This is the third year in a row that I have done an annual update on our house renovation (you can find 2018 here and 2017 here), and it is the third time I will be saying that some of what we ended up doing wasn’t even on the radar of things to do ever, never mind that year! The joys of old houses and their surprises!
Last year it was the replacing of the roof of the downstairs loo, the year before we ended up replacing the bathroom floor joists unexpectedly, and this year, yet another surprise problem – woodworm, in the spare bedroom, the one room we had actually finished work on! You can’t make this stuff up!
The Unexpected Renovation– Woodworm
So the majority of the year (it takes a while when you’ve only got the occasional few hours at a weekend) was taken up with fixing the woodworm problem. It happened in May when a whole lot of other things went wrong too, so we were pretty upset and annoyed, and definitely did not want to spend the time putting it right just to have it as an unloved spare room again. So we decided it was time to turn it into Emilia’s big girl bedroom – not only would this mean it was used more, but it would be fun and something I would enjoy doing, turning a big negative into a positive, and I am so glad we did. We started on the room just after Easter, and the main part of it was done by the end of May.
I intended to get it finished in time for Millie’s birthday in July but we ended up being really busy in summer and it wasn’t finished until October! Posts coming soon with the work we did, and the reveal, but in the meantime there’s a sneak preview here and you can see most of it on the ‘Toddler Bedroom’ highlights on my Instagram.
The planned renovation
We did get some things done on the rest of the house though – we made progress on the downstairs loo/utility room, and that now has a functioning loo and sink, and the tumble dryer and washing machine are in situ, we just need to make it pretty by finishing off the cladding and boxing in all the pipework, then trim and painting. I also want to do something with the old beam too.
My home office also got a little bit closer to completion – we carpeted and added wall lights and hung the door.
The old kitchen which was half removed still had the rest left, and was a dumping ground. It has now had an upgrade as Ste’s office. While Emilia and I were away he ripped out the rest of the old kitchen, installed a half wall to separate the two rooms (the other side of the room will be a playroom/toy storage), reboarded and plastered, and added a big desk area in the office part using made to measure kitchen worktop. The picture quality is awful because this is what he sent me via WhatsApp while I was away, and it is far too much of a pigsty for me to take pictures now, partly because we have a lot stored in there. Now it’s just the playroom part to go!
The job we paid someone else to do
We both hoped we could focus on the inside of the house and finish that before even thinking about the garden, but a few storms taking out the rest of the fencing, and the fact that we want Emilia to be able to play in the garden now meant that fencing the garden safely became a bit of a priority. It took us three tradespeople before we found one willing to take it on, because of the steepness of the garden! It still needs some a lot of work, not to mention some actual gardening, but the top part is now safely fenced, and the steep lower terraces are fenced and gated so little people can’t fall, which is a huge improvement. Hard to believe the two photos below are taken in exactly the same spot just a week apart!
Future renovation planning
We also made significant progress on the next (and final) large house project – building a porch on the front of the house. We found someone to help us with the technical drawings and submitting the planning application, and it was approved with no problems. As you can see below, it is going to make the house look so much more symmetrical (the current front door is next to the door to the garden on the far right (which will be bricked up so you can’t see it on this plan), and there is just a window where the porch will be) and make use of the bit of space at the front of the house which we currently don’t use. We are about to get the building regs drawings so we can get the builder to come and cost the job for us, and we really hope it will be something we can get done in 2020, but let’s wait and see what the quote is! We are using the same builders as for our kitchen, because they were absolutely brilliant.
In past years it has been fun to tick things off the list as we went along, but I have been a bit lazy with this and I can’t remember exactly when we did what, but here is what we managed in 2019, and I will do a new post soon with plans for 2020.
- Add shelves where chimney used to be and re-paint
- Fill and paint built-in shelves
Add cupboard doors (half-done) 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
Bathroom (Finished! Reveal here)
Sand door and paint(done in Jan) Add hook for plant above loo and hang painting(done in Jan) New lock for door
Fill in sides of roof with 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
- Add radiator
- Skirting boards
- New lighting
And all the things we added to that list:
- Remove greenhouse
- New fencing
- New gates
- Take down trees
Guest room/Toddler Bedroom
- Kill and remove woodworm
- Take up floor
- Treat all woodwork
- Add new floorboards
- Remove extra hearthstone
- Install radiator
- Make good wallpaper
- Paint walls
- Wallpaper alcove
- Repair skirting and add trim
- Repaint woodwork
- Add shelves