It was October 2020, we had not long finished renovating our last house from top to bottom in the space of 18 months and we had sold up and moved on to this next project. The plan here is to renovate again and then stay here for at least the next few years.
We received an alert on our phone that the house had come available on the market. This was approximately August 2020. It was a lovely sunny day and it was just before lunch. The UK was currently out of lockdown and we were heading to grab some shopping. Within minutes we were on the phone to arrange a viewing. We made a sharpish U-turn and headed straight for the house as the Agent was able to be there in 15 minutes. It was ideal! It was in the location that we wanted and in close proximity to both of the boys’ school’s. It needed modernising, so again, we were glad that we would be able to put our touch on it and make it completely ours. We made an offer of the full asking price there and then. It was on for a good price and we felt that we just didn’t need to haggle as with what we already had planned after just that intial 20 minute viewing, would give us more than enough back. Plus, this one wasn’t really for the money, it was going to be our actual home and everything felt right.
On to October, and we collected our keys. Far from the beautiful sunny day from when we first saw the property, it was now much colder, cloudy and although it wasn’t raining on the day that we moved, it had been raining for the past few days so the ground was still quite wet.
We excitedly parked our large rented van, full of our wordly possessions, on the drive, walked up the landscaped, shingled garden path and excitedly put the key in the door.
We were home…… Despite the decor being old-fashioned and like we had travelled back in time to 1970, it was lovely and clean and immediately had that “homely” feel.
Fast forward to today and we have already fully renovated all 3 upstairs bedrooms and as per our recent blog, we have now completed the main bathroom:
What was next??????
We needed more space!!!! We wanted to create a separate room downstairs as a part-time guest room but mainly a music room to hang the guitars and also a space where our eldest son can have and play his drum kit (he’s awesome)!!
So, the plan is to use, what is currently the kitchen, for this space. We wanted to put a single-storey brick extension to the rear for the property which will be 7m x 3m and then take out the current large patio doors from the Lounge, so that it flows out to a new kitchen/diner area and to create a large open-plan downstairs.
However………This has taken it’s toll on us!!!!! We knew what we wanted, we knew our budget and we knew that we can do a lot of the internal work and finishing ourselves (Dry-walling, plumbing and drainage, adding the additional radiators, general decorating etc). What we couldn’t do ourselves is build the actual structure. We needed a professional. Cutting a long long story short…………….. It has taken 5 months!!! Various quotations due to them being so so far apart in price, the reliability of some trades-people and scheduling issues, have all been reasons for this frustrating delay. In fact, the bit that we were worrying about the most, which was the consent from building control and understanding that process, has been the easiest and most simple part!
Anyway, this week……………. WE HAVE BEGUN!!!!
We found a building firm that we felt were very reasonable in terms of price, they managed to also fit us in within a couple of months as we were just needing “the shell” of the build doing, and they have been great at communicating and very reliable so far.
In just 3 days, all of the footings have been excavated and the main bulk of the groundworks are complete, and whilst our back garden now currently resembles what can only be described as someting from the trenches of WW2, we are so pleased with the fast progress and we are actually allowing ourselves to feel excited. I believe that the plan next will be to fill the “trenches” with cement and then the structure itself can commence.
We have decided that we will post a weekly update of the build and progress report so that we can take you on this little journey with us.
If you have any questions or even any tips and advice along the way, then please let us know. We love to interact and we love the idea of having a community so don’t be shy.