Where do I start, I struggled to get just five things to consider, though I realised I could get rid of a few easily as I had gone on a bit. I’m used to things going on a bit! Our house renovation went on a bit, when I say a bit, I mean it went on for about seven years and it hasn’t stopped yet!
We moved into our forever home during January 2013 and there was a lot of snow on the ground. During February the neighbours said it hadn’t stopped snowing since we moved in, it became a bit of a joke really. A young-ish couple in love buying their first house and times were exciting, its been exciting ever since… in all kinds of different ways! We chose colours, furnishings and décor, they were lovely at the time all those years ago, though we need to update them when the time comes.
Fast forward eight years and the plastering has just been finished. We decided, all those years ago, to replace the heating system including radiators then all the windows and doors. We took a radiator off the wall and the plaster went with it, so we decided we had to replace all the plaster. I’m glad we did, as I work for a construction company it bugged me to see the faults behind the paintwork and joints. We decided to take some walls down and remodel the kitchen and dining room and we removed a wall to make the toilet and bathroom one room. We cant remove any more as they are supporting walls, apparently. Don’t worry, we got advice and help first.
I know this home inside and out and I love all its quirky bits.
Though its been a long difficult journey, I don’t regret any of it and I’m grateful for my home and having the chance to do this.
Our homes are the centre of our worlds at the moment and this may not be changing for a while.
Here are the things you should consider before taking on a large scale renovation:
1. Whatever you think it costs, double it.
Nothing more to say here, its expensive. If you are budgeting for things such as radiators or new windows, include some money for new plasterwork, filler, paint and extra. If you are having a new boiler, you may need new radiators too if your system is as old as ours was. If you are doing other work such as plastering, you may need your electrics sorting out. Sometimes its straight forward, but if like ours it wasn’t, you’ll need extra money to cover the cost.
2. Make sure your relationships are strong.
I cant emphasise this enough, luckily we have a few years behind us and would be lost without each other. Having a house renovated to this extent does not help when there are issues in relationships. What didn’t kill us, made us stronger and all that. Before we started I was always so tidy and loved a minimalist look, all that went out of the window and now I’m just glad when I haven’t got pieces of plasterboard in my clothes and plaster dust in my hair.
This also counts for family and friends who haven’t been able to visit as much due to your house being a building site, though it can be a good excuse to go to someone else’s house and they do all the cooking for you. Our four kitties have kept us together, as we couldn’t go through a custody battle after all we have been through, we are stuck with each other now. Imagine if we got through all this then broke up over something silly like a wall falling down or the plastered rooms being flooded whilst the bathroom was being done! 🙂
3. However long you think it will take, times it by ten.
This may just have been us, trying to do as much as we can without trades people. We have taken pride in doing so much ourselves, though its been so difficult to manage full time jobs and building work at weekends and evenings. Ok, I didn’t do any building work as such, but I learnt how to scrim plasterboards and made so many cuppas! My other half is really good at doing all the things you need to be able to do and it has saved us some money, though we wont touch electrics as you’re not allowed, or plastering- that is some skill!
4. Be prepared to learn about different trades.
Through the years we have had various builders and trades people in the house which has made for some funny memories. You will have lots of strange people in your house and there is nothing as funny as folk. Each time someone is due to come and do some work I venture to the shops for lots of tea, coffee and biscuits. Each time I end up having it all myself. Some trades don’t drink much so they don’t need the toilet through the day and I don’t know how they manage it, I cant function without five coffees in a morning! I’ve learnt to not tidy up their workspace until they have finished and gone.
The last time I went upstairs there were trousers and shoes all over, he came fully clothed and left fully clothed so that remains a mystery! Luckily so far my nightmare hasn’t come true and I’ve not found any bottles of ‘yellow’ water lying around, I saw that on telly once. They have all been polite, though they don’t generally bring their dirty cups to the kitchen (!) I’ve learnt quite a bit about building work and the stages to do them in, I’ve also learnt a lot of weird stuff, by listening in on all sorts of conversations going on between different floors upstairs, what!, they were shouting!
5. Know that it will be worth it in the end.
Whatever you go through during your renovation and however bad it gets, it will be worth it in the end!
So there we go, some advise and things to look out for. We feel so very lucky to have been able to buy our home and have all this work done. Next job is the electrics and joinery followed by a new bathroom suite fitted with tiling to all walls and floor. Then finish the dining room and kitchen with wooden flooring or carpet fitted throughout.
If you are reading this and are wondering whether to buy a home and do the same, I would say go for it, you wont regret it. It is stressful but with the right builders and a bit of knowledge, its worth it. You’ll see the progress made and the improvements will modernise your house, or maybe buy a plot of land and start from scratch, like we should have done!
Thanks for reading!
Have you had any renovation works done? What were your experiences? Let me know in the comments!