Here we are in Month three of the Old House Renovations and I’m back into school mode, working full-time as a primary school teacher. My daughter has started university, away from home and my son has started sixth form. There has a lot been happening in our lives! But, this post is going to disappoint many of you. Believe me, I’m more than disappointed! However, I started this blog wanting to be honest and I will be, so here are how the renovations of the Old House are progressing in Month Three.
This post is not the one I wanted to write. I wanted to show you all amazing progress and some block work but alas, no. We’ve had to put the main build on hold and it’s sad, disappointing, annoying, stressful….I could go on. In fact, I didn’t know how, or if I was going to write this post as I feel like we have failed before we’ve even started! I now have a building site where my patio was and no immediate way of moving forward.
Disappointing, stressful yet honest.
There have been a couple of reasons for delaying the build. Firstly, the drainage issues we had last month cost us a lot more than we thought. In fact, it’s wiped out our contingency fund completely. Over 150 tonnes of rubble were taken out of this space in the end and it took 8 weeks to sort out. The shower room has also cost much more than we originally planned but we had to get this finished. There was no point having a half-finished bathroom! We needed to make sure we had enough money before moving onto the next stage. There is no point ordering the oak frame and glass if we can’t afford to put the roof on! It’s so disappointing but what else could we do?
Secondly, we didn’t have all the final paperwork from the Listed Building people so couldn’t proceed anyway, even if we had the money. There were a few minor questions that they wanted answers for before we could build. For example, they wanted to know the exact lime that would be used for the mortar on the brick work. Thankfully, we have had the very final go ahead now so everything is in place to start building. The only problem is, we don’t have quite enough money. It’s maddening.
Jobs that have been finished.
This month, there have been a few jobs that have been completed that I can share with you. We have paid for the three Georgian windows at the front of the house to be repaired. As a listed building, you have to respect every part of the house and this includes the original sash windows. You can’t just rip them out and put new ones in. This was a necessary job as we couldn’t close or open two of the windows! After opening one in March, it then stuck! Each window has cost just short of £1000 so this wasn’t a cheap job. As much of the wood was rotten, panes were cracked and the sashes didn’t work we felt this was money well spent. Now, they look amazing! We used a local company and were really pleased with the finished result. We feel with Winter around the corner, this wasn’t a job that could be left.
We have a new boiler! Hooray! Just in time I say, as it’s been quite cold hasn’t it? Obviously, this was quite expensive and with all the work in the new bathroom, the plumber had a hefty bill which we needed to pay. At least, going into Winter, we have a warm and cosy home!
Our son has a new bedroom
We needed new windows in our sons room as the old ones fell apart when the carpenter took them out to repair them! They were completely rotten, weren’t even fixed into the window space and were packed with cement. They definatetly weren’t the original windows. No wonder it was so cold and damp in his room! He now has lovely new windows. We decorated his room, bought new bedding and a funky, red lampshade. The carpenter has built wardrobes in all the bedrooms which look amazing. I’m just need some time to paint them all which will probably be a Christmas holiday job. I’ll show you the wardrobes when they are completely finished. It’s just so lovely to have enough storage for all our clothes again!
The new shower room
This room is tiny but has taken weeks and more money than we had budgeted for, to sort out. I’m pleased with it though and it makes such a difference having two bathrooms in the house! Our other bathroom is downstairs so not ideal when you need the toilet in the middle of the night! I wanted a tidy and functional shower room using all the space available and I feel we have that. It was never going to be an easy space but it’s turned out much better than I expected.
It’s actually been good for me to write this post as I can actually see progress in the other jobs around the house! The main build may be on hold but at least some things have been done.
I’ve no idea what will happen next. There is nothing planned or anything in the diary to be honest, so there may be nothing to report in a month! However, I’m hoping a money fairy may visit the Old House or a money tree may grow in our beautiful garden! We always knew things wouldn’t be easy with this project but I hope you will continue to pop back and check on our progress. It will be stunning when it’s all completed! Thanks for reading folks!
A blog about the renovation of our old house and it’s garden in the English countryside. I also blog about interiors, general gardening tips and visits to glorious gardens.