This time last year I set us a few renovation goals for the year ahead in relation to our house renovation. I didn’t want to make any grand plans because we’ve found since having our daughter, we just don’t have the blocks of free time we used to for big jobs, the sort that need to be done in a day or you have no water at bedtime, or there’s no front door temporarily, that kind of thing. Like taking off a roof. Wouldn’t have put that on our to-do list this year because it sounded impossible, but guess what? Yep, we did it.
We had several rooms that were really close to completion, so I decided we should focus on those. A year later, one is finished (the nursery, yet to blog the reveal), one is a few hours from finished (the bathroom, I need to sand and paint the door and that’s it!), and we have done significantly more on the kitchen than I thought we would have.
The biggest changes have been decorating and carpeting the corridor and landing upstairs, and tiling the kitchen floor. Both have made a huge difference to the feel of the house. After the carpet went in we spent weeks saying to each other that we couldn’t believe it was our house! And we finally won’t be embarrassed to have visitors anymore. We had intended to leave the carpet until all the rest of the work was finished, but a crawling, inquisitive baby made it a priority much quicker than I had imagined, and now I wish we had done it earlier.
As for the rest of our renovation goals, well… if you look at my updated list of what we planned to do in 2018, you will see we didn’t touch the bedroom or the home office at all. Both are totally functional and seemed to fall to the bottom of the queue.
We also got started on yet another room out of necessity. We wanted a seamless tiled floor from the kitchen through into the downstairs loo/utility room, so we had to clear that out and remove the loo for that to be tiled, so that is now in progress and needs finishing too! (And was the cause of the roof replacing – it is a little extension to the back and the roof was in a terrible state).
So I sit here now, feeling more or less the same as I did this time last year – so close, yet so far – but actually the house feels so much more like a home than it did in early 2018, only a couple of rooms still feel like building sites and the bulk of the rooms are almost done. And now I’m going to say it – 2019 is the year we are going to finish the ones we have started. All of them. Yikes. (Not going to say all of it, because that’s crazy talk!)
What we did in 2018 in photos
Since I didn’t exactly go around the house at the start of 2018 and photograph everything, it is pretty hard to do before and afters, but here are some photos of the bigger tasks we undertook last year. I think the upstairs landing and kitchen are the biggest changes, but finally building the cupboard in the corner of the bathroom meant we could finish off all the other small tasks in there, so it has made an enormous difference too.
I am now off round the house taking photos now so I can easily do a before and after this time next year!
2019 Renovation Goals
It has been really helpful for me to have a list I can look at and see where we are and what still needs doing over the past year, and very satisfying to update it when we have ticked something off, so here’s a list of our renovation goals for 2019.
- Add shelves where chimney used to be and re-paint
- Fill and paint built-in shelves
- Add cupboard doors
- Add lighting
- Re-upholster Queen Anne chair
- Pictures and accessories etc
Add curtain over patio doors(done in Jan)
- Stain bathroom door
Hang window mirror(done in Jan)
- Shelves on back wall, hang some pictures
- Finish skirting, caulk and paint
Sand door and paint(done in Jan) Add hook for plant above loo and re-hang painting(done in Jan)
- New lock for door
Fill in sides of new roof with stone and cement(done in Jan) Plasterboard new ceiling(done in Jan) Add lighting(done in Jan)
- Clad remaining two walls
- Build in cupboards for boiler and washing machine/tumble dryer
- Plumb in new loo
- Remove old sink and replace with new smaller one
- Tile behind sink
- Mirror above sink
- Clad and rehang barn door
- Paint hallway
- Fill and paint side-door and cellar door
- Attach step permanently
- Add hooks for dog leads etc
Playroom/Downstairs Office (former kitchen)
- Remove all old cupboards and appliances
- Stud wall for office
- New door in office
- Add radiator
- Skirting boards
- New lighting
So, there you have it. An ambitious list and no doubt things will be added as we go along, and the order of priority will shift as our free time does and as we use the rooms. I would love the playroom to be done asap, as our living room is being taken over by toys at the moment and Emilia needs more space to play, but we can’t do that until we can take out the washing machine and tumble dryer, and we can’t do that til the utility is done…etc etc!
And in fact, this isn’t even it! I said I wanted it to be the year we finish but I have omitted three things which we need to do to complete the house, mainly because of the expense involved and I am not sure we can manage it this year. We need to move the front door to the middle of the house, and add new front steps (and if we win the lottery, a nice big porch, if not, some sort of door surround or porch roof). Once the old door is blocked up the old entrance can become my kitchen pantry (heaven, cannot wait!). And once all this building work is done, we can finally do the living room, which is likely to need replastering, as well as some cupboards building in the alcoves either side of the logburner, and then decorating and carpeting.
I do sometimes get a bit depressed when I go on Instagram and watch some people do “DIY” renovations where they have a different tradesperson in every week and progress is constantly being made because money can be spent on it, or because they don’t work and are just renovating (the dream!). However, the reality is that we are doing this almost entirely ourselves (except plastering and structural work, and tiling the kitchen because it would have taken us forever with a crawling baby!) and we are doing it paycheque to paycheque, all whilst wrangling a full-on toddler plus full-time jobs, so the pace is inevitably going to be slower, but it is so incredibly satisfying now to look back and see how far we have come, hence the photos in this post!