I’ve had loads of questions about the new house so I thought a quick update post might be easier to answer some of the more popular ones. We spent the first weekend after getting the keys stripping out. This is always a process I find really therapeutic but also one where I get easily carried away and forget about the budget! It’s also where you quickly realise that the best laid plans often go completely out the window.
For example, I’d planned to keep the carpet in the back bedroom to save money on flooring but actually on closer inspection it wasn’t salvageable and was mouldy in one corner. We’d also planned to keep take out the hall, stairs, landing and living room flooring, then strip and varnish the original floorboards. Sadly the quite a lot of the floorboards have already been replaced and a lot were in a really really bad condition. So we’ve cleaned them up the best we can and have added it to the list of rooms to buy for.
Once the strip out was complete and the building works had started, week two is where the house really started to feel more homely despite the lack of hot water, heating and a working toilet!
One of the most popular questions I’ve been asked is, ‘who is your building contractor?’ And the answer is we don’t actually have one. For those of you who don’t already know, J’s day job is restoration. Him and his Dad run a fire and flood restoration business where they work with insurance companies restoring houses after incidents. So J has actually done the vast majority of work himself with the help of some of his team and his brother. It’s saved us a lot of money and honestly I don’t think if it wasn’t for him, I’d ever have took on a house like this.
The second most popular question is, ‘how do you manage to do so much with twins?’ Confession time, we don’t! We have had them at the house a few times so they’re becoming more familiar with it but most of the time they’ve been going to their Nana’s for the day. It isn’t the safest environment for them just yet with holes in the floorboards, the lack of heating and hot water etc so it’s been much easier to have them taken care of while we cracked on.
And the third most popular… no we’re not living in the house just yet. We have a deadline to be in by April 1st which has given us just over one month to complete everything. So far we’re on schedule. This has meant we’ve had to prioritise things. We’re getting the house in a liveable, clean state and then will be tackling one room after another and the outside until we get it exactly as we want.
The biggest change we’ve made has to be the removal of the wall between the utility and kitchen/dining room. This has completely opened up the space and is in preparation for when we eventually extend out into the garden. The door to the utility from outside is now bricked up and the old entrance to the kitchen is now going to be a toy cupboard/coat cupboard, with the closet under the stairs becoming a downstairs loo.
Besides the bricking up and plastering in these rooms, there isn’t much exciting to see at the moment. Pipes and the stop clock are been moved for plumbing purposes and electrics are been re-positioned. As we know we’re going to extend, it’s the space we’re trying to spend the least on.
Though I don’t have any photos of the lounge, J is currently reinstating the chimney breast and we hope to eventually add back in more of the original features in here. I’m planning on getting shutters for this room and we have a local company coming out to give us a quote on Monday.
Massive changes have taken place in the bathroom. If you read my previous post, you’ll know it was a miracle it hadn’t fallen through into downstairs. J had a whole load of drying equipment installed in this room as the bricks through to the outside were soaking. Once it was dry again, we’ve had to replace the soggy floorboards and plaster. Our new bathroom suite arrived yesterday and I’m so excited about our choices for this room. It’s totally different to our usual style and we pushed the boat out to get ourselves a rain shower so I’m really looking forward to getting it finished. The install is planned for next week and I just need to pull my finger out and choose some tiles.
After about 20 million coats of white, the pink and orange bedrooms are finally starting to look natural. I was really inspired by Pinterest to try plain walls and coloured wood work so it’s a trade white emulsion on walls. A while ago, I found the most beautiful shelf for Edie and Mabel’s room which we never put up in the currently house – it’s a perfect match with Farrow and Ball’s Light Blue so we chose to go with this for the wood work.
We’d really like to change all the radiators over to cast iron ones but our budget just doesn’t stretch that far at the moment so I decided to clean and paint the ones which are currently in. They’re not the nicest looking things in the world but as a temporary measure, I’m happy with the way they look.
As well as the two main big bedrooms, the hall, stairs and landing has had it’s first coat of white paint. Our plan is to paint the dado rail and below Farrow and Ball’s Hague Blue, leaving above white. In the smaller third bedroom, I finally managed to hack off the random styrofoam wall paper and alien posters… this room needs a really good deep clean before I go anywhere near it with a paint brush so that’s the next thing on my list to deal with.
Yesterday I went and chose flooring for all the rooms and this is booked to be fitted on Monday 25th – so that gives us two weeks to complete the building and painting works. *Touch wood* it looks like we’re going to be ok for timing and I’m so excited to actually get in and start making the place feel like home.