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About this blog

Something to keep us busy till we find a plot of land to build our home.

Entries in this blog

Finished at last!

Well, at last we have finished our renovation and have had an offer that we have accepted.   It took longer to get here than we ever thought, over 17months, but I think it was worth it.  After Christmas and our little party, we had the estate agent in who had already sold one of the neighbours houses and before we knew it, the photographer was there and the next day it was online!  we still had a few snags to sort out but we soon had those done, apart from the wooden mantle for the lou

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Kitchen done but snagging galore!

I am really hoping that this will be the penultimate blog on our renovation!  The Kitchen is finished (apart from a couple of things) and the place is really starting to look nearly finished.  As we aproached Christmas, we decided to have a nibbles and drinks for the neighbours on Christmas Eve, to give everyone a nose around and say hi properly.  we say hello as we pass but thats usually as far as it goes.  It was a good thing to do as we then had the incentive to crack on with the tiling and f

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Light at the end of the renovation tunnel.

Finally!!  At last there seems to be light at the end of the renovation tunnel.  We had planned to have the house finished and up for sale by spring 2017 but that did not happen.  Then the deadline was summer but no such luck ,  everything seems to take twice as long to do than planned.  But at last we are nearing the finish line.  The kitchen arrived at the end of October from Howdens and I thought we'd have it all fitted within a couple of weeks.  Yet here we are nearing the end of November an

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

We have a bathroom!

Wow, I cannot believe its 4 months since the last blog entry.  Life has just been busy, busy, busy and for a while, there didnt seem to be much to report, even though we have been busy.  The bedrooms have been plastered and painted, skirting fixed and the bedrooms doors have been bought and are awaiting fixing.  The best thing was finally gettitng the bathroom fitted. Its been a while since we had a working loo and while the 'portaloo' in the cellar was adequate, the new one is fab! Fist we

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Floors, plastering and time to recover!

Its been a while since the last blog and lots has happened.  We'd been busy with other things and planned to crack on with the house but while on the way to our house a couple of weeks ago, the OH was hit by a car which failed to give way at a junction.  He was riding his cycle, got thrown up and across the road, landing on his head.  Luckily, nothing was coming the other way, and he was wearing a helmet which took a lot of the impact and somehow, apart from lots of scrapes, his main limbs were

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Plasterboarding newbie and the lounge loses its floor.

Some of the plaster of the bedrooms was very loose and severl months ago, I stripped these areas, leaving any sound plaster.  However, this has left me with very uneven walls.    The plasterer suggested that we apply plasterboard to the walls and then he'd come in and skim over, making it all look nice (hopefully).  But before we could apply the plasterboard, I had to get the walls to the same depth or the dots/dabs would be huge in some areas.  So I decided to use the piece

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

New floors and a new stud wall - shame about the ceiling....

We seem to have made huge strides in the last two weeks with both of us spending a good amount of time at the house.  The pipes have been laid ready for the radiator as well as the lights for the downstairs lights.     To try to get the rooms ready for skimming, we needed to sort out the bedroom floors.  they were a mish mash of old boards, some damaged where we'd lifted them (tongue and groove is hard to lift without lifting them all).  So we took the decision to replace t

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Lights, ceilings and skips full of wood......

Well the kitchen wall has gone and we love the extra space - shame its only for a while till the bathroom wall gets put back.  Our neighbour needed somewhere to store her old sofa and asked if we could keep it for a while so the room is now half full with that.  It gives us somewhere comfy to sit in front of the wood burner but it is a pain wehen we have to move it back and forward.  Luckily we are concentrating on the upstirs so its not getting moved often.   Most of the last couple 

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Going, going, gone! The back wall, that is.

Not a lot happened over Christmas and New year while we waited for the builder, Patrick, to arrive to remove the pillar between the kitchen extention and the middle room.  We initially decided to not remove the pillar but after great thought, it seemed to be the best thing - it would create more light into the dark middle room and hopefully it would make the kitchen easier to fit out.  And at a cost of around £2k it was a large chunk of the budget.  This is the view across the room, into th

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Rendered, painted and some heat!

Things have been moving forward last month with the render on the gable wall finished.  I think it looks great and so I was able to get it painted as we have had such good weather!  Three coats on the new bits and one coat on the rest.  And the idiot that I am, I have no photographs of the finished work from up the scaffolding.  You will just have to take my word that it looks really good!    But with autumn here and winter arriving far too quickly, it was becoming clear that we needed

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Building work starts at last.

Tuesday was the date given and, yippee, he turned up and got started.  By the end of day, the render at the top of the gable had been removed so we could see the area that was bowed out.  We were all a bit suprised to find that the actual wall was quite sound. we thought it would be fairly loose but it wasnt and the render was sound too.  So the decision was made to only remove the top 18'' which is the main part bowed out.  The cracked render would be opened up, re-rendered and I will paint the

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Lots of Odds and Ends and decisions to make.

Well another month has passed and the OH is now only 2 months away from retiring.  He can't wait to get cracking on the house full time - no rest for the wicked. We have been doing various things, fitting in with our usual work but nothing major; we are waiting for the builder to arrive to start the outside work. the scaffolding has been up for 2 weeks and the builder should have been there at the beginning of the month but its nearly the end of Sept and no sign yet.  I have been chasing him

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Western Distribution, Building control and too much water.

Sometimes I wonder if this building lark is the right thing to do - both myself and the OH had a disturbed sleep last night.  He was up around 3-4am, unable to sleep and around 5 it was my turn, worrying about the water in the cellar.  And we are just renovating; what will it be like if we get to do our self build - one night without sleep and I'm a very grumpy bear, how will I cope with a couple of years! Maybe I should ask how will the OH cope with a grumpy grizzly bear....   Anyway,

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

The 'expert' advice.

We had our visit from our 'expert'; the ex - brother-in-law, who is an experienced renovator of old buildings as well as a building engineer to help guide us in the work that needs doing.  It was quite interesting and unexpected at times.  where to start?  Maybe the gable end.    We knew that the gable end wall needed to have the render removed and replaced as it was quite badly cracked.  we also had been told by the Surveyor that the top of the wall was bowing out slightly and needed

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

A month into the renovation.

Well, a month into our renovation project, I thought I'd post an update on the progress made so far.  Bearing in mind that we didnt plan to do much till OH retires in november, we have not been able to stop ourselves and have been there quite a lot, naturally. Starting in the lounge, this was made instantly better by the removal of the old carpet - less doggy smell now.  As the OH plans to redo all the electrics, he has been stripping most of the cabling out, leaving just a couple of working

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Moving upstairs......

I thought it was about time I added the tour of the second floor - it will not take long as its fairly small.  I hope you all like the landing colour scheme.  +We think we will keep it, as well as the mock black beams which unfortunatly fall off when pulled.  We dont think these banisters are legal - but its probably all going anyway.  those are the doors to the front two bedrooms.  Both are quite small and have lovely sliding doors.  Also painted interesting colours.  My thought is to

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

A guided tour of the ground floor.

As the OH has had a week off work, we have been at the house everyday so things are disappearing quite quickly.  Most of the woodwork has been removed from the bedrooms and the dining room ceiling has gone, as well as the taped downlighters.  Most of the electrical cables have been removed apart from those needed.  The plan is to completely renew all the electrics but till then, we are leaving one simple power circuit to plug lights into and work from.    It was quite funny in that most of the c

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

Day one - we finally get started.

While we have been popping in to the house to have a look at things, today was the first day when we went intending to start pulling things to pieces.  tool boxes and hammers were taken in and OH went to work in the upstairs bedroom.  It's the whole width of the house at the rear with a delightful wooden cupboard housing part of the chimney breaast from the dining room and the newish boiler and pipes.  As well as antique wallpaper which you may have seen in the V&A interior design section -

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

We have a cellar!!

I dont know why but the thought of having a cellar gives me great excitment! It has that particular smell that I remember from a student house I lived in at Crewe many years ago. It too had a cellar and smelt just the same.  However, it did get very damp and everything put down there rotted or came up covered in mould - so not an ideal comparison.  As I mentioned in the first blog post, these cottages all had them and they had a coal shute from the front garden. Ours has now been blocked of

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

The start of the renovation story.

As some of you may know, we have been looking to build for several years but are finding it very hard to get a plot near here within our price range.  We have been waiting for Graven Hill since early 2013 but after more than half a dozen deadlines came and went, with never an explanation or apology, I wouldn't touch the plots with a barge pole now.  But I don't want to get too disillusioned so while we wait to find the 'ideal' plot, we were offered the chance to buy a nearby small rundown Victor

TheMitchells

TheMitchells

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