The ups and downs of renovating a house

…or two

Archive for the month “October, 2016”

Week 21 – ups and downs this week

So much going on.  So much.  Which, I guess, is the norm as you get to the end of a renovation project.  Some of it was planned, some of it was not so planned and we had one emergency.  I apologise ahead of time because this will probably be a very long post full of lots of words as well as pictures.

First, the “emergency”. We no longer have a fence between ourselves and our neighbours.  They needed to bring a digger in to make a hole for their concrete base (side extension).  The digger did two things – knocked over our concrete posts (which they’ll have to replace) and cut through the electrical wire which comes to both of our houses.  So, we got an emergency call at 9pm about this.  The electrical company found a problem with our electricity while fixing this cut and so, took away our electricity.  Yup, our renovation is without electricity until our contractor can produce an electrical certificate.  Now – the electricity was only connected to an extension cord at the time, so any fault is not in the wires in our house (they are not connected).  We’re not sure where a fault might be coming from unless it’s from the base unit or from the wiring coming into the house.  Yikes.  Expensive.  In addition, the contractor is not in a position to provide an electrical certificate for at least 2-3 weeks (as he’d have to install all the outlets/lights, etc and test them before he could get a certificate).  So, my contractor is going to have to bring a generator to supply the guys with electricity.  Boo.

Another thing that has made life a bit difficult is that it seems as if the guys have lost some stuff – they couldn’t find the legs to our range cooker, the specialist bathroom recessed lights and some screws necessary to put the kitchen together (as well as instructions in how to put it all together).  I know our contractor is a bit pissed off at them for not being more organised (he stops by but he’s not there all the time).  I’m not paying for anything they can’t find.

On the positive side, our flooring is in.  They will still have to sand and wax it, but it looks good.  I like the pattern they used (from what I can see so far).  A lot of the painting has happened.  And they have begun to put our kitchen together.  It will happen.  It will all come together.

And now, the pics (with a few words):


Our current house is being over-run with boxes.  We have ordered lights, switches and plugs for the first and second floors (ground floor will be another time).

Finishing work on the plastering.

Our sliding doors have been installed – the bottom roller still needs to be applied and it needs handles (which we’ve purchased) but I like them.  They will provide light straight through as well as a sound/smell barrier between the living room and kitchen.

The kitchen furniture and appliances are finally being put in place.  It really allows us to see how much space as well as storage in the new kitchen.  It’s going to be amazing.

As you can see, the kitchen furniture is on its way to being placed and fixed.  Guess they figured out how to do it and found screws. They didn’t seem to find the legs for the oven though…boo!

One of the guest bedrooms after one coat of paint – the fireplace will be repainted.

The other guest bedroom – this fireplace will also be painted.  Neither fireplace will work – only decorative.

First coat on the master bedroom.

We’re looking forward to seeing continued work on the kitchen, more painting, etc.  It’s so exciting to see if all coming together despite the various setbacks.


Week 20: painting & flooring

It’s starting to get exciting!  Our contractor has finished laying down the underfloor heating.  It’s so much better than the system we have in our current house.  And it was much more thoughtfully planned out than in our house.  I can’t wait to feel it under my feet as I stand at the stove cooking and while washing dishes. He has also had the guys begin the lay down the wood flooring.  It looks great and it hasn’t yet been sanded or waxed. Here’s a video of the work that has been done.

The Youtube Video link

In addition, they’ve begun the painting process and have finished up the tiling in the bathroom (though I had to order more grout and a few finishing bits.

It’s a bit dark (rainy) so you can’t really see how fabulous this blue is in the office.  It’ll make for a relaxing space for my counselling and when my husband works at home.  It’s only the first coat but still looks fabulous so looking forward to seeing what it’s like after a second coat.

My mother-in-law’s bedroom.  The colour is a bit of a vanilla white (slight yellowish tint).  It’s quite lovely and her style.  The fireplace has been primed and will be painted black.

The doorway is ready for the sliding door!

All of the paint we’re using is Dulux Trade Diamond Matt paint (except our bedroom).  The exact colour used in my mother-in-law’s room is Jasmine White.  The colour we’re using in the office is Sea Blue.

Week 19: lots of ‘stuff’

We’ve gotten a lot of deliveries of ‘stuff’.  I know it’s made it difficult for the builders due to the issues from the previous weeks.  But at least it has arrived, ready to be put in place.  They have continued to work on the walls on the ground floor and once that’s done (hopefully by tomorrow afternoon), they can start on the underfloor heating.  In addition, we finally got the bi-folding doors in, and they are fabulous!  So much light.

The steel beams have been covered. Including the beam above the side door!

As you can see, there is more to cover.

Kitchen stuff being stored in the master bedroom

This is the colour of the cabinet carcasses

The rendering beginning to be put on the front of the house

I’m looking forward to our next steps.  Things are going to move at a quick pace, I think.

Week 18: slow moving

It has been a frustrating few weeks since I last posted.  We had building control come to do an inspection and they decided we needed a new steel lintel above a doorway (side garden).  That meant working with our structural engineer, who is not great at responding quickly.  He finally did get in touch and so the steel will be put in this week.  That meant that the flooring, underfloor and wood, had to be put off as well as finishing the plasterboard and plastering.  Unfortunately, our kitchen furniture and appliances are being delivered this week which will further complicate everything.  But, that’s life in renovations.

One thing that has happened is that a lot of final plastering and priming has been done on the 1st and 2nd floors (2nd and 3rd floors for you Americans out there).  It does look very nice.  We’ve picked out our paint colours for these rooms and look forward to seeing them painted.

My mother-in-law’s bedroom

The guest bedroom

We have received our wood flooring, which will need to be sanded and waxed once it’s laid.

Our bi-folding door is at the house and just needs to be put in (as the opening was fixed to fit it correctly).

While it is frustrating to have work keep getting pushed back, we can see it all come together.  It’s great to see how much space we’ll have under the staircase, for example:

We’ll have doors put on so we can access this area (dog food & our vacuum will fit).

The plastering has begun around the living room, ground floor hallway and kitchen/diner.

So – lots of plastering yet to happen, painting to come, flooring to put in, etc, etc.  It will happen.


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