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To be jealous of other people's beautiful houses.

(67 Posts)
DIYDummy Tue 27-Dec-16 19:53:25

We bought a house in September (doer upper) and I think I underestimated the amount of work that we would need to do.

It is all cosmetic things, but nothing has been touched since circa 1980 so it is really bad!!

Anyway we are not going to be able to afford to do everything all in one go and are doing all the work ourselves bit by bit. I just need a rant really as the state of the place is getting me down. It being Christmas we have had quite a few visitors and I find myself apologising for the state of the place all the time.

Lots of friend have bought similar houses and seem to just get everything done really quickly, and to an amazing standard! The don't seem to have loads more money than us and I just can understand why we are making such slow progress.

I honestly thought we would be further along by now but everything seems to cost so much and take so much time. Is there some DIY secret that I don't know about??

LadyCallandraDaviot Tue 27-Dec-16 19:56:30

Don't know the secret, but we have been in this house for 7 years and it still has loads that need doing - we only got the new windows this year, and the old ones were original, rotten victorian ones!

jimijack Tue 27-Dec-16 19:57:43

I know what you mean.
Took us about 5 years to do our fixer upper up, long winded expensive, seemed to go forever.

It really got me down to to others gorgeous houses.

Not anymore, ours is all done..well starting again with the decorating, kids have wrecked the place systematically and without a care sad

Believeitornot Tue 27-Dec-16 19:58:50

Is it money which is holding you back?

We've got a house which needs a massive overhaul and the biggest thing holding us back is DH. He agonises over decisions, can only think about one thing at a time. I on the other hand would had this house done by now

If it's money, and you know things will take awhile then take the cheaper option of things like just doing a lick of paint for now.

OhtoblazeswithElvira Tue 27-Dec-16 19:59:18

Your friends might have sources of money you are not aware of.

Sundance01 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:59:23

You have a home and friends to visit. Be grateful for that. You will get everything done in time and that's makes you very lucky.

If your friends judge you on the state of your house you need new friends and if you judge others on the state of their house - then they need a new friend.

Sorry to seem judgemental myself but you need to get some perspective on life!!!!

ShowMePotatoSalad Tue 27-Dec-16 20:00:34

YANBU - it's quite normal to feel that way. My friend's got a beautiful home...done to a lovely standard. My house is no way near as nice as mine. But when she first came round she said she loved how big it was, the layout, and how much space we had. It's funny how I only see the downsides sometimes when there are loads of positives.

We've lived here for 2.5 years and we've got so much work we need to do to it. But it'll get done one day. We've had the rotting wooden-framed windows replaced, so that's a start. We've redecorated in a couple of the rooms too, and we've had our flat roof covered. Bit by'll get there.

ShowMePotatoSalad Tue 27-Dec-16 20:01:14

Sorry that should say "my house is nowhere near as nice as her's"

GinAndOnIt Tue 27-Dec-16 20:01:23

We were the same when we moved in, but I prioritised buying paint and painted straight away, because I didn't want to get used to the walls as they were and never get round to it. Just painting made a huge difference, and we've then added to it bit by bit as we go along. We have bits that look crap and won't be done for ages, but I don't apologise to people about it. I talk about what we will do with it eventually, and people are actually enjoying spotting the changes we've made each time they come. You've got to live with the rubbish bits to appreciate it properly when you have it looking nice!

Endmoor1405 Tue 27-Dec-16 20:03:23

I don't know the secret either! We moved in in August and this place needs so much work. Thankfully previous people had windows and roof repaired as they were dire, but lots of plastering and new bathrooms needed.

I think the secret is to stop apologising! In my eyes if they are the sort of people who think bad of people for having a bit of a mess in their house then they're the sort of people I don't need to think about! You will get there, so will we but it does take time! Sometimes lots longer than others for whatever reasons- we are lucky we have no kids yet so don't have to work round them but I can imagine if you have a house full of kids it makes it super hard! Post Christmas cash flow is already going to make it difficult for us haha! Little and often I reckon smile

GinAndOnIt Tue 27-Dec-16 20:04:00

Also, we don't have much money, but we know people. We can rent a floor sander for free, get shutters put in for very cheap, that kind of thing. That may be a reason why others seem to do things quicker than you can afford.

Scribblegirl Tue 27-Dec-16 20:04:46

Oh I'm with you! Completed in July, living room is almost done but clothes are still all over the place in the main bedroom and the second bedroom and hall haven't been touched - to the extent that we still have concrete floors and massive holes in the plaster! Kitchen and bathroom getting there...

We took the view that we'd get one room done beautifully and then at least we had a sanctuary - would it help getting e.g. the living room perfect and then at least you can have guests in there, shut the door and forget the rest of the house exists? (My current coping mechanism!)

ElspethFlashman Tue 27-Dec-16 20:06:06

We have a"nice" house. We commit to do one thing a year.

This year it was an ensuite. Oh and a new laminate floor in the kitchen
Last year it was the front windows.
The year before it was the front door
The year before that it was knocking a wall in the kitchen to make it open plan.

People who haven't visited in 4 years exclaim at how much we've done the place up. But it's been years in the doing - people just don't realise!

LaurieMarlow Tue 27-Dec-16 20:06:12

I'm pretty much in the same position. So I get it.

But I lived with my in laws for almost a year prior to getting our house, so I'm very much in a mood to be grateful for what I've got.

Things could be worse OP grin - and you'll get there in the end.

Scooby20 Tue 27-Dec-16 20:06:50

I get why you feel like that. This time last year it was us.

This year my house is great. We did it cheaply though. The kitchen was moved from 1 room to another. The plumbing and some electrics were done but we fitted the kitchen ourselves. Saved us a fortune.

Most of it has been done by us.

Jemimachristmaspuddingduck Tue 27-Dec-16 20:07:39

We have a fixer upper we're 3 years in and chipping away at it bit by bit

I'm constantly apologising for the mess when people come over and it is really depressing some days but we are slowly getting there and it's really satisfying when we get a little chunk of work done

Keep at it! You'll have a lovely house one day and it'll be all the lovelier because you did it yourselves grin

haveacupoftea Tue 27-Dec-16 20:10:43

I don't think my home will ever be as homely as some...I don't have lovely matching lamps, loads of pictures and knick knacks etc and cant have a rug as the dog will pee on it! It makes me a bit sad that I dont have the knack of giving the house the final homely touches sad

MaisieDotes Tue 27-Dec-16 20:11:35

Have had this for years. I was just thinking this morning about how the state of the house impacted my general mood for ages.

It's bearable now but still loads to do. I expect there'all be a Golden Gate Bridge aspect to it too, as the first things we did are already beginning to need maintenance.

It would have been quicker, easier and cheaper to knock the fucker down and build a new house from scratch grin

I think the secret is that people borrow money and do it all in one go instead of doing it out of the general household expenses on an ongoing basis as we have done.

expatinscotland Tue 27-Dec-16 20:13:40


Footinmouthasusual Tue 27-Dec-16 20:14:24

Sweetheart we have been in our 1930s house for 19 years and only now having s new roof.

I dream of a new estate box but our garden is huge and magical.

Feel your pain grin

Softkitty2 Tue 27-Dec-16 20:22:39

My only advice is do it room by room or of most importance. I would also say spend what you can on what you absolutely want and save to get the finish you want. Rather than doing it substandard or compromising and thinking "we can change it later on".

pestov Tue 27-Dec-16 20:24:29

It's very easy to make a house look superficially good - paint over rotten window frames and sills rather than spend loads of cash actually fixing the root of the problem that no one can see like leaky guttering. Also, we had a month before we actually moved in as were coming from a rental so managed to do loads of work much quicker and cheaper as no furniture or carpets to avoid, plus the builder was able to do long hours rather than us be in the way in the evenings.
You'll also be surprised what people think is finished. Previous owners had done kitchen and bathroom on cheap and people always compliment them - I hate them both as they're poorly thought out, tiles are slightly wonky etc. One day!!

Trifleorbust Tue 27-Dec-16 20:25:00

Could have written your post! It's absolutely not as simple as just buying paint and doing a quick once-over. Our house has (had) rooms with dado rails, chipped woodwork, silver radiators, fittings on the walls for TVs, multiple layers of manky wallpaper, the lot. Even to do a simple paint job takes weeks of work because you have to undo the crappy decorating of several previous owners/tenants, or you will be living with their dodgy workmanship for the next ten years. grin

KERALA1 Tue 27-Dec-16 20:25:11

The secret It costs serious money sort out a house properly. If you buy a doer upper you often need about a third of the purchase price again to sort it out.

PlumsGalore Tue 27-Dec-16 20:25:16

Took us five years to do the first house and ten the second. Have a friend who did three houses in about six months each.

Found out later it was all done on loans and remortgages and store cards and finance. Took the equity in the house sale to pay the debts off.

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