The house I live in at the moment isn’t the type of house I ever thought I would own.
There’s nothing wrong with it per se, I just never saw myself living in such a ‘fixer-upper’.
That’s very definitely what my house is; a project. It has been ever since we moved in 8 years ago. We’ve updated the house in some major and minor ways over these last 8 years, but this year is the year we start the main renovation work: a back and side extension to extend the upstairs and give us more bedrooms.
We start, in fact, next month.
It’s the phase that scares me the most and I won’t lie, we’ve been putting off. We even contemplated moving at one point, just to avoid actually having to do it.
For me, it’s the thought of the never-ending dust and dirt as well as the inevitable upheaval. Our roof will be coming off and our upstairs will become uninhabitable. We wont be moving out though, mainly because we can’t afford to. Instead, we’ll be living out of two rooms for most of the months it will take to complete the building work.
However, I hope that once its done, it’ll be a house I’ll be proud to call my own.
A brief history of our house renovation.
When we bought our house in 2009, it looked like it hadn’t been updated since the 1980s. The chalet-style layout also didn’t make much sense to us, but we saw potential.
It was in the October when we moved in. Once winter was out of the way, we started the first phase of our renovations: updating the kitchen and living room.
From kitchen to kitchen diner
When we bought the house, the living room was an L-shape, with part of the room sectioned off as a dining area. Meanwhile, the kitchen was a square little room with wall-to-wall cupboards and no space for a full height fridge freezer.
This set-up just didn’t work for us, so we set to work creating a kitchen diner. We knocked down walls and built new ones. New lighting was installed and any old wiring replaced. A new boiler and heating system was also put in, as well as new windows, doors and flooring.
There was a lot of dust, but it was worth it. Here’s what it looked it looked like during the work.
And here it is afterwards. A massive improvement!
A living room to be proud of
The wall that we put up to separate the living room from the new kitchen diner meant that some modernisation was also needed. Again, new lighting was installed, the entire room was plastered and new skirting board and architrave were fitted.
A bathroom modernisation
The downstairs bathroom was in desperate need of modernisation. We completely ripped out the old suite and installed a much more modern one instead. The red carpet and old wall tiles were removed and replaced with matching terracotta floor and wall tiles.
It was finished the day before Olivia’s christening in August 2010.
Brightening up a dark entrance hall
It was the turn of our hallway after that. New lighting was installed, a new fire alarm put in, new flooring was fitted and everything got a good coat of paint to lighten the once-gloomy looking entrance hall.
Reception rooms makeover
The final part of our downstairs makeover was sorting out the last two reception rooms. We got electricians and plasterers in to sort out the lighting and get rid of the Artex ceiling, but the painting was actually done by me. I’m still rather proud of it now.
We went from this.
All of this work was finished a couple of weeks before Christmas 2011, much to my relief. It was a relief to enjoy Christmas in the kind of house we wanted to own: modern, bright and without building work. I won’t lie, it was what I was looking forward to most about that Christmas.
The next stage of house renovations.
Thinking about everything we’ve already done makes me feel exhausted, but I know it’s nothing compared with what’s coming.
While all of this work was going on, we drew up plans for the major house renovation that we needed: a two-storey back extension and an ‘over the garage’ side extension.
As you can imagine though, after all the ground floor work we did on our house renovation, we needed a break afterwards! We didn’t mean for there to be such a long gap between the work, but never mind!
Now here we are. The building work is about to begin. I am so excited at the prospect of finishing all the major renovation work and can’t wait to see this through. I’ll be keeping a diary of sorts right here on this blog so you can follow my house renovation journey and see how it all (hopefully) comes together.
Wish us luck!