House Renovation – Part One: The Introduction

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Last June we moved house.

We moved ‘back’ to my husbands house that he owned before we met, that he’d been renting out for several years. We moved because we needed more space, and the plan was to move back in to sell it and then buy a bigger property. That hasn’t happened. Even though our house was on the market with two different agents, with promises of “we’ll sell it for you”, it wasn’t sold. We got so frustrated that in the end, we took our house off the market, unpacked some of our stuff (living out of boxes for two months before you move, and then for a couple of months after, is no fun) and decided that instead we would extend the house we’ve got and turn it into the dream home I so desperately crave.

I plan to do a series of posts about our house renovation plans – I can’t promise how regular they will be as it will all depend on how quickly we get things done! And how much of it we can actually afford!!

The short description that we need/want to get done is the following…

  • single story extension creating a large kitchen/dining area (decided not to go ahead)
  • loft conversion creating a master bedroom + ensuite (decided not to go ahead)
  • new kitchen – hopefully in 2019!
  • new bathroom – done! Read about our bathroom makeover
  • knock out chimney breast/stack (decided not to go ahead)
  • porch renovation – kinda done, we painted it, put down new tiles, and gave it a general tidy up.
  • new garden fencing – done!
  • removal of old shed (decided not to go ahead)
  • garden landscaping – ongoing
  • driveway replaced – just added new gravel
  • blocking up archway from living room to kitchen, putting the door back in (decided not to go ahead)
  • reading/relaxation nook under the stairs (not really practical!)
  • office/craft space – I wish! We just realistically don’t have the space
  • new flooring/carpets – once we’ve finished decorating
  • decoration throughout – partially there

The above has been updated for 2019!

Now, looking at that list, you’d probably think it would be cheaper to move! But, since the interest in a two bedroom property seems to be small in our area, and since I, at this point, can’t be dealing with packing up all our stuff again and moving [again], and because, actually, I really like this house, then we are staying put and improving what we’ve got!

And nevermind selling our house, but when we have been looking for a property, we haven’t found anything that was suitable – the location was wrong, the price wasn’t right, the layout didn’t suit…too…much…stress!

We live in a 1950s built, 2 bedroom, mid-terrace house with a driveway for two cars and a garden at the back. We have an open plan living area – there is an archway that leads to the kitchen (which I don’t like) and the stairs are open (i.e., there is no wall or bannister). Upstairs there is a storage cupboard, large bathroom, master bedroom and the second bedroom. Finally there is the loft, which isn’t boarded up, so we can’t use it for storage at the moment. The chimney stack runs right through the middle of the house.

In this introductory post, I thought I’d best do a short room tour to show you how things are looking at the moment.

Some people call it the living room, or the family room – we call it the front room. It’s neutral in colour, a creamy coloured wall, with the [horrid] brick fireplace (which is blocked up) a beige-y brown colour. In our old place the corner suit was a perfect fit, here, it’s a bit too big, but I do love that sofa, so for now it stays! I’m not a big fan of coffee tables – they generally end up being a dumping ground, and the only reason the front room looks pretty sparse is because at this point we’d just moved in and hadn’t really unpacked much.

Now, there are books in the units and photos on top of said units. The coffee table is full of junk >_< I don’t like the light fittings, nor the carpet, so both will go! The ceiling is textured, and so is, randomly, one wall. All to go!

Front Room

Next up, the kitchen/diner as it is at the moment. It is a good size kitchen, and you can’t see from this angle the space for a table. I would really love a more modern kitchen, and if we do go ahead with a single storey extension at the back, then this will really open up this space!

Kitchen/Diner

Here is our garden – although, this is an old photograph from about 7 years ago! The palm tree is still there, and whilst it is bad feng shui to have all those pointy leaves directed towards the house, I do love that in the summer it gives a tropical feel to the back of the garden!

The shed, which was there when hubs bought the house is hideous and has to go! I’d love to turn the end of the garden over to a lovely outside dining area. The plants on the left don’t really exist any more, a shame as looking back at the photo I quite like them!

Back Garden

Moving upstairs and the bathroom. The previous owners did this gothic style decor, which we’re not really fans of. The sink is way too big and everything looks blah in there. Ideally I’d like to have a wet room as the bath rarely gets used, but hubby, ever so practical, says we should stick with the bath and have a shower over it.

Bathroom

The boy’s bedroom, which is just a big old horrid room of nothingness! Everything in here needs doing! He needs to be rid of the boxes that are out of shot in this photo, which, at the moment have contents in there with nowhere to live. It needs to be decorated to suit a teenage boy and I would like to get him all new bedroom furniture.

Second Bedroom

Finally our bedroom. You can’t really get the size of this room from the photo, but it’s huge and spans the width of the house. You can see the stacks of boxes that need homing in the mirror’s reflection, and we both don’t like the bed anymore – hubs always bump into the legs in the middle of the night! If we do go up into the loft, then this would become the boy’s bedroom, and his room my office/craft space. If we don’t, then that recess you can just see in the mirror would turn into my office corner – not ideal, but my office has always been in my bedroom, so I may have to live with that for a little longer. And, if we do stay in here as a bedroom, then the mirrored doors HAVE to go – yuck, and we’d need all new bedroom furniture!

Our Bedroom

And so ends our house tour, and a quick touch on the plans that we have. So far we’ve had various builders come to us to give us quotes, and we’re now in the discussion stage (hubs and I, that is) on how to move forward with our plans.

This is going to be the biggest project ever and may take place over the next year or even two – I’d like it all done by the time I’m 40 though :P

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