This blog post is all about the plans for the rest of the house and what we would like to achieve this year. I’m not going to hold either of us to any of the projects outlined as nobody knows what could pop up out of the blue and eat into our budget (like a 10 night getaway with a private villa and pool perhaps), so some of these tasks could well fall into 2019. As much as I hope that they don’t, we need to be realistic as funds are limited.
Let’s start with upstairs. Well, basically the whole of the upstairs needs renovating. End of Blog. No seriously, where do we start!? We had two of the main bedrooms plastered late last year in preparation for decorating, but Christmas got in the way, so now we are re-focusing on these rooms in particular. Ian has been doing what he does best and performing some general DIY tasks, he’s added the picture rail back (to give it that period character we love), and all the walls have received their first coat of paint (albeit standard white).
The only one thing stopping us progressing with these rooms now is the decision to either move the water tank in the second bedroom to the loft (my preferred option) or box it in with a door for access (the cheaper alternative). We are looking into both to see what the best option is long term, we are trying to learn from our mistakes from the early days and not make any rash decisions. Decisions like plastering a bedroom before deciding whether to move a water tank or not (eye roll). It feels like a long time since we had a beautiful bedroom to sleep in, and also not having a spare room for guests is not ideal. Hopefully, we can make an informed decision ASAP and crack on with both our bedroom and the spare bedroom.
The 3rd bedroom (which is a small box room) is used as a dressing room currently and this just requires cosmetic changes but we aim to do all 3 rooms together so this room will have to wait until all decisions are made. We also need furniture for all 3 bedrooms as our current furniture is falling to pieces.
Let’s talk about the Bathroom. Possibly the worse room in the house. I can’t wait to rip it out and replace it with a brand spanking new one. There is a lot of work to be done in this room as we are aiming for an entirely new layout (fingers crossed there won’t be any obstacles). I have finally managed to convince Ian to let me have a roll top bath, and we also want to move the bath under the window. We will opt not to have a shower in the re-fit as we will happily use the shower room downstairs. I like the idea of having a classic/traditional look in the ‘new’ bathroom. It’s more than likely this work will take place in the autumn as it is going to come with a big price tag no doubt!
Downstairs there are going to be some significant changes coming! We have pretty much decided that we will be knocking the two reception rooms into one. There are several reasons for doing this, one of the main reasons is to let as much light into the current living room as possible. The front of the house is south facing so receives all the sunlight, and it is such a waste having a room with so much light and only using it occasionally. The other reason is that it will give us a bigger, more open living space. We are finding as we live in the house, the only time we use the front reception room is for formal dinners. When we had everyone round on Boxing Day, we set all the food out on the dining room table, everyone took their food and headed back into the kitchen or living room to socialise, so it is just such a waste. We tried using it as a living room when we first moved in but it’s not quite big enough to use solely for this purpose.
We also need to replace the existing gas fireplace with either a wood burner or real fire (to be decided), but all of this work will need to be done together, so we are treating it as one project.
The other costly job downstairs is replacing the front door. It’s my biggest bugbear in the house. You may have heard me talk (moan) a few (several) times about this atrocity. Why anyone would remove an original period door and replace it with a uPVC door, I will never know. I feel the house will only regain its character once the front door is replaced with a traditional bespoke wooden door, and I for one can’t wait for the day when this happens.
We also plan to do some work in the garden this year. The first job is to fill the raised beds on the patio with soil and add some planting. We would love to get the garden landscaped, well at least get a brick edge around the borders and the garden re-turfed. Most of the work we do in the garden will be done by ourselves to keep costs down, but I do worry if I will have the patience to do a lot of this myself. We need to invest in more shrubs and evergreens this year as the garden lacks any all year round interest. We do love a trip to a garden centre so looking forward to getting in the garden and making it look stunning!
Front of house, we need to finish the driveway and paint the pebbledash, but these are the last jobs to do and will be done once all the garden landscaping has been done. To be honest, this is more than likely a job for 2019 but let’s see how things go!
How we going to pay for all of this you’re probably asking yourself?! Well, we’re saving the best we can but will probably have to take some money out of the house to get all of this work done when we come to re-mortgage. As much as I don’t want to remove equity from the house, we simply won’t have the funds to do all the jobs that need to be done in the next 12 months, and we are both getting inpatient. My thinking is, whenever you do things in the home, you are simply re-investing your money long term. It’s essential that any money we save we use to improve the house where possible. As much as we would like that 10 days in the sun I mentioned earlier, we will get more satisfaction all year round from spending our money wisely in the home and creating a better space that works for us.