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Support thread for House Renovators/DIYers

(305 Posts)
LPlateFlyer Wed 17-Apr-13 11:41:07

Was wondering if anyone wanted to join me in a support thread for all of us doing lots of renovating, odd jobs, diy etc. This can be somewhere we can do some well deserved bragging on a job well done! smile

I have sooooo much DIY that needs to get done. shock

I almost finished the downstairs loo yesterday. All that needs to be done is a second coat of paint on the door and a towel rail and toilet roll holder to be put up.

Yesterday's Tada list:
Painted skirtings in loo 2x coats
Painted door frame in loo 2x coats
Painted door in loo 1 x coat
Put together and installed a small bathroom cabinet

I'm about to start putting together an Ikea book case so that I can get some of the books out of storage!

echt Mon 08-Jul-13 08:43:25

Joining this thread at the end of renovating our kitchen and bathroom. We're in Australia, so these rooms are near each other. The tradie wrangler came today to start the snagging. It's called that for reason, isn't it? Our renos were all done within the footprint of the original rooms, which makes the tradies whinge because they have to measure and make it FIT.grin

A good aspect of these improvements has been gaining the old separate lav as a storage area. It's on the cooler side of the house, so good to keep wine and veggies, as well as the inevitable coats, shoes, etc.etc.etc

We're doing all the painting ourselves to keep cost down.

Our eyes have turned to the living room, to rip up the carpet and tart up the pine floors, as we can't afford hardwood ones yet. And what do we discover? Termite-damaged wood, though just part of one board. We're assuming it's from the last infestation that was stopped in its tracks 10 years ago, as none of it looks active, and we've had the all-clear on two inspections that go under the house, where they said there had been an attack in the past, and in precisely the place where the floorboard is. Fingers crossed.

Aethelfleda Mon 08-Jul-13 14:30:03

Termites? Wow, I'm glad we're in the UK! and I have no idea how you Aussies manage with the presence of scary stuff like funnel web spiders, shudder

No DIY this end either: weather was too fab and too many things happening! Oh well, will re-jig my list and have another look.

On the up side our neighbours (who own a twin of our house) came to look at our refurbed bathroom and made admiring noises <shamelessly gratified even tho it wasn't my tiling/plumbing!>

hinkyhonk Mon 22-Jul-13 13:49:36

is this thread still active? or has the good weather put paid to the depressing never ending list of jobs to do.

We've just moved into an amazing house which on the face of it looked like it needed no work but thanks to eagle eyed DH and I and a full survey showed a good amount of crap we'll need to sort out. The dirt alone is quite stomach turning - they've taken the no need to clean an aga line very literally meaning the ingrained food debris on the hot plates is stomach turning.

We've just spent too weeks removing a vast amount of vegetation from the house so we can now see out of the three kitchen windows, see the damage to the annex but as yet the porch and the oil tank are still covered in brambles, 8 foot high nettles, a clematis and an evil rose. So that is on this weekend's to do list.

We've not even managed to tackle the graffeti ridden bedrooms including goodbye messages scrawled on the children's rooms baltantly written in the last month.....

<and breathe and try not to regret moving miles away from work>

Aethelfleda Mon 22-Jul-13 19:28:45

Hiya <waves>..... well, it's active if anyone else is still here: I refuse to be the only poster on a thread!!

I've been seriously slowed down by the summer (and three DC at home for the hols won't help either!) but still plugging away one job at a time. Latest thing is a willow panel and trellis to grow me morning glory up on the patio (v pleased as it has gone up straight and also shields the view of my back windows from the road so makes me feel more secure too)

Anyone else about?

Liara Mon 22-Jul-13 21:31:29

I'm around too!

Have been doing loads of work, much of it outside, but a bit in random bits and bobs so no distinct check lists ticked off.

Currently building a water tank for rainwater reclamation (we are off mains, all our water is from reclaimed rainwater).

There's a huge heatwave here with temperatures in the middle of the day over 35 centigrade, so we only work in the early morning though!

MrsMangoBiscuit Tue 23-Jul-13 07:03:06

Flying post as I'm off to work, but the new bedroom has the first coat of paint on, and the kitchen counter tops are now in and matching for the first time in years!

They graffitti's the house before they left, hinkyhonk? shock Gits!

hinkyhonk Tue 23-Jul-13 22:10:12

Yep bastards eh

<waves to aethel>

hinkyhonk Sat 27-Jul-13 21:22:57

Anyone else feel decidedly flat after moving in?

We really do have an amazing house 1 mile from my m and d with a great primary school that DS1 us going to in Sept and lots if great stuff in the house (be-yoo-tiful oak flooring in the hall and kitchen, double glazed sash windows and the potential is amazing) but everything needs deep industrial cleaning and much repairing to do. It's like the last people, did a fantastic job on the extension 12 years ago then have done nothing since to maintain it.

I just don't feel like I thought I would and I'm really grumpy and shouty with the children which is really unfair on them. I don't feel excited to live here and I bloody well should. Any ideas why? Partly I worry if we can really afford it and partly it still feels like someone else's house.

Sorry rambled on blush off for more white wine

Aethelfleda Sun 28-Jul-13 19:00:06

Nah, you're fine: I think it's very much normal: house stuff is a big deal, enthusiasm often comes and goes in waves, especialy when the amount of stuff to do feels overwhelming/neverending.

We have a Structurally sound house with a million and one small maintainence jobs. If you can, pick a small "project" which will have fast and obvious benefit, then you can at least say "xxx is really nice now". For me it wa a bathroom job (and now working on the patio).

hinkyhonk Sun 28-Jul-13 20:12:56

Same here structurally sound house buys lots if jobs to do. We had some victories with a first degunking of a good few rooms yesterday and out some door hooks up and some other stuff too so starting to see some improvements. Def need to pick a room and focus on one to see some progress - at least git some if the graffeti off DS2's room to will start there

<puts head in sand and sings tra la la about the massive barn and outbuildings which are def not structurally sound>

MrsMangoBiscuit Sun 04-Aug-13 10:10:36

Well it's not like you'll be living in the outbuildings, unless collapse is imminent, they can wait!

We had the nursery all sorted (DDs room, but she's moving to the new one and DD2 will be going in there) Then the plasterer managed to knock a hole through the wall. sad It's still not completely fixed as we decided to finish off the new room (aka ex-kitchen). On the plus side, we've now finished painting all the walls, and the ceiling. Blue all over, but with big sweeping green hills round the lower walls. The wall stickers of castles, trees and fairies are ordered. Just need to finish the woodwork (hopefully this afternoon), get electrician BIL in, and book our carpet fitter. Then we can make the furniture, hand curtains and call it finished. However I've decided to complicate things by modifying DDs bed after seeing this! So next weekend we might well be buying some MDF and more paint! I'll have to work out how to do it so we can still use the bed tent over the top.

MrsMangoBiscuit Wed 07-Aug-13 14:25:29

Oh FFS. The wall stickers turn up for the castle mural. They're not as pictured and they're all creased. <grumps> So much for getting those up today, on my day off.

At least I know have a working plan of how we're going to modify DDs bed, and I've chosen fabric for that and the curtains.

Liara Thu 08-Aug-13 21:05:29

That bed looks fab! You need to post some pictures of what you end up doing!

I've been working on the garden. Decided to remodel a whole part of the front garden, including a little terrace/patio and a path. So far I've built two massive raised beds, laid half the patio and 10m of the path, have the same again to do still.

Lots of planting to look forward to in the autumn!

MummytoMog Thu 08-Aug-13 22:11:20

Creases will come out with a bit of a blast with a hair dryer - no help if they're not right thought sad

MummytoMog Thu 08-Aug-13 22:12:07

Though, not thought! Have you left the paint a week to dry as well? I made the mistake of not waiting once, and the damn things just peeled straight off again. Boo.

MrsMangoBiscuit Fri 09-Aug-13 06:52:07

Not heard about using a hair drier on them before, thank you. I won't be trying to put them up just yet, the bits they were going on have been dry almost a week, so I will wait a bit longer, once I get the ones I actually ordered!

Liara, how tricky is the patio? We're hoping to lay a small one next summer. Raised beds are fab, my Mum has several and I'm a little jealous, they always look so nice. smile

As for the bed, it will hopefully all be going cream, with MDF panels for turrets/crennelations in cream with pale grey brick sponge prints. I'll be making drapes for underneath in pink gingham, and curtains to match. I'm quite excited about it as I love making things like that, but as I'm due in 5 weeks, I'm also wondering what I've let myself in for! grin

OverTheFieldsAndFarAway Fri 09-Aug-13 07:49:58

Hi, wish I'd found this thread when I was in the thick of it but am coming to the end now. I am posting as a kind of pat on the back to self. I have done a large 4 bed 3 bath house by myself ( except for kitchen fitting and knocking two rooms into one)
We don't live in the house yet and live 10 miles away so can only do bits here and there. I have been at it since January and am so pleased its almost ready to move into.
So far I have,
Filled and rubbed walls that wouldn't look out of place in A war zone.
Given all ceilings 3 coats.
All walls 2 coats.
Wallpapered feature walls in living room and bedroom 1.
Sanded and repainted what feels like 4 miles of woodwork.
Removed, sanded, repainted and rehung 20 6 panel doors.
Retiled en suite.
Removed and refurbished shower door.
Replaced extractors.
Replaced bath taps with shower mixer( that was fun!!)
Fitted rubber floor in bathroom, sealed and gave high gloss( non slip) finish......very proud of that one.
Removed old silicon and resealed bath, shower and basins.
Shampooed carpets in bedrooms and living room 3 times.
Rubbed down and repainted bannisters.
Sorted out huge gap along the wall/ stairs
Retiled and painted utility and downstairs loo.
Kitchen now huge and rather wonderful. Hi gloss cream, handleless, all drawers, all electric opening( you just tap and they glide open) two dishwashers, two ovens( same as Great British Bakeoff with slide under doors) huge gas hob, 2 wine coolers, a fab boiling water tap with its own little round sink.

I am using study as workroom as I am painting furniture for the hallway. Left to do;
Clean stair and landing carpets.
Clean study carpet.
Clean and polish hall floor.

I'm not up there in terms of skills with many of the posters but I have such a sense of achievement. So....Yay

MummytoMog Fri 09-Aug-13 13:48:45

What oven has a slide under door? I covet!

OverTheFieldsAndFarAway Fri 09-Aug-13 16:25:47


The Neff Circotherm range.

hinkyhonk Fri 09-Aug-13 20:03:22

Slow progress here but some minor victories

Replaced shower hose and head after they sprang a leak.
Replaced cord on Sheila maid after it wore through
Replaced blind in ds2's bedroom as the old one was knackered (sensing a theme here....)
Purchased 5 curtain rails to replace the old ones that are about to fall out of the walls.
Washed most if the graffeti off DS2's walls and will fill holes over the weekend so we're ready to paint next week
Oh and spent several hours collasping the millions of boxes from when we unpacked and sweeping out the barn they were stored in

All on next to no sleep as the boys are up several times a night each. They are 4 and 19 m and can do much better. How long does it take after you move for the sleep to get better. I'm on my knees...

Liara Fri 09-Aug-13 21:07:59

Mango, depends what you're laying it on, what you are laying!

Where it's flattish ground and more or less even stones, dead easy. Where (like here) it's over a stony pit in the ground, with huge differences in levels and varying thicknesses of stone, a bit harder.

Also depends on how level exactly you want the result, since we use very rough stone I'm OK with a few lumps and bumps so long as the water drains as it should...

doglover Fri 09-Aug-13 21:21:10

Please may I join? We moved into a renovation project about 3 weeks ago and are one week in to the task. Much of the work is beyond our capabilities - builder joining us at the end of August - but I'm currently decorating dd1 bedroom. Surprisingly, I'm rather enjoying it and getting a great deal of satisfaction from seeing it improve.

So far, we've had tree surgeons in to reclaim the garden, roofers in to mend the holey roof and several kitchen companies in to plan our new kitchen.

Next week, carpet laid in dd1 room,fences are being erected, a wooden gate installed, a back door knocked through into our kitchen and a new front door put in.

Exciting! smile

MrsMangoBiscuit Sun 11-Aug-13 08:09:17

Hello OverTheFieldsAndFarAway and doglover.

Liara, there's lawn there at the moment. It looks quite flat, but this house has a way of suprising us. I want it to be flat enough to put a table and chairs on without any major wobbles. I have very little preference with regards to materials as long as they look passable and work.

doglover, we're doing DD1s new bedroom at the moment too. We reclaimed it from being a kitchen (our house was converted to two flats, we've converted it back) so the walls were a real mess, with piping, holes for extractor fans etc. We're just about to paint the woodwork, and the walls and ceiling are done. I'm so pleased with how it's coming along, I can't wait to get the carpet and furniture in. Very excited.

So far this weekend I have bought all the bits for the bed modification, marked them all up, and cut some of the MDF. Need to finish cutting, then I can get it painted and start the fun part of stamping on the stone work pattern. Then I'll have to wait until we get the carpet fitted before I can put it all together.

MummytoMog Sun 11-Aug-13 10:17:36

Well I was virtuous and did some bits around the house while I wait for the builders to be done with the loft conversion - filled and painted above the window in our living room (when we took down the old curtain rails, most of the wall came with it), chopped up more roof trusses for the woodburner, did a tip and charity shop run and put some stuff on eBay. Garage is still agonisingly full and if all goes well with the mortgage company, will be demolished in three weeks. I can't see how to avoid paying for storage sad I did wonder about moving the kids in together temporarily and using DS's bedroom as a storage's not too Victorian to make your toddlers sleep in the same bed right? It's a double.

Liara Sun 11-Aug-13 20:30:19

Finished the path and patio!

Mango,if there's lawn, you'll first have to dig a bit, get rid of anything that would be too spongy. You don't want your patio sinking! Then I would just put a whole load of sand, and lay stones directly on it. If you use quarried stones they will be nice and even, so it should be easy enough to lay them levellish. Do leave a 2-3% slope for the water to drain off, though, you don't want it flooded.

Unless it's enormous, shouldn't be too hard a job I shouldn't think (famous last words...)

Welcome doglover and overthefields!

Mummytomog, my two still sleep in the same bed (a big double) and they aren't toddlers any more (3 and 6). They love it that way.

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