Offered Awful Council House. Help!
Kakey1710 · 18/02/2015 20:38
I was offered a three bedroom and I have accepted. I'm due to move in monday and I was only given the chance to view it today and it's an absolute dive. It smells like a damp ash tray. The walls are ripped cupboards and doors are chipped and the tile floor in the kitchen has cracks in it!
I am responsible for carpeting the whole house. I have a 5 year old, a 1 year old and a 4 month old. I don't have much money to spare. But I need to get it safe at the very least.
I am not very thrifty or creative. Was just wondering if anyone out there has any tips for me?
How can I turn a dump into a lovely home on a VERY tight budget?? Haha
I know people do it. I've seen so many beautiful council homes in my life time. But I'm not very good at this sort of thing!!
LaurieFairyCake · 18/02/2015 20:42
The council will give you a decoration grant of it's dreadful
And will give you a new kitchen if the doors are hanging off
Kakey1710 · 18/02/2015 20:50
I asked and they said they don't do that anymore ??
I got told Id get a grant for carpets as well but they don't do that anymore either. After getting quotes for carpet I've found out that it's the most expensive thing in the world!! I don't know how anyone can afford to do this ??
LaurieFairyCake · 18/02/2015 20:54
They don't give new kitchens and bathrooms?
Yes they do and not just as upgrades (my friends council house only gets upgraded with a new kitchen every 20 years - but repaired if needed)
I personally don't think carpets are at all essential. Painted floorboards and rugs are much cheaper. Lino that's a mess can be covered with very cheap Lino at £3 a metre from carpet right.
meandjulio · 18/02/2015 20:59
What floors have you got now?
We've just put laminate on top of ds's awful floorboards - lived with them for 5 years before we could afford to do it. It looks fantastic and was a lot cheaper than carpet - we spent about £150 on the laminate packs, £200 labour and then another £50 on a big rug. Could you run to that? Do you have anyone who could help you out by laying them, or are you even able to do it yourself?
I'd look at thick vinyl flooring in the kitchen - apparently if you leave the tiles down the shape will eventually come through, so if you can take the tiles up that might be better in the long term. If not though, I think you want the thickest you can get, could you run to a tenner per square metre?
When we moved into a house where the owner had kept all her untrained cats indoors and the floorboards were soaked with cat pee, we keep the windows permanently open for a week or two, painted everywhere (white, i.e. the cheapest) and used diluted Jeyes fluid to scrub the floor. It worked, mostly, though I still used to get a ghost whiff of the smell occasionally.
gamerchick · 18/02/2015 21:01
First get some sugar soap and clean everything in sight with it. It'll get any fag leftovers off.
A lock of paint will freshen rooms up. Paint doesn't have to be expensive.
Floors you'll have to do as you go. You can get cheaper offcuts if you go into the shops and put the feelers out for carpet fitters. The ones I know do some fitting on the side for cheaper than shops charge.
Have a look in pound shops and b&m. Our b&m do the packs of floor tiles for a couple of quid a pack of 10 and pound shops sometimes get them in. You need a bit of extra glue but they go down ok.
sadcasetoday · 18/02/2015 21:06
Can you afford laminate or even buy it second-hand where you are?
We're on the Continent and it's fairly easy to get it second-hand here as it's so popular. We got old lino for the kitchen until we could afford some nice tiles. Our council house was in quite a state when we got it, each and every room desperately needed painting/wallpaper stripped. The walls were yellow with nicotine stains, it was disgusting. It's lovely now, and we haven't even had a chance to fix the chipped doors yet.
The smell will go, too.
Methe · 18/02/2015 21:06
decent homes standards
Have a look and make your your house complies.
bimandbam · 18/02/2015 21:10
Congratulations on your new home. Its very exciting!
Measure up the dcs rooms first then shop around for roll ends. Or look for a landlord package. It will be that cheap carpet that is a bit rough and pubic but it will do for now.
Try looking for charity shops that do large furniture if you need it. Some nice stuff in our local one for not much money.
Also try Christian aid is it? They help out families in need.
Whatever you do don't get a loan from any of the payday loans places. Or anything from brighthouse etc. If you need any finance try your local credit union.
give everywhere a good scrub. Zoflora is good for nasty whiffs. Some trade emulsion in white or magnolia will brighten everything up.
sadcasetoday · 18/02/2015 21:11
Yy to sugar soap.
IME laminate/lino is great with small children. You will want area rugs in winter but it is much easier to keep clean with dribbly little babies crawling around.
My NDN told me that when she moved into her place many years ago with two little ones, they all slept in the living room while she got the bedrooms done up.
I'm guessing that your main issue will be time, due to the 2 little ones. But you don't need a lot of money. In time you will be able to make it a lovely cosy family home.
GiddyOnZackHunt · 18/02/2015 21:12
Have a look online for remnants of carpet or vinyl on eBay or on some of the carpet shops.
RJnomore · 18/02/2015 21:12
Although it might seem like they would be more expensive, try small local companies for caroets rather than the likes of carpetwise. I've always found them much cheaper. Measure you rooms and look for ends of rolls rather than buying by the foot.
You don't need carpet everywhere, at least not at once. Pick your main rooms you need - maybe the living room and a bedroom for the kids.
Wash everything, as someone said above. If you can borrow a steamer that's good to get nicotine off - I remember our first flat, steaming wallpaper off the kitchen ceiling as fat and nicotine literally rained on us (bleurgh)
Paint is indeed cheap, and white is cheaper. It's also clean, bright and you can cover with more pricey colours later on. And it matches everything!
Main tip - don't try to do everything at once and don't get into debt. If its clean and safe for your kids, take your time to work round it. The lovely houses you mention have probably taken years to get like that!
And mostly, enjoy it.
sadcasetoday · 18/02/2015 21:14
Also ask Salvation Army, Freecycle & Facebook giveaway groups depending on your area.
HeeHiles · 18/02/2015 21:16
Also try Freecycle - see what you can pick up there, maybe concentrate on one or two rooms first, and speak to your MP to confirm about those grants, could be the council are being obstructive believe it or not?? There might also be some local charities that might be able to help you - good luck!
bettyboop1970 · 18/02/2015 21:16
Get as many friends/family you can muster to help you. Most council houses are in a shocking state, mine was and with completely overgrown garden. You will get there.
GraysAnalogy · 18/02/2015 21:19
Freecycle, pound shop, home bargains. Its the small things that bring a house together and make it a home.
Before you move in properly, go in, have all the windows and doors open and air it out. If the smell won't go they have to do something about it. They can't have you living in a smoke smelling home.
Perhaps there's a grant you can apply for? Check on local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/index.jsp?LGSL=135&
CuttedUpPear · 18/02/2015 21:22
The only carpet we could afford for quite a long time went on our stairs, as that was the place that made the most noise without it and also was the place that the DCs were most likely to fall up/down.
We have managed with rugs in all the other rooms but I know it would make the house warmer if I could afford it throughout.
We moved out of a caravan into our house so had no furniture and it took a long time to build up what we needed.
I must say it was really enjoyable though.
Hope you enjoy your new home.
MisForMumNotMaid · 18/02/2015 21:23
I second sugar soap and elbow grease. It goes a really long way. Call in favours to get people in to do a big spring clean just before/ as you go in.
Homes take time. Having bare floor isn't dangerous. Get slippers/ croc type shoes for everyone who walks. Have a rugged area for baby.
I used these interlocking floor tiles in my DC's room until I could fund proper flooring and they went in the garden under a swing. Equally they could have been used as thick underlay to carpet. They're great. Hard wearing and wipeable.
There are you tube videos for how to DIY just about everything. Even things like chipped cupboard doors can be improved upon.
Do you have pinterest? Its great for creating ideas boards for different rooms.
Don't try to tackle everything at once. You need beds for kids, curtains/ sheets over windows and somewhere to sit on day 1.
I'd tackle the lounge/ sitting room first. For me its the room you'd probably spend most family time in.
Freecycle is good for some basics that will get you started.
I purchased my kitchen and worksurfaces off ebay for £175. I've had help with fitting and repainted it (my mum helped too). Its a high end solid wood unit kitchen in a much more basic house.
I choose what i like in the shops then scour ebay/ preloved/ selling pages for the same at a fraction of the price. I wanted a sofabed for the lounge so we could put guests up. I chose it in Ikea. Within a month we'd purchased the same barely used (brought for dressing a house for sale) for £150. It had an £850 price tag.
Second hand isn't for everyone but as I see it as soon as its out the door its second hand. If I change my mind on a thrifty second hand purchase i often sell it on for more than I purchased it.
GraysAnalogy · 18/02/2015 21:23
Also, I'm not creative at all but got some really good (and dirt cheap) home ideas from pinterest.
fairgame · 18/02/2015 21:25
I had to put down remnants of my mums old carpet when i first got a council house because they don't give you carpets.
I then applied to a charity for a grant to have proper carpets put down. Are there any local charities that offer anything like that in your area?
Your health visitor might know if there are any grants or charities around.
MisForMumNotMaid · 18/02/2015 21:33
community repaint there maybe a scheme near you offering cheap paint.
On another board I'm on someone rumoured to have got the big farrow and ball tins on unused paint for £10 each.
manicmummyonadietcokebreak · 18/02/2015 21:34
I've been in my CH for over a year and with little money, I'm still making it a home, but it's getting there.
I've sanded a painted the floor boards upstairs and they look nice and Ikea Laminate is cheep and so easy to fit (I done mine myself and I'm useless at that type of thing) but borrow a jigsaw if you can.
I used acrylic paints in cheep white emulsion for colour (can't stand magnolia and White wouldn work with the LO) you only need a little and I have mixed a lovely grey and sky blue so far.
If they won't replace the kitchen they have to fix it so it's safe, unfortunately, I've found you have argue and harass to get these things done, but once it's safe you can get kitchen cuboard make over paints, loads of colour choice or if your units are the same size as an ikea units, you could replace the doors, they are not too expensive. I've done that and on the one I couldn't replace, I've painted it in chalkboard paint to use as a message board (Wilko is very cheep for chalkboard paint)
I couldn't afford to wall paper so I went to homebase and got samples of nice papers long enough to fit over some old canvases and I've got some free art to break up the painted walls.
Hope you enjoy making your house a home
meandjulio · 18/02/2015 21:36
Our council runs a Scrapstore that has all sorts of stuff including paint either free or almost free, it can be tricky to get an entire room's worth of one colour but now's the chance to have a feature wall!
Pinkandpurplehairedlady · 19/02/2015 00:12
I was in a similar situation when i moved into our house. Freecycle is fantastic - I got most of my furniture for free or cheaply from the local selling pages then when the kids were in bed I'd paint / decoupage / upcycle it.
I have cheap laminate downstairs and then upstairs is done with roll ends of carpets. As I can afford it I'm gradually replacing them with fitted ones.
It takes time to make a home.
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