For the past 6 months, I’ve been…..
Designing, renovating and moving. Running after a two year old. Staying awake with a baby. Since about November.
Sounds like I did all the work myself (feel free to think this btw) but it was mostly the professionals knocking out walls, fitting the bathroom and kitchen etc. Did most of the project side, dealing with contractors, engineers, quotes etc. Fun and stressful. My guy and his bro were mostly busy with the eternal painting, sanding etc with me helping when I could get a babysitter.
Luckily, all major structural and most decorating work was done by February so we moved in before Covid-19 intensified and lockdowns followed. I’m choosing not to rant/vent about coronavirus here, I’ve come to escape it! Might rant about it later.
As you can imagine, not a lot of reading happened! Audible and Podcasts have been my homies on this journey. Been loving Elizabeth Day’s How To Fail podcast, also been listening to Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens. More on those later. Only books I actually managed to read while doing all this Jacqueline Woodson’s Red At The Bone and Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.
At the risk of going completely off piste into reno blog territory, it is a beautiful 1930’s house but needed loads of work… rewiring, re-plumbing, everything! We love it, completely worth it and we still have bits to do. First time doing this so it was very exciting.
That learning curve was curving, boy
3 things I learned while renovating that you may find useful:
- Do your research so you know what building regs, permissions and structural engineering documents are needed BEFOREHAND. Check your local council’s requirements. If you’re knocking out walls you will need an engineer and builders, one can’t do the other’s jobs. They will collect that Sterling from you too. This is a very important point ..otherwise your house will fall down, leaving you homeless. you will probably be fined too. And homeless.
- Get all your materials and fixings well before the scheduled date for having them put in by builders- eg baths, doors, tiles, radiators etc. Also have discussions about exactly how you want things put in otherwise some builders will decide for you when time is of the essence. Didn’t happen to us but I’ve heard of it happening!
- Get multiple quotes for EVERYTHING! Go with best value for money and quality- not the most expensive option and not the cheapest. Get recommendations. Build contacts.
3 Places to look for renovation tips if you are thinking of doing it:
- Obviously I was on Pinterest all day, killing myself with interior porn
- https://www.littlehouseonthecorner.com/ This was a really helpful as their house layout is pretty much the same as ours. Good tips on sanding floorboards, painting etc
- https://fifimcgee.co.uk/ Again, same layout, same style of house , had to redo everything too, great blog
I looked at 100s of sites but found myself coming back to these an quite a few occasions. Helps not to look in one place too much otherwise your house will look like someone else’s!
Almost felt like starting a renovation blog because it took up all my time, also because I couldn’t find a any UK reno blogs by Black Brits or of the diaspora. If you know any, please enlighten me! I did discover Kristabel Plummer in the process though, love her blog. Found this list recently
Also, I didn’t want detailed photos of my home on the internet so didn’t start that blog
OK, that’s it, this is going to be my only renovation post. Let me know if you’ve done any!