It’s been 4 years since we moved into our house. We loved the house as soon as we saw it, but at the same time were aware that it would need some work. The mortgage was a stretch for us, doubling what we were paying previously, so we also knew we would have to be patient with some of the projects until we were able to afford it.
In November, our boiler broke down. What was a bit of a blow was that when we bought the house that it was only two years old and it turns out it was actually twelve. The whole system needed updating and was close to being condemned, the water tank also needed to be changed and it was a big project. It was going to cost thousands and the dreams of all we wanted to do in the house seemed to be getting further away.
So my husband and I sat down and worked out what we wanted to do, how much we could do ourselves and decided to start pricing things out and looking at options. We were going to have to take out a small loan for the boiler and in the end, decided to increase the loan to cover some of the bigger projects we wanted to undertake at the same time. In order to afford it, we looked at some of our outgoings and where we could reduce costs. Bo finally getting his free nursery hours helped and we also made the decision to get rid of our cleaner.
Our boiler was replaced in November and it was actually a good job we have priced for some of the bigger projects because it turned out our water tank had a slow leak and when it was removed ended up damaging our lounge ceiling. Cracking it and leaving water stains.
Lounge and Dining Room
The biggest project of all is to update our lounge and dining room. It is the biggest space in the house and the area we spend the most amount of time in. It had a large MDF construction around the chimney breast that was built to hold a large plasma TV for the previous owners. I really hated it and thought of it as very 90s Changing Room style, it was originally painted red and we did change the colour to make it a bit more in keeping with our style, for when we got our new sofas from Sofology. The whole room was papered with lining paper and had very outdated up-lighters on the walls. The top photo actually makes it look much better than it did in real life and if really needed updating. The lounge has wooden flooring and a rather sad looking carpet in the dining room.
We started working on this room before Christmas, the walls have been stripped of all of the lining paper, and the up-lighters have been removed from the walls. We have now ripped out the huge MDF construction and could not believe how much space it took up. We are going to add a contemporary mantlepiece and tile around it. We’ve now had both rooms and the lounge ceiling re-plastered which has made a huge difference and I’ve planned new updated lighting. Next, I need to decide on the wall colours.
We had originally planned to have the carpet removed from the dining room and get a company to match the wooden flooring through from the lounge. But on greater inspection, it was clear that the wooden floor we had was really poor quality and it all needed to come up. Uneven and damaged. We’ve just agreed to the contract with a flooring firm to take up the floor which extends out into the hall and lay oak engineered flooring all through, which I’m really excited about.
As we’re now also doing the hall flooring we have decided to give it a fresh coat of paint in the hall beforehand too. But I want to have a bold feature colour going up the stairs and our bannisters are half stained and white and we’re going to paint them all white. I am hoping I might even be able to put a new carpet on the stairs, but we will have to see how the budgets go!
Pond in the Back Garden
We live on a corner plot, so we have two rear gardens and in one part of the garden is a large pond with a lovely water feature. The pump on the water feature has broken and the electrics out there are a little concerning, so we have stopped using it. The pond also makes me nervous with young children. We put a gate across the area last year, but Bo still managed to open it and fall in. As neither my husband nor I are into ponds it’s quite overgrown and a mess now.
In the summer we are going to have the pond taken out, the water feature re-sited, a new pump and the electrics set up correctly. In the space where the pond is, we’re going to have a new patio laid to make better use of the space and also keep it low maintenance.
The front garden has also become quite overgrown. It also has a water feature in it that no longer works or has been known to trip the house electrics. So we want that taken out. The weed membrane no longer works and the stones are riddled with weeds and needs replacing. So we’re going to have all of that up, the membrane replaced, and a new neater front garden put in place.
As you can see it’s quite a big project and at the moment our downstairs is a huge mess. A lot of it is boxed up in our bedroom or in the loft and as the flooring isn’t booked in until April so it’s going to be like that for a little while yet. In between booking this work and the project start, I have managed to hurt my back, so a lot of it is falling on my poor husband. This week my aim is to get lots of paint samples and decide what colours to paint downstairs. If you want to follow the project in more details, do make sure to follow my Instagram stories.