24 June 2015

Our renovation story Part 1 - Our new home

Some of you may know that we are renovating. Renovation might not be the right word for it though - but I can't think of another word that would capture the over-bearing and all-consuming mammoth in the room. 

To address that I thought it would be nice to write about it here in my blog as well. Let you in on our little (huge) project, and show you what is happening and where we are going (sometimes it feels nowhere). There is so much to update and tell you about, and pictures to share as well. Warning though, the pictures won't be pretty or stylised. Renovation is ugly work. I figures it would be nice to share our journey and write weekly about what has been happening in the house. Starting from the very beginning...  







On 22nd May 2015 we got the keys to our new home. The same afternoon we went back to take full stock of the situation. We bought the place knowing full well there would be a big modernisation project ahead. The house was initially up for a silly amount, but eventually the scale of the renovation project was reflected on the price. 

When we first viewed the house we liked it. Pretty much everything in the inside was wrong, outdated, in disrepair even, but it had potential. We could see it could become a beautiful house if someone who had a vision would move in. It was big, with high ceilings and big open windows. What we knew is that it would require a lot of money and graft, and made an offer well below the asking price, negotiated a while and then made the final take-it-or-leave-it offer. It was taken. 

There is only so much you get to know on that first and second visit to the house. And only so much a full building survey tells you. When we got back to the house we started inspecting. What to do, where to go, where to start with. My husband started ripping the curtains and carpets off. We measures, walked in the space, and thought - "What have we let ourselves in for? Could we still back out?". 

The answers to those questions were a lot of trouble and stress, and no. This was it. Could we really afford it? Well, we could not not afford it. As is often the case it felt like our hearts and desires had bigger plans than our wallets, but you have to do with what you have. There were so many things to do though that it felt like our budget would just about cover us. Just about. If there were no surprises to come...





Next week - Surprises...


Is anyone else doing renovations? Or anything large-scale? Words of encouragement and peer support would come pretty handy right now!


Check my renovation series here:
Part 1 - Our new home
Part 2 - Surprises
Part 3 - Project management



29 comments:

  1. You're right it's definitely got potential and that's the best thing you can buy (well apart from a house already done - but where's the fun in that?!) Renovating is hard work though - physically and emotionally, we had quite a bit of work done in our house a couple of years ago and it brought me to tears (sorry if you're not at that stage yet). I'd seen the TV programmes where people had a melt down and thought they were being daft, but experiencing it myself even on a smaller scale made me realise they weren't daft at all. It's where you live, you want it to be right and living amongst it and continuing your usual working live is hard. But it is SO worth it in the end, so stick in there - it's going to be fab! Looking forward to seeing how it turns out and am hoping the surprises aren't the show stopping kind x #HomeEtc

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    1. Hmm... There has definitely been a few moments where we have been close to tears. Not me so much, but hubby who has had to deal with the brunt of it all while I am typing away at my cushy office job as he is doing the house work... It is tough definitely!

      I think it is quite surprising how emotional it can be, but you have invested so much money and time, and the constant worrying takes it toll. I've been told by so many people that you have to be really careful as it can take a toll on your marriage/partnership too.

      We will manage.. We'll have to :)

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  2. Mielenkiintoista seurata tätä kotiprojektia! :)

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  3. Yay a fellow renovationer!! I too share your fears and worries, and I started my blog only as a means of sharing our home improvement journey so that we can look back in years to come and remember how it once was. At the same time, I agree with Stephanie that it's much more fun to take something and make it your own. It will feel challenging so much of the time and you'll probably find more wrong than right in the beginning but every little step, no matter how small, will feel like a huge triumph. Good luck with the journey #HomeETc X

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    1. Hah, I am glad you found your way here! I'll have to pop over to your blog to see your home improvement journey and give some virtual support to a fellow renovationer :) I am excited at how the house will look when finished (now at a totally gutted stage it is looking better than when we bought it which speaks for itself...). It is just that with these old houses there are surprises lurking around every corner... And thanks, we need luck! :)

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  4. Don't despair Sanna! Take it one step at a time. What I tried to keep in mind when we bought our house and found it needed more renovation that we'd assumed was that someone had been living in it. It wasn't unsafe, leaky or draughty. It needed work,yet, but it could be done room by room. You get used to the dust and mess and it feels fantastic once you finish a room and see your own stamp on it. Our renovation brought me to tears a few times too, but I love the house and it has proved to us that it had the potential we thought.
    Stick with it. Let your frustration out on smashing tiles off walls and take it one thing at a time.
    #HomeEtc
    Fionnuala from www.threesonslater.blogspot.com

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    1. Baby steps, baby steps... :) At the moment we are trying to take as huge steps as possible so we can move in, as we have had to do a lot of the basics like re-wiring and new pipework. And unfortunately there are a few bits which are unsafe for kids so we can't move in until that has been sorted. So we might have to stay at Nanny's if work gets delayed... But eventually I am hoping the place will look fabulous! :) It is tough work living in while renovating, hats off to you :)

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    2. If it is unsafe, best to keep the kids out. You are right there. Chin up though, it will be worth it in the end.

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  5. Oman kodin remonttia on taallakin tehty, sittenpa saa ainakin sellaisen asunnon kun haluaa (naihin UK-taloihin kyllastyneena...). Omassa remontissa ei tiedetty muuttaessa ihan tarkkaan mita tehdaan osalle taloa, mutta kun talossa asuu & elaa hetken, niin ajatuksen selveni.

    good luck!

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    1. No sanos muuta. Meillä lähtee kaikki lattiapölynkerääjät huit helvettiin ja bambuparketti tilalle :) Meillä on kans kaks lean-to rakennetta mistä ei tiedetä vielä mitä tehdään niille, pitkällä aikavälillä varmaan revitään pois ja uudelleenrakennetaan, mut mietitään vielä. Kiitoksia onnentoivotuksista :)

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  6. Muutto menossa ja maalari sai juuri hommat loppuun, eilen löytyi syy miksi asunnossa oli sen tyhjennettya torakoita, onneksi ja niiden tie tukittiin. Huomenna viela myrkytys, siivous ja pe aamuna tulee muuttomiehet ja viikonloppu menee paikkoja laitellessa. Innolla seuraan teidan remppaa ja remppakuulumisia. Tsemppia!

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    1. O-ou, onneksi löytyi syy, ne on kyl niin vihoviimeisiä elukoita, asuin kerran kämpässä joka oli ihan torakoiden vallassa :( Asuivat seinissä eikä niitä saanut sieltä kunnolla pois omin voimin. Tsemppiä teille muuttoon, jänniä aikoja edessä! :)

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  7. Ooh, good luck! Are you going to do it all in one go, or a little at a time? We haven't done any massive restoration projects, but we've owned two period terraces now which have needed lots of updating and on-going maintenance - like new windows, bathrooms, kitchens etc. Period properties offer such amazing potential, but they do always have little surprises lurking under the surface! Last year we decided to rip up our hall carpet and sand the floorboards. Instead of a simple job, we discovered all the joists had rotted away and the old floor was essentially floating on one tiny support - argh! Looking forward to seeing more of your renovation x #HomeEtc

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    1. Thank you :) We are doing as much as possible in one go - we aren't living there yet. Because we have a toddler and there are some unsafe areas for children we can't really take her there before that is sorted. I do love period properties and mixing period features with modern touches, but the problem is that there are surprises. Years of neglect would do that. And wow, what a terrible surprise! That is really horrible, but probably good thing you discovered it before anyone got hurt! Were the air bricks blocked up or did you find the reason?

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  8. It's got lots of potential and will be worth it in the end! We did just the same in our second house, living in the bedroom for almost a year. It was worth it in the end! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do - good luck lovely X #HomeEtc xx

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    1. We are trying to get the bedrooms sorted before moving in, but we have some structural work to do like new staircase, so it is a pretty big project... It is tough living in when renovating, we did that two years back and it was so stressful :(

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  9. Good luck! We've been renovating since we moved in last October, and we've nearly completed our first phase. We move at snails pace evidently! The ongoing work and constant mess drives you mae, but when it all starts to take shape it becomes all worth it. I love that our flat looks completely different and we've been able to put our own stamp on it. x

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    1. Congratulations! It is always exciting when you complete something :) It does take ages doesn't it, it is just terribly slow all the renovations and there are always some sort of trouble, or workmen disappearing. We are really looking forward to moving in our new pretty home, that'll make the hassle feel worth it :)

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  10. Me ollaan justiinsa maalattu / tapetoitu seinät ja katot, uusittiin olohuoneen lattia + puhkastiin kulkuaukko sinne, ja vielä ois koko kylpyhuoneosaston remppa alla! Eli tiedän tunteet...

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    1. No teillä on kanssa ollut aikamoista vilskettä ja puuhaa siellä. Toi on kyllä niin vihoviimeistä kun kaikki paikat pölyssä, ja kaikki kadoksissa. Me toivotaan että me saadaan pian valmiiksi, tsemppiä sinne teillekin päin kylppäriremppaan! :)

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  11. Aaah we have been on this same path!! Stick with it — you're *definitely* doing the right thing!! :) It may seem like an insurmountable task at the moment but when you're finished you'll have your home exactly as you want it! x Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you again tomorrow!

    Caro | www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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    1. It really does feel so big - and there has been lots of things that have happened at the house by now which will make it look amazing once it is done. Can't wait for it to be finished! (and finally move in :) ) Thanks for hosting!

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  12. Yes been here MANY times!! So hard but amazing once done. We have been on this same path!! Stick with it because you're definitely doing the best thing!! :) Jess x Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you again tomorrow!

    #HomeEtc

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    1. It will be quite a transformation for this house - we have already heard some of our neighbours mentioning how much better it looks now than before (and it is still in a fully gutted stage! :D ). It is a lot of work though... Thanks for hosting and see you again with the new link up :)

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  13. I feel your pain! We just finished a build which took around 10 weeks in total. Me and the kids moved out for 7 weeks leaving daddy at home which was tough. But.... I promise you, it'll all be worth it. Good luck! X MMT

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    1. This really is taking forever... So much that needs to be done, and a lot of it is being done by the hubby as well. We are hoping to move in in August properly - bought the house at the end of May! Thank you for the kinds words of encouragement :)

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  14. A proper construction and renovation always gives a valuable look to a place, whether it may be a home or an office or any other. Before build or renovate a home a house holder should be aware and posses sufficient knowledge about this as it is a costly and longtime investment. Always try to concern a experienced master builder near to you.

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    1. Very true :) We use specialists for the important jobs, like electrics, and try to do the easy bits DIY :)

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