A little introduction into the state of my house when I first got the keys, versus now. It was not an easy ride at all, it was one of the mentally and physically toughest periods of my life. Even though I was aware the house was a project, there was no way to tell exactly how much work the place needed (how was I supposed to know the entire place needed scraping down to bricks to completely replaster…). For an overview, I’ve posted a before & after on my Youtube if you want to see the video!
Including funky carpets, lots of brown, a 70s kitchen and baby blue bathroom.
The first jobs were to rip out all the glorious carpets (which were layered on top of older carpets?), remove the kitchen, remove the bathroom, strip the wallpaper and begin to take down the landing wall into the spare bedroom. To save cost, all of the above was down ourselves. I went home every day with tonnes of dust on my body, in my hair and in my lungs.
As we progressed, we were told one of the external walls needed rebuilding as it wasn’t structurally safe… and all the existing plaster was so old it needed to come down, it was made with horse hair (???), meaning the WHOLE house needed replastering.
It’s so hard to keep track of what happened when… While this was happening, we had to organise a damp treatment into the existing brick walls as the house had been left empty with no heating on for a while, and we needed to coat the house in a water resistant spray to protect the bricks from becoming even more damp. Each day came with more challenges, and bigger jobs – new plumbing, new electrics, you name it. We even had to replace the staircase, as apparently the existing staircase was attached by maximum of five nails… Every penny was going into the house, so it took months to finish jobs to stay on budget (ish).
Once the basics and most of the structural work was done, it was all painting, tiling & organising plumbing & carpentry work. This was also expensive, but a little easier physically and mentally, as I’m no plumber, tiler or carpenter, I just had 90% of the house to paint.
It all finished up quite quickly from there with the renovations. Overall it took 12 months from getting the keys to actually being able to live in the house. I would say it then took another two years before 99% of the jobs, DIY and decoration has been done. I’ve had all of the old existing windows replaced because the house was freezing, a new front door, new side door, new back door… It took a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of stress, but it makes it much more special to me. I am really proud of how it’s turned out, and I’ve learned a lot from the experience should I ever find myself renovating another home.