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Terrified of making mistakes

(15 Posts)
allthatglittersisnotgold Tue 18-Mar-14 13:35:28

In the middle of quite an extensive refurb on our flat. Including rewire, windows, and plumbing, new kitchen, bathroom, full redecoration etc. This is really a hand hold thread (1st world problems I know). Just continually tired and juggling funds. Worried I'll do something in wrong order or somethign won't end up looking right, which means spending to correct etc. Partner and I are not yet in 30's and don't have any support or anyone knowledgable around us, so we're really the blond leading the blind (I've lived on this forum)!

Tell me I'm not alone in this gnawing stress and let me know your refurb happy endings!

affinia Tue 18-Mar-14 13:58:39

We did practically the same in our first flat in our 20s. Felt like we were really stretching ourselves at the time but was excellent investment and meant we could afford our future homes.

Yes you'll be tired, probably have arguments over ridiculous decisions but one day at the end you'll have a place which is exactly what you want (and you'll be spoilt for ever living with someone else's taste ever again!)

What do you want to know? How long are you planning on living in the flat?

allthatglittersisnotgold Tue 18-Mar-14 14:25:47

We're in a great London location, so I'd like to live there another 5-10 years (at least) I don't see why we'd need to move before, got plenty of room for everything. So with that said I'm not lookign for a budget job, we've been careful and considerate so far.

We've extended our mortgage a little to cover some of the bigger renovations, the kitchen being one. Think we've gone a little short though (which was unecessary-but slight underbudgeting by ourselves) so now have to be extra careful and kind of given ourselves more stress than needed.

Currently arguing over whether it's worth removing a potential bit of structural wall in order to gain 12 inches of workspace and give a better "flow". Even typing this is inducing mild hysteria as I realise how utterly ridiculous that worry is! It's just we'll only be doing this once so want to get right.

What did you spend money on? What do you regret doing/not doing?

affinia Tue 18-Mar-14 14:40:25

DH & I were just talking about this last night. It is definitely worth getting your property right in terms of its basic bones & flow from the outset. Once you've decided not to move the wall and fitted your kitchen, you'll never go back and do it. Once you've done it'll probably be one of the things you're happiest you did.

I think 'flow' or balance in a flat or house is really important. When looking on rightmove how many places do you discount by looking at the floor plan and thinking it is just plain odd. Because our budget has always been tight (also lived in London & surrounds) we've always only been able to afford something a bit odd but have spent the money turning it into what we would never been able to afford and ultimately have been able to sell for ceiling price.

Never regretted good quality built in storage in first two places (mainly lots of built in shelving & wardrobes)as they maximised space and made them so much more streamlined and relaxing to live in, and were a huge plus when we came to sell.

If you come across a problem don't cover it up as it'll cause headaches later, only regrets have been the odd bodge jobs.

Spottybra Tue 18-Mar-14 14:42:34

Don't think you get any magic knowledge in your 30's either. We are doing the same and still disagreeing on things. Mostly paint colour and the position of appliances.

allthatglittersisnotgold Tue 18-Mar-14 14:52:41

Totally agree, I think my propensity for interior obsession and perfectionism is part of the problem! Anyone who buys our flat after us is in for a absolute gem. We've definately not cut corners, had built in alcove units put into the living room in a traditional style (it's a victorian flat) fit so well and provides oodles of space.

The layout was fairly normal and not you know bathroom in the master bedroom or the whole place feeling like a rabbit warren. We spent quite a bit getting the rewire and plumbing right. We took out the combi boiler (which was ancient) and put in an accumulator, HW cylinder and new boiler in back portion of loft (takes up no useable space), in order to accomadate all taps and washing machine and toilets flushing at once considering our awful water pressure. Worked an absolute dream.

We just converted the main body of the loft too, to an extra bedroom and bathroom! However, now the accumulator (which we've had to move) is too big for the head height in the non converted part of the loft, which is a horrendous additional expense, to try and now get 2 smaller tanks! (are you still following?)

I think part of the issue is we've spent 3 years making do with the flat as it is, i.e only having done 2 beds and a living room (from scratch) and this year i've thought that's it, I'm having christmas in a nice environment if it kills me! (which it does seem to be-slowly and possibly by stress induced headaches and stomach troubles!)

I also apologise to anyone that reads this and thinks what a brat, it's true these are not big life problems. I'm just a born worrier!

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 18-Mar-14 15:03:40

Sounds like you are doing well !! Keep up the good work !

affinia Tue 18-Mar-14 16:10:50

Well to be honest its the stress that goes with the expense that stops you making too many massive mistakes!

You do sound very similar to me. We also had a massive logistical issue to resolve in first flat. Was a huge learning curve and I now feel quite knowledgeable when estate agents bullshit about how much work is 'cosmetic'. Our buyers always get a gem too and I get a bit depressed every time we start looking to move and see what other people live with (obviously I know its just different priorities, budgets, generations etc).

Bet its lovely....wistfully thinking of my first Victorian flat, I actually think they often make better flats than houses, but am probably alone in that.

wonkylegs Wed 19-Mar-14 10:10:13

Its natural to find this stressful.
I'm an architect - I have 10 yrs of great experience and have worked on hugely complex multi million pound projects - the most terrifying and stressful project i've every had is our current house refurb.
I think its the fact that its all our money and that I would have to live with any mistakes. Its hard making so many decisions without having somebody else (the client's) opinion and its really easy to doubt yourself.
I've got to say we are half way through, i'm really pleased with the work & decisions so far but i don't think i'll truly relax until the dust has well & truly settled and its all been lived with for a few years.

nerdgirl72 Wed 19-Mar-14 23:58:38

We are nearing the end of our refurb, (well, there will be a phase two once funds allow to finish the utility and downstairs toilet for starters) and so completely know where you are coming from.

I think it is the sheer number of decisions that you have to make that is really wearing. It also feels we're not being as rigorous about detail if we were just doing one project, as we just don't have the headspace with managing a renovation this on top of work and childcare etc. So there are some decisions that already we can see we could/should have done differently. Nothing really major, but kind of annoying. We have also done some things in the wrong order, which means we have spent a bit more than should have, but I think unless you are doing renovations all the time this is a risk and you have to be able to move on and not dwell on it too much.

It also feels like you have to get everything right because of the amount of money involved which adds to the sense of pressure. It will be all worth it in the end...

SmileItsSunny Fri 21-Mar-14 13:44:52

I'm totally with you. We are also mid-extension, have been living without a kitchen since Aug last year! It is so difficult when also working/ managing childcare / studying. brew

allthatglittersisnotgold Fri 21-Mar-14 14:22:36

Yes that's the thing isn't it, having a life outside of it all, but still ensuring you've left enough brain space to be happy with all your decisions. For exmaple now I've had a week or 2 with the space I'm picturing the loft bathroom a bit differently, but it's had it's first fix now, so I've got to just go with it how it is!

Living without a kitchen is my fear Sunny, what do you eat and when? That's next on the renovation agenda, just googling ovens and interated appliances now, so that when I do have to make a decision I'm informed! Feel like I'm always researching for when I'm told right that's got to be ordered immediately!

Honestly don't know how people do this with children! (I don't have children! Blinking love mumsnet and the advice and tips on here though). I have a lot of respect recently for my own parents making our family home lovely for us with what seemed like ease (although absolutely sure it was bloody tricky).

nerdgirl72 Fri 21-Mar-14 22:36:18

God yes, instant decisions. I had to meet our builder to choose bricks on the way to work morning as he just had to know then and it was really hard!

Research is good but it does do your head in after a while. All my spare time is spent Googling or on Pinterest, or on here.

SmileItsSunny Sun 23-Mar-14 09:54:49

Allthatglitters I think we must have adapted, because it is not that bad! I bought a single plug in induction hob (£50 from lidl!) we have a combination microwave, toaster and kettle. all balancing on temporary cupboards currently in the living room. M&S meals, some amazing friends have cooked meals for us and dropped them off, some eating out / work canteens.... a lot of toast!

SmileItsSunny Sun 23-Mar-14 09:56:20

I'm not good about making decisions; I know we will need oven and hob soon; but paralysed by lack of imagination and awareness of how little is left in our building fund!

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