Saturday, 22 April 2017

Two years down the line and a plan completes - we have our next home

Pictures are a great reminder of what you did and when.

One significant aspect of living down south for Rachel's job is the two cottages we have rented. We decided that if we were going to rent we would rent something nice, and nice being rural. Now I was a city boy and if I had a three square mile blanket could cover  most of my school home and work life in one area of Derby so moving away was a challenge. But the challenge was rewarded by an appreciation of the joys of country living. 

So when we decided the four bed detached Derby home was just too big we had four requirements;
  1. Country living
  2. Scotland, Wales Derbyshire/Staffordshire, Yorkshire
  3. If it had a garden it would be a 'natural garden - no bloody grass !
  4. Ideally detached 
I think I maxed our at over 200 saved properties on Rightmove !

So Derby home had to go and so the start of my DIY'o'thon 

The garden was hit first, We had the three large conifers removed and despite a few weekends of me trying with my chainsaw and weak muscles to remove the sizeable stumps I ended up getting the right tool for the job - a man with a stump grinder (and builders bum)

Then the front lounge. The previous owners had not set the cabling deep enough so we always got cracks - not ideal when selling so I cut out the old plaster, re set the cables properly and replastered. 

We had a living flame gas fire in the same room that when installed was not correctly vented so when on it drew too much air out of the room. So I core bored through the wall and added a ventilation duct. (very dusty job.)

Next the living flame fireplace was removed and I made up a new one with slabs and cement. Got some bargain tiles from B&Q (I became a good customer) and reset the whole job

A bit more modern than the sandstone fireplace I took out.

Front lounge done then it was off upstairs to the bedrooms.... The house was a 70's design and had two built in wardrobes that basically took space out of each room and made them not so useable especially if free standing was used. So I took them out and plaster boarded them up. Not a good H&S look from Callum !!

I could not get a plasterer to skim the plasterboard so I educated myself with YouTube videos and did it myself !

Then the bathroom. Homebase were re modelling their displays and had a suite on sale for just £100, including the shower screen. When I went back to buy it they had reduced it to just £50 - result.

Not the prettiest but better than the corner bath we had and only 50 quid !

Now it got serious  - skips'n'all. It was very therapeutic to strip out the whole bathroom and the bathroom was my play pen and prison for the next several months.

However before I started the reinstatement I tackled one other biggish job that had been a cause of frustration since we moved in  - the central heating. I was persuaded by a plumber friend who fitted it to use 10mm flexible pipe that routinely got clogged and over the years I had replaced many run of this stuff. So Screwfix got a tidy 700 quid order for 15mm polypipe (over 100 meters in the end) plus replacement valves and a load of new radiators for the upstairs bedrooms. Then Callum and I spend a good weekend lifting floors repiping and replacing old radiators. When we refilled the system we had just one small leak and a toasty warm house for the first time in some years. This allowed me to enjoy my last winter in the house while tackling the remaining job - the bathroom.

Photos are great as they now give you the date so I know I started the bathroom early March 2016. Yes the blue tiles and corner bath was so 1990's.

Very satisfying to have a skip to load all the bathroom into. Plus my mums old washing machine and my next door neighbours utility fit out ..... we did share skips which was always useful.

I think I used about 6-7 buckets of tile adhesive !

Sometimes I had to improvise after making a mistake on my tile planning  - top of the window was not even so I dropped the inner height so I could add in a tile cut.

 A good feeling completing full walls 

Then fitting in the £50 bathroom suite 

The bathroom did help sell the house and despite its cost in tiles time and my hands - another story there for another blog, it was worth it.

I opted out of the decorating, something I could do but time was against us and I wanted a rest so I had pre booked a well regarded local man to do it and he did a great job over two weeks to time and budget. Carpets were selected and put down with the bathroom vinyl going down last !

We put the house on the market just before we rode off to Normandy for a weeks motorcycling to re set my soul. So that would have been early June.

After quite a few viewings we took a good offer  in early October I recall  - now that was a relief.

I owe a lot to my dad here as he was a DIY'er. There is not much I will not tackle and he was the same, if not more able.

BOAT ALERT  - I moved back to the boat while we were being decorated and used Percy a lot as most of the viewings were done by the estate agents.

As to the next home.... as it has a canal link I'll do another blog, this one really is to record our old home and its selling to allow us another chapter in our lives.


Mandy Wright said...

That is a serious amount of work! Well done, I'm sure it increased the value.

HairyHeffalump said...

A huge effort Nev and something you failed to mention when we chatted yesterday. Well done and I hope the next phase is easier; a 15 minute walk to Percy has got to be nothing but good. HH.

KevinTOO said...

Oh come on 'HairyHeffalump' talk about a SPOILER... no need to gues the new location now then... LOL

Andy Tidy said...

That's one huge bit of the jig saw out of the way Nev. I went through the same process two years ago but the renovation was a bit more cosmetic.

Carol said...

Brilliant renovation work Nev on your 'old' home! Wishing you luck for the future in your new home and a good road on the water. Carol and George.