The big, expensive, boring stuff


Most of our budget has been swallowed by essential jobs that the last owners didn’t keep up with. However, the decorators started two days ago, the building work is mostly over, and the whole place smells of paint (cue deep inhalation: mmm). The only DIY at this stage has been demolition work. And yes, paying decorators is rather pricey but our guys are more odd-job men who paint (i.e. half the price), and if it was left to DIY it would take us 2 years and possibly cost our marriage. Perhaps one day I will write a post about sourcing tradesmen who won’t be offended when you are looking for a basic, quick job (“That’ll take at least four coats of emulsion, love.”)

Work so far:

  • Tear out all existing carpets, curtains and other fittings (antihistamines and inhaler essential)
  • Rip out the most offensive kitchen units (so much fun)
  • Replace and relocate decrepit boiler (plus several radiators, thermostats and get-under-the-floorboards pipework)
  • Raise lintel in kitchen and skim ready for range cooker
  • Replace consumer unit to something that might actually prevent electrocution
  • Replace all ceiling roses to hang at ‘design height’ (low-hanging, much to the perplexion of the electrician)
  • Fix gutters to prevent further damp due to water pouring down several exterior walls (which the previous owners managed to ignore despite mould growing in their bedroom)
  • Fit new electric shower

Before we can move in we still have to finish the decorating, carpets, kitchen cupboard makeover and some extra security. One we’re in the fun will continue as the budget allows with disintegrating exterior masonry repair, bathrooms, windows, garden, porch, hedging and more. Never mind the creative, colourful stuff which is off-limits (save for Pinterest) until the big jobs are finished. Or my lovely mind’s eye concertina door extension. This could take a few years…


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