I cannot even begin to tell you how many times since beginning this never-ending renovation I’ve thought to myself “I wish we’d known this…” or “If only we’d done that…”
Luckily none of our mistakes have been disastrous in terms of the general health of the house (I’d say it still needs a flu jab and maybe some IV morphine) but our budget certainly would’ve stretched further if we’d had some extra knowledge under our belts. I decided to start a new series of posts covering our f**k ups, stuff we wished we had/hadn’t done and things we wish we’d known in the hope that it may help someone out there (you?!) out at some stage.
The first post in the series relates to the different trades you’ll no doubt need to bring in when undertaking a complete renovation. I’ve chosen this as the first topic because it affects almost anyone working on any project in the home and is certainly where the lessons we’ve learnt have had the most impact, financial and otherwise.
Just a quick post on this, but one I thought may prove useful for some.
When you’ve plastered your whole house, the next costly activity (wow, they come thick and fast) is painting it all, and it tends to be something you don’t really think about when budgeting (or we didn’t, maybe we were naive).
Obviously there are some cheap options on the market, like this B&Q Matt Emulsion coming in at £0.99 per litre. However, it is so important you don’t just look at price – you can waste money and time with a cheap paint like this, just read the reviews!
Anyway, the point of this post is mainly to recommend a great eBay find we came across that has worked wonders for us. Buying a pallet of Leyland Trade Contract Matt Emulsion (12 tubs/120 litres) has worked out great value and it has been brilliant for everything, including watering down for a mist coat. Buying in this quantity means it only works out a little more than B&Q’s own brand at £1.25 per litre (FYI the Valspar equivalent comes at £2.54 per litre!) and is incomparable in quality.
We moved in just over three weeks ago (bloody hell, is that all?!) so I thought this month’s Five Favourites should be based around the trials and tribulations that have made those three weeks feel more like three years.
I mean, I knew living in a renovation wouldn’t be easy but felt like we were ready for whatever it threw at us. Turns out I need to reassess. Perhaps if you’re not incredibly poor it’s less of a challenge, but then you wouldn’t be living in a renovation because you can afford luxuries like bathroom doors and curtains that aren’t removal boxes.
And we know it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Anyway, these are my Five Favourite (FYI sarcasm, just in case) things about living in a renovation. Continue reading
Finally (FINALLY) we are making progress. It isn’t a lie when people tell you it’ll get worse before it gets better, but now the plumber, electrician and plasterer are in and underway, it does feel like the end is in sight.
I’ve made some rough changes to the floorplan to give an idea of the small structural changes we are making at this stage (bigger plans afoot when we’ve earned some more money).
In red are doors we’ve blocked up and in green where we have moved doors to or knocked through. Not much has changed, but we’ve created our ensuite, moved the downstairs WC door out of the kitchen and made an opening between the Sitting Room and Family Room.
The knock-through downstairs has made such a difference Continue reading
The whole gutting and stripping process is into it’s 9th week (see before pics here), what with us both trying to fit any work on the house in around our other full-time jobs. A theme you’ll notice is the slow waning of the smiles in pictures and the pain setting into our eyes as blisters appear on hands and more clothes are added to the “DIY” pile.
But don’t let that put you off.
We’re lucky enough not to have to move in straight away, so can completely gut the house whilst the work is done thanks to the lease on our London flat only running out next week and the generosity of my parents. Stage one was to remove any furniture left by the previous owner, fixed or otherwise (not the primrose bathroom suite, I hear you cry).
Out comes the kitchen, with Greg looking very proud at his plumbing handy work (?).
Greg looking proud