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Essential small renovation jobs

(17 Posts)
FedglingFTB Sun 05-Mar-17 10:54:40

We've got a 2 century old house that'll need everything doing from the electrics up, but is perfectly liveable as is.

Our renovations are will be piecemeal due to money and poss years long, but I'm massively impatient itching to get on with it.

What low cost, little jobs could I be getting on with in the meantime? The kinds of things that sidetrack you when you finally come to do a big job and hadn't realised they needed doing.

Ideally preparatory jobs that won't make the house look too unkempt. Things I can pick up on the evenings after work or quiet weekends

heffalumpshavewrinkles Sun 05-Mar-17 11:10:22

Sanding woodwork? Takes ages but you can do a little bit at a time.

What I did was write down every job that needed doing and then ordered them. So for example don't replaster until dpc/plumbing/electrics all done. Don't decorate until replastered.

Once you've done that you can see what jobs are independent of anything you want to do- stripping doors and fireplaces, sanding floors, designing kitchens and colour schemes, gardening, painting front of house...

FedglingFTB Sun 05-Mar-17 11:22:26

Thanks heffa I was thinking sanding could be a good one. Have you done it? I'll have to look into wether it required any tools or can be done by hand...

bilbodog Sun 05-Mar-17 11:55:22

If you have wallpaper you can start to strip that room by room and leave until other work has been done before re decorating. Make sure the outside is ok - check roofing/tiles, guttering and downpipes are in good order so you dont have damp or leak issues. Sounds like a great project - good luck.

FedglingFTB Sun 05-Mar-17 13:52:29

Thanks bilbo I think stripping wallpaper is far to severe a job. We're only just saving for the electrics atm. I wouldn't want to live with bare walls for that long.

I've just been looking into heat guns <rubs thighs>

And I think stripping the skirting is a really good starter job!

JT05 Sun 05-Mar-17 14:00:46

Look to the garden, tidy it up if needed. It's lovely to have somewhere pleasant to relax in after you've been working on the house.

FedglingFTB Sun 05-Mar-17 14:03:52

Good call JT05 that is in progress, we have shed paint but there's been a severe lack of shed painting weather sadly!

FinallyHere Sun 05-Mar-17 14:43:19

I would encourage you to get rid of anything that you can, saves lots of ' moving stuff around' in order to get at things. And planning: what order are the jobs going to be done in, what needs to be in place before you can do each job, is there anything that should be done 'while you are at it'. Work out the 'work packages' all the electrics, plumbing etc. There may be some trade offs between what could be done together and what is waiting for something else to be done first.

Think also about the end result you want, and in some detail about the stages which will be required (see work packages about). Think also about what each work package needs to know, for example where do you need sockets. Do you also have the decoration scheme worked out and know where the lights are going to be required.

Take it from one who has made many, many mistakes of things which would have been trivial if I had got them done before something such as tiling had been completed. All the very best.

didireallysaythat Sun 05-Mar-17 15:12:00

Insulate the roof and board out the attic if it isn't already (labelling the boards with where pipes and cables run) ?

Bit boring but I like a warm house and hate wasting energy/money.

JoJoSM2 Sun 05-Mar-17 20:14:32

I'd spend tons of time planning too. How you want to live, where furniture will go, where you need sockets etc. You could also start looking for some bargains and special offers and perhaps buy something in advance.

FedglingFTB Sun 05-Mar-17 23:17:15

Any pointers on how to plan, or break things down into jobs and tasks? Are we talking spreadsheets here? Do you go room by room?

engineersthumb Mon 06-Mar-17 07:17:10

You may wish to hold back in preparing woodwork. If you leave it unsealed it may move or become difficult to paint if contaminated. Even if you prepare and prime it will still need to be rubbed down again post plastering etc. Terrible damp squib aren't I! One thing that we have done over our 5 yr renovation was to put down a cheap carpet throughout (£2 a sqm ) it's horrible but much better than boards/concrete. Sort out any insulation / thermal issues, we had gales blowing around the front door and windows!

FedglingFTB Mon 06-Mar-17 07:56:13

Engineers good to know, but if I was to repaint/seal by room as I went, surely that'd be okay? Or is that not the right way to do things decorating wise?

Surely, even if we had to take the skirting off it'd be good to go. Actually... I've just noticed some of the half arsed sockets are on the skirting confused

FinallyHere Mon 06-Mar-17 11:32:35

The how to break things down, no easy answer, Im afraid. One way is to have a picture room by room, showing how you want the end result to look. Work back from there, pointing out what needs to happen in order to .... i keep this list for each room in a spreadsheet. I also have another list, which is by function, so going across the spreadsheet, all the plumbing in o e column, electrics in another

Any infrastructure things in a category of their own, for example rewiring the whole house or replacing all the windows.

What matters less than exactly how you do it, is that you are getting to grips with everything that needs to be done. This can help to avoid something that seems like a small job turning into a much, much bigger one. All the best.

engineersthumb Mon 06-Mar-17 16:44:24

You could paint the skirting but you'll have to protect it, it's easy to damage/ get mucky depending upon what you are doing and best to be done after patching plaster etc. Its not usually possible to remove and refit skirting.

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 06-Mar-17 20:15:05

If it's going to be a long renovation I personally would make one room lovely, even if it eventually will need to be redone. Our bedroom is horrible and it's going to be the last on the list and I hate going to bed in a yucky lime green room when I've been working hard all day. It doesn't have to be expensive, but just paint to your taste and at least then you have a place of sanctuary in what could be a very untidy, messy, dusty, expensive few years.

BreezyThursday Tue 07-Mar-17 14:56:43

Woodwork like skirting and banisters; doors and windows (if wooden and not being refitted). Curtains (at least measuring, planning or even sewing)?
If you are having a rewire or heating done there is no point in doing anything special to walls or floors - certainly not expensive wallpaper- until everything has been done.

I actually think it's really good to live in it a bit first as you can list all the things that niggle you - like bad lighting - and make sure they get properly sorted rather than thinking you know everything you want straight off.

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