The main reason that I started this blog was to share our renovation journey, but I realised it’s been a while since I posted about the house. The reason for this is that there isn’t really a lot to report other than a big mess! If you haven’t read my previous posts yet, it’s been over two years now since we began renovating and we haven’t stopped since. It hasn’t been a mini renovation project either; a few weeks ago the only thing left of our bathroom was a giant hole into the utility room below.
The bathroom now has a floor (just floorboards) and still has bare brick walls with holes in but fortunately we now have a toilet and bath. We had to move back to mum and dad’s for a few days when the room was just a giant hole because I refused to use the outside toilet (or a bucket!) during the night. The room below was a utility room/porch area and we knocked out a big chimney breast which has created room for a downstairs toilet; something that I had always wanted when we were viewing houses but with this being an old cottage it didn’t have one. Fortunately we will have one in the end! So not only is the bathroom still in progress, the downstairs loo is too and basically it looks like a gigantic bomb has gone off.
We’ve had to leave everything looking like a dump site and temporarily move on so that we can get our rendering done while it’s still summer. For anybody that doesn’t know, rendering is the coloured coating that goes on top of the brickwork on the outside of a house. Ideally, I didn’t want this at all as I much preferred brick, but as our cottage has had two extensions and the brickwork is majorly damaged we had no choice. We promised ourselves for the last two summers that we would get the rendering done imminently, but other things always got in the way. This year it really needs finishing as it makes the house get so cold during the winter that I don’t think we can go through it again! People stare and point at our house because it actually looks derelict (no exaggeration) so I’m so excited to have a cottage that looks nice and normal.
So, the scaffolding was erected in May and we haven’t been able to take it down yet because just like everything else, we uncovered some big problems. When we took the remaining old render off the house, the bricks completely came away with it and we’ve had to have the whole corner of the house rebuilt. We’ve also got a weeks worth of building work and roof work booked in before we can have the rendering done, and we’ve already had a lot of work done already. As you can imagine the final total for the external work is going to come to thousands upon thousands of pounds (I have to take a deep breath when I think about it!), and then we’ve still got the kitchen, two bathrooms and garden to contend with after that!
The last few weeks have been so stressful that at one point I said the words that I hoped I would never say; ‘I regret buying the house’. I had tried to stay positive but we never planned for a big project; we knew it needed rendering, new plaster and carpets but we hoped that’d be it! I’m hoping within a few weeks time I’ll never have these thoughts again. At times it’s hard not to reflect on what our lives would have been like if we’d have just bought a new build and the only thing we had to think about was buying furniture. On the flip side, if we had have done this then we would never have had the character, land and beautiful location that our cottage has, and deep down I know that we did the right thing and we’re going to be so happy where we are (not forgetting the alpacas just down the road). Part of me is looking forward to the day that me and Luke can wake up on a Saturday morning and say ‘right, where shall we go out today?’ rather than him getting up and working on the house like the majority of the time. But, I also know that a big part of me will miss all the renovations and the exciting bits.
So all in all, no, I don’t really have a lot to report other than a little bit of stress and a lot of mess! Hopefully in a few weeks time I’ll be posting again with pictures of a cute, cream cottage – and no scaffolding!
The pictures below are of the good bits so far (ft. Millie) –
If you want to take a peek at my previous renovation posts, click below!