So, a year on from what?!! On the 12th April 2017 we embarked on our own renovation. Just a little project! We picked up the keys and the 1930's semi detached in serious need of updating was ours. It had been a very well loved and cared for family home but needed bringing in to the current century!! We bounced in to this project with so much enthusiasm but like anyone who has embarked on this journey it is not the easiest. So I thought we would take a break from looking at the principals of design and tell you about the hard work and reality behind a renovation.
To see the project from start to finish please visit our Houzz page.
Both with full time jobs but with the invaluable help of family members the project began. Within the first week the exterior ground floor walls were demolished, the floors were ripped up (houses of this era usually have hallow floors which needed filling up for the layers for underfloor heating), the old garage had been taken down, the garden levelled, everything inside ripped out and all by 2 and a half (me been the half) eager people. We were flying!! I was in charge of wallpaper stripping!! Not the greatest of jobs but not much demolition for girls! Weather was good, everything was on track, we even managed to have a little holiday. Then the rain came. What should have taken 3 weeks to build the extension took 6 and then the ripple effect started!! The roofers weren't available, the plasterer was fully booked and we were a man down in labour! We tried to stay positive but like any build the costs were going up and we were wondering if we were going to spend more than what the house was worth!!
As an Interior Designer I was always focusing on the end product, the Interiors, but "my pot" was quickly depleting! I was so worried that we would run out and not be able to finish the house to the standard I was hoping for.
Finish dates kept passing us by (4 in total) and tensions were starting to show. Everyone was absolutely exhausted. As much as we knew this would happen I thought we were prepared (we watch a lot of Grand Designs) but eventually the house was in a "fit state" for us to move in.
Now a year on what are my thoughts?!! Would I do it again, yes. Would I change anything, yes. Was it worth is, yes. It may not be the forever home (would love to build a house from scratch and be on Grand Designs) but for now, what we have achieved in such a short space of time is phenomenal and we love it! Yes it was hard work but we wanted to live in somewhere completely original. Ours! We had chosen it, designed it and built it.
A few tips to daring folk wishing to tackle a renovation. Research, research, and research!! Look at options, costs, lists, prepare and plan everything and then add on a bit more time and money and you should be fine! See part of our journey below.