Two years ago we bought a house with major renovation and extension plans in mind. (It’s a detached late Victorian house that was built as if it was intended to be in a terrace of houses…. I’d love to have a time machine and find out what exactly happened, how the house ended up being so lopsided).
We moved into our new house in late February… well sort of moved in: most of our possessions went into the garage and we slept in the house for just under a week. Then we parked two caravans at the bottom of the garden (one to live in and one as Dadonthebrink’s office, as he often works from home) and started a complete renovation and extension of the house. The first night we slept in the caravan the temperature was minus 7C (yes, that’s right -7C or 19F!… and the toilet was very far away in the house.) The 8 week project turned into a 6 month project due to scope creep and planning delays, but here’s a picture of some of what we achieved.
During the renovation and extension project the house was gutted, replastered in most rooms (plaster came off as we removed the wallpaper… I’m sure lots have expereinced this), some walls moved, bigger bathroom created, rewired, replumbed for heating and hot water. We converted the loft and then extended it over the whole first floor and we added a lovely, light-filled, single-storey rear extension to the create a family/ playroom.
We moved back into the house just as the weather turned bitter and the heating would’ve been needed in the caravan. Our money had run out, we were exhausted and had decision fatigue. The house was complete, except for a couple of areas that needed finishing touches and some decisions to be made. We lived with these till last summer when they started to annoy us. It was time to get everything finished! I even created a house category when I set up this blog in the spring of 2011.
…but then I got pregnant, after months spent with constant nausea, my pelvic problems set in. It all got postponed again.
So what do we still have to do?
- Our living areas feel cluttered, lack storage and need a bit of cosy injected. Storage being the key operative: With three children now and me being somewhat of a hoarder, this is not a good combination!
- In the kitchen we installed a temporary cheap worksurface, never decided on a splashback or an oven and we did a rather poor job of varnishing the floorboards (most of which has now worn off … you know when money runs out and you skimp on professional labour… that!).
- The family bathroom never got finished: it’s supposed to be a wetroom, but we couldn’t decide on whether to use tiles- with underfloor heating- or a linoleum floor (the later being a surer solution and more comfortable under foot, but unbeknown to me needs a different way of tiling the walls.)
-and the final big one: Solid wall insulation, in layman’s terms wrapping the house in a nice warm blanket of insulating boards on the outside (some places on the inside, as we have a party wall and a not very amenable neighbour on that side), then a nice decorative finish that won’t need painting for at least 30 years. This would bring the house upto 21st century standards, slash our heating bills and improve our living comfort immensely. This is also something that is way beyond our affordability at the moment.
All worthy projects, but where do I started?
Where would you start?