THE RENOVATION: WEEKS 5, 6, 7 & 8

Confession time… I have done a bad. I have been lax and I missed a bi-weekly renovation blog update at week 6…!!

But to make up for it, this post is going to be an extra special one and we will cover off a whole month in one go…

Although, in all honestly, I need to work out what has actually happened over the last 4 weeks… so much has changed that it is all a bit of a blur.

What I do know is that these last 4 weeks have been more challenging than the first. We have had upset neighbours, snow and freezing temperatures to contend with and truth be told it’s not been all that easy.

The weather is what it is, what can you do. I mean no one would have predicted that we would have had snow and -8 temps on 1st March would they!?!? So consequently, all of the tools went down and Mr Weather delayed us by a week in week 7.  Such is life though and given that we started the build mid January, I think we are doing very well to have only had one weeks set back so far… I will take that!!

Living in Santana the static through that weather however was really tough. I am sure I have mentioned before, but we don’t have any central heating in Santana, so we rely soley on oil heaters.

In normal circumstances, the oil heaters do actually pack a punch but they clearly weren’t designed for heating up a tin can when it is -8 outside… it was cold!! Then all of our water froze… no shower, no toilet, no sinks. So at that point we gave up and bailed out. We went to stay with my parents and friends for 5 days… it was bliss being back in an actual house… you actually forget what it’s like!!

On to the neighbours… well this one is more of a challenge. I suppose given what we are doing to the house, it is understandable that we wouldn’t be flavour of the month on our road… dealing with it though is hard.

That said, I am just trying to keep smiling and do my best to keep the peace. The build is noisy and visually quite alarming if you aren’t used to seeing houses with no walls, floors and ceilings. However, in a couple of weeks most of the house externally will be put back together and the work will then move inside, which will be a lot easier for everyone. So, I basically just hope that we can get through it and that once it is done we can all move forward… amicably.

Anyway, enough negative nancy from me… it’s not my style to dwell on the rubbish, so onwards and upwards to everything great that’s happened over the last month…

We have now built the whole of the extension (woo hoo)… both the ground floor and first floor, which is absolutely epic!! It was a real moment when we saw the space completed for the first time. We have literally been planning and talking about this for over a year now, so to see it in reality was an amazing feeling.

We have also put the attic floor back in, which we lowered to get a little more head height in the attic. We had originally asked for planning permission to put a dormer window in the attic, which would have made a humongous difference but unfortunately it got rejected. So, it still isn’t the biggest space in the world but it has helped and it has now taken the house from a 2 bed to a 3 bed… which is great for our end value!!

The main roof has also come off and all of roof joists have been re-fitted. The roof joists over the new first floor extension have also been fitted and we are now ready for the roofers to start putting the slate back on.

We had very thick Welsh slate on our roof before and the plan is to try and salvage as much of it as possible to put in back on. It is expensive stuff, so the less we need to buy the better!!

The garage has been semi demolished, ready to be transformed into a little garden room/ maybe a gym if we have any money left at the end of this (highly unlikely)!! Although, one of the builders suggested we put a sauna in there the other day… now there is an idea!!

We have also now ordered the windows, bi-folding doors and the roof lantern for the extension… all should be with us in a few weeks, which is great, as as soon as we get those we will be able to make the house fully water tight and secure again!!

 

The windows however to come with a bit of a story and they have caused us a bit of jip over the last few weeks… thats to put in mildly…

In a nutshell, when we got our planning permission approved, it came with a condition that all of our windows has to be wooden windows.

However, we didn’t really want to put in wooden windows (all of our neighbours have plastic upvc windows) and we wanted to put in conservation approved composite windows that are made to look like painted wood.  

So we appealed. Two weeks ago our appeal was rejected. 

Given our whole street has white plastic windows, we thought we had a strong case and we hadn’t planned on being rejected. So, the race was then on to find a wooden window manufacturer that could make us our windows in a couple of weeks… not an easy task!!

But we did it and I have actually just had a call to say that some of them might even be ready this week!! EEEEK!!

Over the last few weeks, Doug and I have also spent hours and hours and hours pouring over Pinterest, Instagram and house magazines to plan every inch of the house. We have been planning everything… layouts of stud walls and furniture, electrics, flooring, tiling, finishes, bathrooms, kitchen… the list is endless and my head is actually spinning most of the time!!

We have been focusing on the kitchen a lot, as finding the right layout for it is proving to be a bit of a pain in the bum… it’s caused a few sleepless nights!!

As they say though, the kitchen is the heart of the home… so it getting it right is definitely critical.

When it comes to designing, we are basically our own worst enemy because we are so particular and so blumming fussy!! Two traits that make any decision making a proper ordeal!! It’s fine when it’s not our house, I can make design decisions easy peasy… but as soon as it’s ours I get carried away and I over analyse every tiny detail.

I am also a really visual person… so layout wise I have to physically see something before I can decide if it’s right… drawing it on a bit of paper doesn’t cut the mustard for me… so hence the hours pouring over photos of other people’s houses!!

We will get there though (because we have too) and as much as much as my head spins, I do absolutely love this part. It’s such a privilege to have the opportunity to lay out every inch of your home and it is so exciting.

I can’t wait to see it all come together… which is essentially what the next few weeks are going to bring. All these ideas in my head are going to come to life!!

This week the roofers are with us putting the main roof and first floor roof on and then next week we put the flat roof on the extension and we start to put all of the stud walls up internally. At that point I always think a house starts to feel more like a home… you can see your rooms and visualise things a lot easier, so I am really excited for that.

Although that does also mean I need to nail the kitchen plan this week… no pressure at all.

That’s probably about it for the story of the last few weeks… a mixed bag but even despite a few set backs it’s still absolutely amazing and I am loving every second.

Thank you for sticking with me and sharing this journey with me… it definitely makes it all that more exciting having you along for the ride.

Until next time…

Gem xx

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