(55 Posts)
SecretOfChange Fri 28-Aug-20 23:16:11

Completed today, not moving yet because the house needs renovation. Anyone else in the same boat? Would you like to join this thread so that we can support each other and discuss things as we go along?

I will be inspecting the roof, deciding whether to replace gas fireplaces, and choosing bathrooms and kitchen in the near future. I will be testing the heating tomorrow to see if it works properly. I will be talking (again) to the builder next week to finalise things, agreeing a start date and deciding when I can realistically move in (the sooner the better but equally I don't want to be living on a building site).

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HooseDilemma Sat 29-Aug-20 09:30:14

I'll certainly be watching this thread and hopefully joining later! We're currently buying a doer-upper, only right at the beginning of the process though.

Like you, we'll be doing new kitchen and new bathroom (hopefully before moving in) as that will involve knocking small kitchen through to create kitchen diner. We also need to undo an awful garage conversion and add a utility room. Before then moving around doing the rest of the house.

Will be great to follow your progress!

SecretOfChange Sun 30-Aug-20 10:26:36

Thanks @HooseDilemma

What do you think about downlights fitted into the ceiling in the kitchen and bathroom? We're in a recently renovated rented accommodation at the moment and I love them. In the kitchen it's a whiter/colder light (as opposed to orangey/yellow) and it makes you feel like you kind of wake up - and that's what you want in the kitchen. You can see everything perfectly too.

I previously lived in an older listed building (also rented) and the downlights were horrid and difficult to maintain. I think they were just badly fitted, plus things have moved on and the quality of downlights is generally better these days.

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SocksForceFive Sun 30-Aug-20 14:54:42

Hoping to be an active poster on this thread too! We're in the early stages of buying a fixer upper - plan to do a small side return extension and knock through to create kitchen diner and general tarting up of the rest of the house. Keen to hear tips and insights!

beggingforsleep Sun 30-Aug-20 15:13:44

I'd like to join! We complete on Tuesday and also not moving in till the work is done.

We need planning though so building work won't start till the new year.

Trying to work out what we can do before then and ways of saving money. Going to gut it but beyond that I'm not sure what we can do that won't get damaged when the builders come.

ChequerBoard Sun 30-Aug-20 15:20:39

Can I join in? Different situation as we have been in our house for many years but are now planning major renovation project including a full new kitchen and utility (replastering, electrics, new ceiling etc) replacement hot water system, new bathroom, new staircase, all new flooring and full redecoration. We also have a small flat above the garage which will have a new kitchen ' bathroom, new flooring and redecoration.

Have to admit to being a bit overwhelmed with everything that we want to do and unsure of where to start. Seriously considering doing the flat first and then moving in there whilst we do the house.

Misty9 Sun 30-Aug-20 16:13:58

Can I join in? Completing on Tuesday and have a month to get the upstairs done before moving in! It needs complete redecoration, new bathroom and separate loo, recarpeting etc. Also needs new kitchen and downstairs redecorating, but that'll have to wait. Oh, and new garden fences!


Misty9 Sun 30-Aug-20 16:15:05

Oh, and I'm going to do as much of it as I can myself in evenings and weekends... shock

SecretOfChange Wed 02-Sep-20 13:01:53

@Misty9 when you say you are going to do a lot yourself, what do you have in mind? I'm struggling to see how I'm going to be helpful, and at the same time I think there's so much to do in terms of planning that I will hardly have time for anything else!

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SecretOfChange Wed 02-Sep-20 14:56:48

@ChequerBoard yes, overwhelming for sure! I kept thinking about various aspects of the renovation in a rather random order previously, but now that the house purchase is complete I need to prioritise and order things, to avoid unnecessary delays.

So, I now have a list of jobs for the first 2 weeks. Because I gave myself a timeframe of 2 weeks it doesn't feel as overwhelming. Not everything needs to happen in one day. Also as things get ticked off, the overwhelm subsides smile

1) Contact utility suppliers: electricity, gas, water.

2) Check the boiler and central heating.
Done. In working order with the exception of one room. I need to make a decision on whether to replace a 10y old but fully functioning boiler or not, and identify the issue with the room where heating doesn't work. Likely to be old/faulty radiator. To discuss with the builder.

3) Roofer to inspect the roof and guttering.

4) Architect to help with plans and building regs for loft conversion
Meeting arranged for tomorrow.

5) Fireplace and chimney specialist to advise on options with regards to chimneys and fireplaces
Arranged for tomorrow

6) Finalise contract with the builder and fix the dates.
Towards the end of this 2 weeks period when I have more info on the stuff above.

7) Arrange a meeting with Wickes to discuss bathrooms and kitchen
I've been to a local quality merchant tentatively (before the house purchase completed) but they are very expensive, so I want to now go to a more budget retailer, have them do detailed plans and compare. If I can afford it, I'll probably go for the quality one anyway.

8) Plan furniture and decor for every room and make a shopping list of missing items
I have some furniture, curtains etc but not everything.

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SocksForceFive Wed 02-Sep-20 15:24:38

We had a terrible time with Wickes! They quoted well over the odds and it took them ages to complete our order, and still got lots wrong. I complained so many times they wrote me a cheque for £400 (still not enough really). I would never use them again. We recently bought an extra cupboard to go with our existing fitted kitchen and they managed to send a broken door, forgot to send door handles, then kept sending them in store rather than to my house. They're an absolute shower.

Pipandmum Wed 02-Sep-20 15:34:15

Downlighters are great - I like them to be invisible as possible so white fittings in white ceiling. Best for kitchen and bathroom and hallway but I'd still get them on a dimmer, especially hallway.
No matter what your builder says, it will overrun. There will be some unforeseen issue, a tradesman will let you down holding up work, the planning or party wall or building regs will delay things and there's bound to be a essential building material on back order.
Good luck! If you find a jack of all trades - someone who can tile, do a bit of plumbing and electrics, lay a floor, install a kitchen and do some woodwork - grab them and don't let go!

SecretOfChange Wed 02-Sep-20 15:59:30

I'm watching Sarah Beeny's Renovate Don't Relocate series and I'm taking some ideas and inspiration from that. I wouldn't say it's super useful because a lot of it is not relevant to me and my project, but I enjoy it a lot!

One of the things Sarah talks about it that every room needs a function, or it risks becoming a dumping ground in which case it won't be used to it's full potential (or sometimes not at all). Second good idea is that every room can have one purpose, or two, but no more. So a bedroom / study is ok, but a bedroom that is also a study also a dressing room also a playroom will not ever work. Third good idea is personalising space with your identity, being bold, for example choosing works of art that speak to your heart over standard prints. I think we're all a little afraid to overdo it on that front for the fear of putting off future buyers, but I'm hoping this house to be my long-term home so I'm happy to be as bold as I like (within reason). Also it doesn't have to be a lot of personality as such, one or two items in a room can totally do it!

Totally mesmerised by mural wallpapers that feature heavily in Sarah's series and now I really want a forest in my bedroom smile

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SecretOfChange Wed 02-Sep-20 16:01:51

@SocksForceFive that's useful to know, thanks. I get it that Wickes is a budget option (in a not very nice sense of the word) but wondered if their designs could help me get off the ground with understanding what can go where.

@Pipandmum - brill thanks! Downlights, here I come smile

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SocksForceFive Wed 02-Sep-20 16:08:44

@SecretOfChange I would definitely be comfortable talking to them for design ideas -they're just not up to much on the execution!

I love the forest wallpaper - very relaxing.

Misty9 Thu 03-Sep-20 19:18:32

@SecretOfChange I like your post about how to inject personality into the home - that's something I've always struggled with a bit as I often don't trust my judgement (not helped by a 12yr marriage to exh who often rejected my choices...).
By doing it myself, I mean just that - I will do as much of the decorating with help from friends as possible.

So, I got the keys Tues, stripped one room that evening, stripped another last night, plasterers have skimmed ceilings and some walls but need to come back in 2 weeks to do the rest. Plumber is sending quote for bathrooms, carpet guy coming to quote Monday (apparently there's a long lead time on carpets currently due to manufacturing delay because of covid). I've got this weekend to finish the stripping and start painting the skimmed walls. But... I've buggered my back with all the hard labour! So will have to be careful.

I recommend checking out the online company DIY kitchens. I've designed mine using their free tool (they had taken it offline for new sign ups but it might be back) and just waiting to order. That won't be done until I've moved in sadly.

Misty9 Thu 03-Sep-20 19:19:29

Oh - and I bought a turquoise fridge freezer! That's my personality grin

NWnature Fri 04-Sep-20 10:34:19

Hi all, can I join? We are doing a full house reno including a side return, rebuild of the loft, new kitchen, bathrooms, utility room, full rewire and decoration. Currently looks like a bomb site and has been mega stressful thus far (hideous planning process).

We are mostly having downlights in the hallways, bathrooms, kitchen etc. Pendant lighting in the living room and two larger bedrooms. Down lights in the other two bedrooms. Our architect is obsessed with lighting so I trust him that they are going to look good. Agree dimmers essential for bedrooms!

I used Karen at OnePlan to design our kitchen and have ended up ordering the cabinets via Kitchen Warehouse as they were able to do bespoke measurements so I get floor to ceiling whereas DIY Kitchens was going to leave a gap. I need to sort out counter top and also tap (contemplating a quooker but obviously already mega over budget). Got all our appliances from Fisher & Paykel via John Lewis.

Some good tips from Sarah Beeny. I am really trying to think hard about how we will use the space. It is hard as we never lived in the house and started reno from the outset.

MrsT1983 Fri 04-Sep-20 13:52:37

Hi can I join too please? We purchased a victorian terrace about a month ago so we’re already well into the ripping out stages! We’re staying in our rented house until the builder has finished and then plan to move in and decorate.
Our builder is due to start first week of October so hoping to be in sometime in November once all the messy work is done. We’re enlarging an opening between kitchen and dining room to make one big room, moving some internal walls to create a new utility and downstairs loo, new bathroom, full replaster plus work to some of the fireplaces.
We’re trying to keep the budget down as it’s a big house with lots to do, so we’ve bought a second hand kitchen and just picked up a second hand bathroom suite, both in perfect condition and absolute bargains!

ChequerBoard Fri 04-Sep-20 14:04:53

About to have a kitchen designer arrive at the house to look at our kitchen and scullery and help design a new layout. We visited the showroom last week and really liked the look and feel of the kitchens, beautiful handmade wooden units. Will be interesting to see what they suggest. It's quite a big kitchen but it was awkwardly placed windows and doors. Needs rethinking to make the most of the space. I want to keep a dining area preferably with a built banquette bench seating.

Not sure if I'm excited or terrified!

SecretOfChange Wed 09-Sep-20 19:06:38

Well, I'm on track with things I planned to do in the first two weeks and it makes everything a lot clearer in my head. Feeling quite positive overall - it might not last but it's a nice feeling nonetheless so I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts smile

I've done bathroom layouts and a rough quote for them (I didn't go to Wickes in the end, did it with a local independent supplier), but still need to select actual products and tiles.

Got a quote for a woodburner in one of the sitting rooms.

Got a roofer in and am considering redoing the roof in the next 1-2 years but not right now as there are no major obvious issues that are dramatic enough to justify doing it urgently. Doing the roof first would delay the whole project so I wanted to confirm there's no desperately urgent need to do it now.

Talked to an architect which was very useful and then decided to do loft conversion myself (so consulting with a builder but no architect) because there will be no dormers and not much work that is complicated or risky.

Talking to the builder to finalise contract and cost on Friday.

I am still deciding on the furniture and style of every room - I got most of it in my head and in my Pinterest already but just needs more detail, and writing down.

I pulled out weeds and washed the front and back door so that it gives me a nicer feeling to come in. One of the sitting rooms is in ok condition. It's not to my taste - it's pale blue floral wallpaper and floral lights, but it's recently done so I'm planning to leave it as is so that I can move in into this room as soon as reasonably possible before the whole renovation project is finished.

Wondered what other commitments in addition to the renovation project other people have? I work full time from home and will be taking a day off once a week for the duration of the renovation (8-10 weeks), but wonder if I need more than that to manage the project. Better to plan ahead than stress and panic midway because of lack of time. What do you think is the right balance? I'm not planning to do physical work, only managing the project.

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SecretOfChange Wed 09-Sep-20 19:14:32

@Misty9 I'm in a similar position, splitting up from an emotionally unsupportive, critical partner but you build your confidence up by doing things so that's what I'm going to do smile Turquoise freezer sounds super exciting!!! Get some fridge poetry to go with it?! smile

Hope you feel better now after all that physical effort with stripping down rooms - I find it very tempting to start helping with physical work required, but have no experience and realistically I think I can use my time better planning things, or working more to earn more money (I write as a side job so can get some extra income that way in the evenings).

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SecretOfChange Wed 09-Sep-20 19:23:41

@NWnature that sounds like a massive project! And I presume you're living there on your bombsite too smile Very brave! Best of luck and keep posting.

I decided to leave the kitchen alone, it is not to my taste, but it is new so will last me at the very least 2-3 years until I make my mind up what I want. I think the kitchen I have is Balsamita from B&Q. The tap is leaking though so I might need to do something about that (a slightly smaller job than replacing the kitchen lol). I will also need to buy and install the appliances, there is no cooker, or anything else there, just the cupboards.

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SecretOfChange Wed 09-Sep-20 19:26:52

@NWnature also thanks for your comments about lights, gives me confidence!

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SecretOfChange Wed 09-Sep-20 19:27:09

@MrsT1983 Similar timescales! I'm really hoping to have everything done by Christmas! Where did you get second hand bathroom from? Never heard of such a thing, very intrigued as I'm also on a budget!

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