The Renovation Journey #1

I have just realised that despite adding a whole area to the website about the house project and setting up a little Instagram account dedicated just to that (@alessordinaryhome if you’re interested), I haven’t actually penned any updates.

In my defence though, it has taken weeks for work to get into full flow so it would be really boring if I wrote a whole post about how Alan and I ripped up the carpets and threw some stuff in a skip. That was genuinely about 2 weeks work as obviously we can only be doing things in the evenings!

However, we have progressed past us amateurs doing bits and pieces to the professionals taking over. The house looks horrendous just now with building materials everywhere and it’s easy to panic and wonder if it’ll ever start to look like an actual house that we can live in. If you saw the pictures on my last post about the house you’ll see that we literally need to do everything to it. And most of the things have to be done before we can live there. The building has been empty for a couple of years so we’re talking fixing leaks, putting in insulation, forming rooms, central heating, bathroom, kitchen, flooring, windows and doors. EVERYTHING!

We’ve set a target of being in the house by December 1st! I think most people think this is impossible, but I think/pray that it’s realistic. We don’t need the whole house completely finished but if we can get to a point where rooms are formed, we have heating, a kitchen and a bathroom then we’re winning. Kitchen and bathroom are ordered and it’s just a case of pinning people down as to when they will actually be in to do their part. I’m not sure we’re the best Project Managers as we don’t like to seem like we’re harassing people, but we’re sucking it up and bothering the hell out of all our tradespeople. Sorry guys, I know you hate us, but it’s the only way!

Here’s what we’ve learnt so far:

  • Everyone will suck their cheeks in and say ‘wow, this is a big job’ when you show them round the dump you’ve bought to renovate. Hmmmm, there’s something we hadn’t considered.
  • If you’re doing a project like this set a timeline with your builder. I bet most of you are thinking ‘duh!’ but we assumed that when we spoke about timelines before we’d committed to our builder that this was agreed. Nope. So we wasted a good few weeks and probably made him panic a bit now that we’ve told him we want in by Christmas.
  • Do your research and show your builders/plumbers/tillers etc exactly what youwant. Describing things just leaves it open to mistakes. As we’ve discovered when we’ve seen one of our new windows and it’s really not what we had wanted so we’ll have to pay for the cost of changing it.
  • It’s AMAZING how much you can save on a kitchen when you take your quote to other companies. I won’t go into figures but we had a starting quote then two companies beat this price on aΒ like-for-like basis. We’re now back with the first company with the exact same kitchen having saved enough to pay for a holiday.

So there you are. We’re only a few weeks in but hopefully there’ll be a flurry of activity and we can get some good progress pictures to show for it.

I’m putting some pictures up as we go, even though they don’t really show anything other than the mess that the building is in. But it will be great to look back on these in the months and years to come and see how much it’s changed. So apologies in advance, for these pictures aint pretty.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s