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We need to finish house, where to start!

(19 Posts)
WittgensteinsBunny Sun 15-Jan-17 19:42:30

We have a lovely Edwardian 3 bed terrace which we've done a huge amount of work to (we've replaced everything from electrics, boiler, all pipes, relocated meter boxes, put in a new kitchen, removed lath and plaster and replaced with hemp lime plaster throughout, and all floors are new too). As we're terraced there's a limit to what we can do in the evenings.

The house isn't finished and we need to move for more space in the next couple of years.

The big problem is that dh doesn't trust anyone to work on the house as we've had a few disasters and he's very practical. The bigger problem is that dh works full time and doesn't have time to finish the house and do all the other things he wants to do.

I'm not practical and my parents always "got someone in" to do jobs for them.

We are arguing a lot (huge explosive arguements) about the house not being finished, the lack of storage and that I feel trapped by the fact that we can't think about moving until the house is finished. I wouldn't even be comfortable getting an estate agent valuation at this point.

dh is very upset with me tonight and I probably have over stepped the mark. But to try and be rational I would like to get some quotes to get the work done.

I have a couple of questions:

Who would I get in to fit architraves and skirting boards?

And

Has anyone employed a decorator who will paint with lime wash (interior)? How much did this cost per day and how big was your room?

smu06set Sun 15-Jan-17 19:46:39

A little idea -can your dh take a week or two off work to finish the house? Maybe even unpaid leave? You could stagger it so the effect is spread over 2 paychecks?
As for the lime wash i have no idea!!

Astro55 Sun 15-Jan-17 19:48:44

Skirting boards a handy man or carpenter

Painter and decorator should white wash anything you want - you could do this yourself assuming you know one end of a paint brush?

WittgensteinsBunny Sun 15-Jan-17 20:21:01

Time off is certainly an option but holiday is limited. Hmm, worth thinking about though.

Re limewashing...I could do it myself but I'm nervous after a horrible lime burn and not confident to do it whilst looking after two toddlers!

Qwebec Mon 16-Jan-17 03:36:15

An other option would be to hire someone to help you DP with the work, like that he can supervise and the job gets done twice as face (almost). I'm with your partner in that i would avoid getting someone in as much as possible, but working jointly might be a compromise.

WittgensteinsBunny Fri 20-Jan-17 14:18:08

That's a good idea too. Thank you all very much.

WittgensteinsBunny Fri 20-Jan-17 14:29:21

That's a good idea too. Thank you all very much.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 20-Jan-17 14:42:04

Why do you want to limewash? Is the house listed?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 20-Jan-17 14:43:22

I ask because if this is one of the things holding you back from moving, couldn't you think about doing it yourself with posh paint?

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Fri 20-Jan-17 14:45:30

If you have children he could put in for unpaid parental leave for a week he would usually spend as family time and then use a week of leave to do decorating instead. It maybe cheaper than paying a tradesman. (Was for us)

venys Sat 21-Jan-17 22:56:32

Oh my goodness you sound like us but without the arguments - we are not there yet. I too have given up on tradies but am ok to use them where it's hard for them to stuff up - like doing the prep work on the walls and then they paint. I am not sure who out there will do a lime wash as most decorators only have experience with emulsion. But it may be worth putting an ad on myBuilder for someone. Also skirting should be relatively easy for a builder or carpenter to do I think (although I have had a labourer cock ours up). I think as others suggested for OH to take parental leave and finish - just make sure the kids are busy when he's home. Otherwise they make demands!!

venys Sat 21-Jan-17 22:58:36

Was just going to say if you are after a lime wash paint for breathability reasons, there are plenty of natural paints that would do the same thing?

HiDBandSIL Mon 23-Jan-17 09:47:00

Also in the same boat but a bit further down the line.

If you are a perfectionist, fitting the skirting and architrave will take a long time. Ours is still unfinished.

I agree that if you're selling, just use regular paint.

On that note, you might, like us, realise that you're better off extending rather than moving. Could you do a loft conversion & side return extension? grin

WittgensteinsBunny Tue 24-Jan-17 12:19:17

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I feel slightly guilty as DH spent the weekend painting the kitchen cabinets and arranging an afternoon out to F&B to choose the rest of the colours for the house and then for cake and coffee. We got to talk calmly without toddlers what we needed to do and how we can make it happen.

He's made plans to finish the woodwork over the next few weekends and we've said we'll paint in the evenings when the girls are in bed. I will spend some weekends at my parents with the children so he can limewash.

We spent a fortune having the house plastered in lime for breathability. We've looked at other paints but they would all reduce the breathability of the walls. There is no way DH will put emulsion on his precious walls. There was a significant damp problem in the kitchen / tiny back hallway because of a concrete floor installed in the late 80s. We have no damp or mould anywhere now.

I may have to retract the moving soon as we've discussed it at length and we really do want to stay here as long as possible. Or at least until something really special is available/ we have a bit more cash together. We may think about getting an architect in to give us some ideas about how we could extend. I would really like to do a loft conversion. It's my next thing to look into.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 24-Jan-17 18:39:34

I mean this in a kind way OP. I'm sure your house is lovely and will be even lovelier whenyou've finished the painting. But, having experienced 'doing up' a house in the past, only to sell it within a few months and have some other fuckers enjoy the benefits of all our hard work, I'd recommend finishing the basics, making it a pleasant environment for yourselves, and enjoying it for a couple of years until you need the extra space.
Building work is far more stressful than moving house. And, um, maybe drop your standards a bit next time, assuming you have little kids - life's too short.

WittgensteinsBunny Tue 24-Jan-17 19:28:56

Yep, you're spot on. We've been doing this house since we bought it 5 years ago(?!?!?! - where's that gone!) and didn't think we could have children when we bought. We thought we'd be here forever <hollow laugh> and never intended this to be a project to sell. And DH is a perfectionist, which is a bone of contention, as there is no way I would have done it the way we have. But we are where we are! And it is lovley. And in an ideal world we wouldn't move we'd just move it onto a plot of land and add some extra rooms. You could say it's been a steep and expensive learning curve....

Interested to hear that building work is more stressful than an extension. I know a few friend's who've had loft extensions that have all gone very smoothly. Do you have any more info / opinion as I'm genuinely interested in moving the house around and going up into the loft.

WittgensteinsBunny Tue 24-Jan-17 19:29:42

*Than moving, sorry long day.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 24-Jan-17 20:47:53

Never done a loft conversion so maybe that is easier. We had a two storey extension and it was extremely intrusive and disruptive. But everyone's different - some people seem to go from one major building project to the next without blinking. I would say that the perfectionism would ne a good thing to lose, especially since the house is (I assume) not listed. The cost and effort of carrying out heritage-style improvements in an Edwardian house is unlikely to be re-couoed - but I'm sure that's not your main motivation.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 24-Jan-17 21:04:07

Never done a loft conversion so maybe that is easier. We had a two storey extension and it was extremely intrusive and disruptive. But everyone's different - some people seem to go from one major building project to the next without blinking. I would say that the perfectionism would ne a good thing to lose, especially since the house is (I assume) not listed. The cost and effort of carrying out heritage-style improvements in an Edwardian house is unlikely to be re-couoed - but I'm sure that's not your main motivation.

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