some stonework so between the two of us I’m going to save €3,000 and we’re going to do it in probably two days.”

The pair got to work but they soon realised the job wasn’t as simple as they first thought. 

The iron rod that had been binding the stonework together for 150 years had rusted and expanded. 

Dick and Steve needed to find a new steel rod to link the stone framework together. 

The Escape to the Chateau homeowner decided to use some of his old tools for the balustrade.

He explained: “This is not vandalism, this spanner is good material but it’s also something from a car boot sale and it’s imperial which means it doesn’t fit many of the nuts and things over here.

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“I’ve got a whole selection of things like this in my workbox. I’m going to chop it up and all of a sudden it gets repurposed and it’s useful. What’s more, it saves me money.”

The spanner’s material was made not to be altered but despite some initial difficulties, the steel was a perfect fit for the balustrade.

“It’s the type of steel that doesn’t rot,” Steve commented. “And hopefully it will be there for years and years.”

Dick headed into the kitchen and took out a pre-prepared mixture from the oven.

“Dry sand to add to the epoxy mix so it’s this colour as opposed to the white mix that we’ve got and giving it the texture of stone,” he explained. 

“That’s what Steve says so I’m just agreeing with him, it’s nice and warm as well.”

Dick headed back outside and fitted the last remaining pieces of the balustrade puzzle with Steve.

Escape to the Chateau is available to watch on All4.

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