Home Tour – April 2016

Home Tour April 2016

It’s time for a little update on how the house is coming along. As you’ll see, there’s a pretty long to-do list for most rooms – and that’s just to get them to “empty neutral room waiting for decor” stage. At least I won’t run out of things to blog about for quite a while!

Exterior front


House Exterior May 2014


House Exterior Front April 2016

To Do List:

Get telegraph pole removed

Get council parking sign moved

Take down wall and fence

Dig front garden down to pavement level and surface with gravel

Add insulated pitched roof to porch

Clad new porch gable

New fascias, soffits and gutters

Change large 1st floor window to 2 separate windows

New upvc sliding sash windows

New front door

New lights

New house number

Add window boxes

Add plants

Paint house brick off-white


Exterior back


Rear Exterior


Rear Exterior April 2016

To Do List:

Build new 1st and 2nd storey extension

Replace fence with a new one in new position

Re-lay patio (we kept the old slabs)

Plant lots of plants!

Re-seed or re-lay grass

Paint fence

Remove old prefab garage and create 2nd patio in its place

Replace back fence

Add trellis extensions to fences

Add as much privacy as I possibly can


Entrance Hall


Hallway 2014

Not much progress:

Hallway April 2016

To Do List:


Paint walls and woodwork

Replace pendant light with a spotlight

Install wall light

New column radiator

Lay new laminate floor and install skirting

Change stair balustrade from solid to glass

Strip paint off balustrade and handrail. Stain rather than paint?

Take carpet off stairs and find a nicer solution

Add mini drawers above radiator

Add mirror above radiator

Add long mirror to toilet door to increase feeling of space

Add long mirror to wall to increase feeling of space?

Add storage solution for guest coats and shoes

Find a nice umbrella stand


Kitchen diner


When we bought the house we had a 3 x 3m kitchen, and a 3.6 x 4.8m living room. Between the two there was a load-bearing wall which also contained a chimney breast (in the kitchen) and a back boiler fireplace.

Lounge-kitchen wall 2014


The wall, chimney breast and fireplace-boiler have all been removed and opened up to the kitchen. (What was the living room will become the dining area of a kitchen-diner.)

Kitchen-diner April 2016

To Do List:

Rewire house and move electric consumer unit to another location.

Remove old back boiler, have new central heating system fitted

Move stopcock

Remove load bearing wall, insert steel beam

Have back door and window arrangement bricked up, change to two narrow windows

Remove tiled floor and level

Plaster walls (after new front window fitted)

Install kitchen units

Finish electrics and central heating

Lay floor and install skirting

Build-in fridge

Put up window blinds (saving up for shutters!) and privacy film

Install coving in dining area



Kitchen chimney breast 2014


Dining area April 2016


This annoying load-bearing storage area under the stairs really got in the way: the door was on the skinny end meaning you couldn’t put anything in the 2 metre  stretch of wall where that radiator is. (Well you could, but you just wouldn’t be able to open the cupboard door.) We had one of our two sofas in front of the radiator, and had to pull it out every time we needed something from the cupboard.

Stroage wall2 2014

Stroage wall 2014


The whole area has now become storage, with doors at the front...revolutionary!! You can see the dark patch of plaster which is taking longer to dry out because that’s where the lintel went in to allow the door space to be knocked out. This area is probably the most exciting bit of the whole house for me – definitely the most exciting for the size. I’m planning to use the right-hand cupboard as a coat cupboard and hopefully also storage for my husband’s music equipment, the middle double-doors will hide a washer-dryer and other utility stuff, and the left cupboard will be extra larder space.

Stroage wall April 2016

To Do List:

Brick up existing door and add new door opening with supporting lintel

Build stud wall cupboards


Hang doors

Install 4 x recessed spotlights

Paint doors and walls

Choose handles

Add door architrave of some sort

Install coving

Add waterproof flooring inside cupboards

Add storage solutions inside cupboards

Add lights inside cupboards


Living room


There was a conservatory on the south-facing rear of the house. It was an awkward size – not quite big enough to be a useful living space. It was unheated, and with its south-facing aspect there were about 10 minutes in the year when it wasn’t either unbearably hot or freezing cold.

Conservatory 2014


Lounge April 2016

Looking from the other direction:

Lounge3 April 2016

To Do List:

Paint walls and ceiling – in progress

Install flooring and skirting (have to wait 3 months first to let the concrete dry out)

Add wall of storage

Add blinds to window and temporary privacy solution to door (saving up for shutters!)

The Tiny Toilet


This is a progress shot as well as a before shot. It shows progress because the door has been widened to a standard width – so I could actually take a photo! Before, the door opened inwards and it was only about 50cm wide. The room is incredibly small – only 60cm wide and about 1.7m long, but having the door open inwards and be pint-sized only increased the feeling of titchiness. I knew that having the door open outwards would help, but wasn’t sure whether increasing the actual door width would increase the feeling of space, but it actually makes a big difference:

Tiny Toilet WC April 2016

By the way, this is what the toilet looks like after it has been used by builders for 8 weeks. This is not the daily standard in our house! I left cleaning materials and toilet brush available, and at the beginning I cleaned up whenever I visited. When I realised it wasn’t even being flushed after use, I accepted I was wasting my time trying to keep it clean for them, and decided to just leave them to keep it how they wanted it and detoxify it at the end!

Here’s the view of the other side of the “room”:

Tiny Toilet basin April 2016

To Do List:

Install extractor fan

Install recessed ceiling spotlights

Widen doorway and hang new door opening outwards

Change basin to wall hung basin with radiator underneath

Remove skirting boards

Remove tiled floor and fill in over new pipes

Check for damp behind loo and fix

Lay new flooring (something warmer than tiles)

New tiles/wall decor

Install huge mirror

New loo seat

Reinstall skirting boards


Guest bedroom


This room used to be our master bedroom – the biggest bedroom in the house at 3m x 3.5m. The wall you see here on your right (with the window in) was on the back of the house. The wall was brought inwards 50cm and the extension went on the other side of that window wall.

Guest Bedroom 2014


The room was then windowless, so a new window was put into the wall on the left. Like this:

Guest Bedroom April 2016

This will become the guest bedroom, and is 3m x 3m in size.

To Do List:

Add stud wall, stealing 50cm from this room to give to the new master bedroom

Add new window in the side-facing wall

Move radiator

Plaster 2 walls

Remove skirting boards

Plaster the other 2 walls and the ceiling

Add soundproofing underneath floor

Change floorboards to chipboard

Paint ceiling

Wallpaper all walls

Install light fixtures

Lay flooring (don’t know what yet)

New skirting boards

Do something to detract from the unattractiveness of obscured glass in window


My daughter’s bedroom


The main differences in this room will be having the chimney breast removed, and having the window reduced in size. If you’re wondering why anyone would make a window smaller, it’s because the window in this room is the one which gives the house it’s obvious 60s/70s look from the front. The room is only 3m x 3m so I think it can manage with a 120cm window rather than a 190cm one. These shots show the wall with the chimney breast:

Daughters Room 2014


Daughters Room April 2016

To Do List:

Remove chimney breast

New radiator, centred under new window position

Reduce window size and install new window

Remove skirting boards

Sort out ceiling – possible distemper paint issue?

Plaster walls and ceiling

Add soundproofing underneath floor

Change floorboards to chipboard

Paint ceiling and walls

New ceiling light

Lay flooring (don’t know what yet)

New skirting boards


Master bedroom


This is the bedroom with the biggest difference. What used to be the 3rd bedroom, measuring 1.7m x 1.9m, has now become the entrance to the new master bedroom (3.3 x 4.8m excluding the entrance area). The old bedroom was too small to take a photo of unfortunately, but you can see in this photo what size it used to be (the pinkish floor area used to be the 3rd bedroom, and the bluey floor area is what was stolen from the old master bedroom to make this one). There was barely enough space behind the door to squeeze a single bed – in fact the door wouldn’t open fully with a bed behind it:

Master Bedroom April 2016


Master Bedroom2 April 2016


To Do List:

Build it!

Plaster it, install radiator

Paint walls and ceiling

Add soundproofing underneath floor

Change remaining floorboards to chipboard

Lay flooring (don’t know what yet)

New skirting boards


And there endeth the mammoth house tour. At the moment I can’t imagine a day when the place doesn’t look like a building site from top to toe, but if we just keep ploughing through the to-do list surely that day will eventually come.

Until next time x


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