The ups and downs of renovating a house

…or two

Archive for the month “August, 2016”

Week 13: new entry, under-flooring & bathroom stuff

Just back from scuba diving in Cornwall and went to take some pics of the house with my husband and mother-in-law.  There are some changes that have happened and it’s great.

The big one you notice when you first come in is the change to the entry and staircase.  Here’s the original stairs:

As you can see, you enter in the side and have a small entryway.  There was a closet against the wall and a door to the hallway/staircase.  We have removed everything in the hallway, the wall, doorway and we’re bringing the stairs straight down.  Here’s what it looks like right now:

It’s hard to see in the pic, but it really opens everything up.  My mother-in-law is so happy with it and my husband and I are thrilled.  It’s amazing.  Once it’s done, we’ll have to figure out where to put shoes and coats and all.  I’m doing all sorts of Pinterest searches on possibilities.

The bathroom furniture is going in slowly (the blue you’ll see is protective covering) in both the top and first floor.  We need to order a few things, but it’s starting to come together.

This is the main bathroom.  For us, it’ll be huge as we’ve had a tiny square of a bathroom to use.  It’ll only have a single sink in the middle, but it’ll still have so much more space to use.  The counter is laminate but looks pretty good.  It needs to be fitted to the sink area.  We still need to finalise the tiles, put in the mirror (it’s HUGE and has lights), put in the awesome heated towel rack/radiator and the toilet roll.  And then paint it, clean it, finish with all the grouting.

As you can see below, the base flooring for the underfloor heating on the ground floor is going in.  They have also insulated the area and left space for air to travel under it all.

I can’t wait to see what the next week will bring!



Week 12: bathrooms and a few touches

In the past two weeks, we’ve picked out our final bathroom tile choices, began to pick out room colours and a few touches have been made as well as work on the garage and attached shed roofs.

Externally, the roof on the garage is looking quite good though it needs a bit of final work – here’s a pic from earlier in the week:

(And yes, there is work being done on the house next door)

As you can see they started pulling up the materials from the ground floor last week, and now, this week, actually got a lot of it up:


My husband is showing where the original flooring was located and where the new flooring will be located (we think):

These are the colours we’ll be using on the first floor (2nd floor for Americans):

The ground floor will be much more neutral but we like clean colours for bedrooms/bathrooms.  My mother-in-law’s room will be a neutral off-white colour (as she prefers that).

Tile has been installed (partially) in the main bathroom – it’s a bit messy in there but I think it’s going to look amazing once it’s done.

Bathroom stuff has begun to be put in my mother-in-law’s ensuite bathroom. It’s going to look fabulous once it’s done!

Here’s a glimpse of one of the items for the main bathroom – I’m in love!

What’s next?

The ground floor will continued to be emptied, the bathroom tiling will be finished and furniture installed, and, hopefully, if our structural engineer gets his finger out, they’ll be able to start work on the extension.  We’ve made one further change to the structure of the ground floor which I’ll reveal later.


I thought I’d post something that wasn’t about the actual work going on in the house, namely, choosing colours.  When doing a house project, I find that choosing the colours of the rooms/house is the most difficult of all the choices to make.  And when you have three people involved (my mother-in-law (MIL), my husband and me), it gets even more complicated.

Clearly, my MIL got to choose the colours of tiles for her bathroom and will do so for her bedroom and the hallway/stairway paint and carpeting.  BUT as I want to have some continuity in the house, I did do a bit of ‘steering’ away from a few colours.  My MIL loves browns and pinky beiges.  I hate both.  I tend to like cooler or cleaner colours.  So, I steered her toward a creamy tile with a light beige streak (not a pink or orange tinge in sight).  She was happy (I hope) as was I.

Similar to bathroom tile for MIL

I know she’ll want a white/cream for her bedroom and the hallway, so I’ll steer her toward a white/cream that will work with the greys in the house.  And I’ll try to keep her away from patterned carpets. There were so, so many different patterned carpets in the house originally that it blew my mind (none of the colours worked together nor did the patterns).  But each to their own.  Perhaps we’ll find a lightly patterned carpet for the halls and stairs that we’ll all love.

My husband tends to like some colours that are not my favourite, such as baby sky blue.  It’s pretty in the sky or for a baby’s room, but not for our bedroom.  I tend to like dark and bold colours, which he’s not a huge fan of (as he thinks they’ll make rooms too cave-like).  So, we’ll try to compromise.  At least we both loved the pale grey cabinets for the kitchen and my MIL liked the simple Shaker style we chose.

Our most recent decision was about the main bathroom tiles.  As this will be the bathroom my husband and I will be using, we made the final decision.  And happily agreed.  This is what we’re going for:

similar matt white tiles on the walls (have a light sheen versus shiny)

Various grey hexagon tiles for floor

Now we just have to figure out what paint we’ll use on top of the metro tiles.  I know we’re leaning toward a blue…but which one to use?

These are just a few of the decisions you have to make while renovating a house.  It’s amazing all the small details that you never realised were “important”.

Week Ten – a video

This week’s focus of work has been to do the roof of the garage and storage shed (attached to the house) as well as working on the second and first floor bathrooms and putting in the new boiler.  We’re still waiting for the engineer and architect to return from holiday (ugh) so nothing can really be done this week on the ground floor (boo).

Youtube video

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