Strip (the) Joint

The whole gutting and stripping process is into it’s 9th week (see before pics here), what with us both trying to fit any work on the house in around our other full-time jobs. A theme you’ll notice is the slow waning of the smiles in pictures and the pain setting into our eyes as blisters appear on hands and more clothes are added to the “DIY” pile.

But don’t let that put you off.

We’re lucky enough not to have to move in straight away, so can completely gut the house whilst the work is done thanks to the lease on our London flat only running out next week and the generosity of my parents. Stage one was to remove any furniture left by the previous owner, fixed or otherwise (not the primrose bathroom suite, I hear you cry).

Out comes the kitchen, with Greg looking very proud at his plumbing handy work (?).

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Top Tip #1

Pay attention because I’m about to give you the best advice you’ll ever receive. Never wallpaper anything. Ever. You’ll have to take it off at some stage.

Let that be a renovation motto to live by (until I find a beautiful print paper and my own advice flies out of the window, I’m sure).

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Me naïvely smiling back on the first day of wallpaper stripping

The Big Before

No renovation story would be complete without a raft of “Before” pictures, so we won’t disappoint.

To recap, we’ve recently picked up the keys to a five bedroom Edwardian terrace in the Hampshire market town of Petersfield where the previous owner had lived since he moved in with his parents some 60 years ago. I mean, I’ll let you be the judge but I don’t think much has been modernised over the years…

Firstly, here’s the floor plan to put the pictures into context. Our medium/long-term aim is to do a side return extension (think that is a London-ism) from the back of the Family Room to the end of the current Kitchen and open it across.

screenshot-2016-09-18-23-36-10Apologies for the quality of the pictures, they are stolen from RightMove as I wanted to show you the house before it was empty and the gutting process had begun. Continue reading

Oh, we actually own this.

I can tell you now, when you buy a fixer-upper you WILL have that moment when the champagne has been sipped and you’ve taken ironic photos in front of the painted (flaking) front door when your thoughts range from “where the hell do we start?!” to “what the hell have we done?!”.

I had visions of our first evening being spent sat on the floor in our lounge-to-be eating a takeaway on a picnic blanket under candlelight. In truth, we scraped off the wallpaper in two rooms and started prizing (smashing) out the hideous brick fireplace, that had so thoughtfully replaced an original Edwardian masterpiece, before returning to my parents’ house to sleep not very well on our respective single mattresses. On the floor.

Still, after a few weeks the excitement is back and we’ve decided to start a blog to follow the story of what happened next.

We hope you enjoy it, because we probably won’t!

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Everyone has gone, the champagne is empty and we’re left to rip out this monstrosity.