Sunday, December 2, 2012

More work on the Lean-to

So this weekend I worked (with some help) on the Lean-to. We managed to get all the old felt off the roof but unfortunately with cold and wet weather it was not possible to lay the new rubber roof so I have had to put tarpaulin over it for now. Some of the batons holding up the guttering were rotten so they will have to be replaced but the guttering itself seems to be OK.

We also started building the frame to fix to the wall to attach the plasterboard to. So far two walls are done and part of the ceiling, it then needs to be fixed to the walls.

I'm going to have to attempt to put in the new window this week I think - it looks like the weather will be clear so that will help but it will be a bit of trial and error for sure!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hitting Problems

OK so I had ordered all the plasterboard and wood for dry lining the lean to, which I was going to do at the end of this week with the help of a friend. However, this morning I noticed that there was a leak in the roof. This was not wholly unexpected as there was pretty much no felt on it! However, as it was made of concrete I was hoping that would keep it reasonably watertight for the time being.

Anyway, this means that there is no point in doing the internal lining so that has to be put on hold. I have now ordered all the stuff I need to do the roof (from rubber4roofs) and hopefully that will arrive tomorrow. The weather is due to be cold but clear so hopefully that will give us the chance to get the roof done at the end of the week instead of the internal walls. Then I need to figure how to do those or who to get to help me!

So tomorrow I need to try and remove all of the old felt if possible and maybe just leave a tarpaulin over it just in case. Not best to do this during the winter but needs must.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Working Outside & Sorting Out the Lean-To

Albeit that it is winter, there have been a few sunny days recently so I have started on the work needed to do the outside of the house at the back and the inside of the lean-to. Firstly I painted the outside of the lean-to which looks infinitely better than it did. The Dulux Weathershield paint goes on really well - better than the B&Q paint that I bought for the front of the house I would say. In fact I almost wish I had painted the front cream as well but never mind!

I also stripped out the inside of the back of the lean-to. I think it was originally one of those old brick buildings out the back of your house that had an outside toilet and another room for storage or coal - there definitely used to be a wall down the middle anyway. The room was covered with polystyrene tiles which obviously needed removing as they are a fire hazard. There were also some cupboards that I took great joy in taking a hammer to!

The window of the lean-to is missing the bottom pain of glass and the wooden sill is pretty shot so I have a bid in on a double glazed unit on eBay that should be the perfect size to replace it. At £8 (assuming I win it) plus about £10 for a courier, that is hopefully a good deal.

I will be dry lining the walls and adding some insulation so I need to get the batons and the plasterboard ordered. Unfortunately B&Q do not deliver that stuff so I will get it from Wickes who do.

There were some holes in the lean-to walls that needed filling so I got hold of some of that expanding foam stuff - I'd been wanting to find an excuse for using that for years so now I have it! It really does expand quite a lot lol! And it is really difficult to clean the nozzle but I think I have have managed it - have to be careful as the stuff is pretty toxic. I also used it to fill some holes in the back wall of the house that were sending a cold draft straight into the kitchen since the plumbing had been upgraded.

Today I also started painting the back of the house and that too looks loads better. Just need a few more sunny days to finish it off as it was getting quite cold by the end of it!

Ok I am going to have to add the photos tomorrow as it says I am out of space. Have deleted a bunch so maybe it needs some time to refresh!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Living Room Finished!

So today the carpet went into the living room. Some friends helped me move the furniture out and then back in again afterwards as there is no way I would have managed it myself. The carpet is just neutral but I think it looks pretty good. Luckily I could use the exiting underlay although I did need to patch a few bits up from the underlay that was in the hall that I no longer needed (as I will be putting laminate flooring down).

It's really difficult to get a picture of the whole lounge so I have roughly stitched together a few photos - very rough but hopefully gives you the idea!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chimney Breast Plastered and Wallpapered

So it was not a totally easy job to plaster up the fireplace but I gave it a go. I knew that the plastering did not have to be completely perfect as I was going to wallpaper the chimney breast so that gave me the leeway to actually do it myself rather than getting a plasterer in to do a perfect skim job. I have to say I didn't really enjoy the plastering but I got the job done. I will say that I probably won't bother trying that again myself!

Anyway, I had one roll of wallpaper which in theory should have been enough just to do the chimney breast. I got it in the sale so there was no other option but to do it right as if I messed up there was no spare! In my last house I had wallpaper with a big pattern and I messed one length of that up and had to go and buy another roll just for that at a cost of £17 so needless to say that this time I was going to be triple checking everything!

This one also had a biggish pattern on it and although the label said that the repeat was at 26.5cm, I am not totally sure how they measure that as when I measured it, it was double that!

So, although it was a bit stressful matching it all up and making sure I cut it right, at the end of it, the wallpaper did look pretty good and I managed not to mess it up! I still need to do the skirting board pieces that will go on the front and then I can fix the fire on to the wall once the new carpet is in.

This is what the chimney had originally:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Renovation Update!

OK so it has been a while since I have updated here. I think this is because now that the main things have been done like the kitchen and the bathroom, it is the annoying and time consuming things that are left! There are plenty of those.

So, in the past few weeks I have started painting a lot of the woodwork. That is going to take a bit of time as a lot of it needs to be stripped back first before it can be painted. I have done probably about half that is needed on the doors and some of the door frames.

Bedroom 2 - Nothing exciting but at least it is finished!
Also, as of last week the second bedroom is complete. I got a carpet fitted (neutral tones of course) and have now set it up as my office. With this done I moved a lot of the stuff that was in the bedroom, into the lean to, so it is now all clean and tidy. the lean to is also more organised with decorating materials and tools on a big shelving unit.

The main lean to off the kitchen is currently being used as an art studio and eventually this will have to be shifted out when that gets a make over, but for now it does me quite well as it does not matter if I mess it up!

I have also been working on plastering the fireplace in the living room and will hopefully be in a position to put wallpaper on the chimney breast in a few days time. Then I can get the living room carpeted (with some help from friends to move out all the furniture hopefully!).

There is still a lot of work to do in the garden. Like all gardens it doesn't matter how much you weed, they still come back! I need to continue cleaning the paving slabs as well but I feel that winter may now get in the way of some of the outdoor plans.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kitchen Painted & Central Heating Connected

So this last week I have painted the kitchen and some internal doors (looks like those are going to need 3 coats each). I chose a light olive green colour for the kitchen and I really like the way it has come out.  Now I just need to get the floor down and that should happen in the next couple of weeks, then the kitchen will be finished.

Also this week all of the work on the central heating was finished and the pipework connected to the boiler. All I need now on that front is for the gas supply to get connected which will happen tomorrow morning. National Grid put in the pipe and the meter box last Friday and Eon will be putting in the meter tomorrow.

Once the central heating is up and running and I have hot water at last I will carpet up the 2nd bedroom. That is all decorated (although might need a touch up now that the builders have finished) and then I can make that into a proper study. It will be nice to have that room finished, which will add to the bathroom which is pretty much done except for painting the door.

So, there is still plenty of work to do and sometimes it seems never ending but at least I can see progress happening. I am going slightly over budget as the kitchen cost a bit more than planned so that is a worry but I'll just have to find the cash, get it finished and get it back on the market.

There was a bungalow up for sale down the road for £139,995 and that now appears to be sold but it does have a conservatory and a garage so maybe I am looking at £130-135k as a potential sale price.

Friday, September 28, 2012

New Gas Supply

So today I got the new gas supply. This has been ongoing for a while and I believe that National Grid put my application on hold by mistake at one point leading it to take 3 months to get the work done rather than the 3-4 weeks I was promised initially. The guys came and dug up the road and the garden and put the connection through to the outside wall where they installed a white meter box.

The only problem was that I had not thought about the fact that I would have to request a meter (and gas connection) from a supplier. I phoned e.on yesterday and unfortunately there is a 6 working day wait for this (at least it is not weeks or months!) so the gas won't get connected until next Friday, and hence no hot water or heating for another week. I have an electric fire in the living room and a fan heater in the bedroom so that is OK but will have to keep boiling the kettle numerous times to get a bath! Either that or go swimming a bit more often!

Having gas central heating and a new boiler will I think make the house more saleable in future as well as bringing it into the 21st century!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kitchen and Bathroom Finished!

OK so the kitchen and bathroom fitters worked pretty damn hard to get both rooms as finished as possible at the end of last week as I was having people round for a barbeque on Saturday. They then came back yesterday to do the final touches and to put in more pipes for the central heating.

The bathroom is finished and just needs me to paint the woodwork around the door and the door itself. Here are the before and after pictures of the bathroom:

The kitchen now just needs the walls painting and some flooring added, which will be done after the rest of the heating pipes have gone in under the floor. It looks like I didn't take great 'before' pictures of the sink area but you can see the remains of the larder cupboard that was taken out together with all of the pipes to the tank in the loft (which was taken out). Also there was a false wall at the other end that needed removing and every wall needed replastering.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dust, dust and more dust!

So today work started on the kitchen (at the same time as the bathroom!). ALl of the units have come out apart from the sink and the channeling has been done for the electrics. Unfortunately this has created a ton of dust which i only realised after getting in after being out for a few hours. So, nothing much was covered and the whole of the lounge is covered in a massive layer of dust :-( So, dust sheets now on for the rest of the mess and I'll just have to wait until it is done before I can clean it all up.

So the kitchen is stripped and looking like this:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Bath is In

OK so a bit more progress on the bathroom, the bath is in along with most of the pipework so it is mostly a case of getting the basin in and changing over the toilet to the new one then tiling the whole room.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Work Started on the Bathroom

So the bathroom fitter started work today and started knocking off all the old tiles, removing the sink and redoing a lot of the pipework. He had to hold off on changing the toilet or else I would have been a bit stuck but tomorrow the bath should get in with a temporary shower as the boiler is not getting connected until the gas comes on 28th September.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lots of work in the garden today

So yesterday I managed to put on the complete top coat on the front of the house so that it is now white (must get a picture update for that). I still need to do some bits round the door which are going to be a bit of work but I need to do that in shade so with a sunny day like today I decided to work on the back garden. There was one big raised border that was full of grass, brambles and weeds and I managed to get rid of those. Plus I got rid of the snail sanctuary that had been created by some paving slabs, so it is all looking a bit  tidier. There is still lots to do in the garden but this was good progress and very hard work for about 5 hours! These pictures are not great but you can kind of see how I have removed all the weeds from the back area!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Coat Finished

So the first coat of the outside is done, just about had enough paint! It was quite tiring to do because of the textured bricks so the next coat may have to wait until next week as I have lots going on. Hopefully the weather will be OK to do that!

Excited that the bathroom is being installed next week together with the central heating system although the gas will not be installed until 28th September.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Great Weather for Painting the House

So today it was 25 degrees and sunny so I thought it would be a good idea to start painting the outside of the house. The house is painted in a kind of maroon colour at the moment and it looks like that was done quite a while ago so it needs a bit of freshening up. I wanted to paint it white and have already bought some paint to do it so I started in the porch where I had already began by cleaning and filling it.

When I began painting I realised that I might need more paint than I had as the bricks had small zig-zag indentations in them that meant they would take a lot more paint. I also realised that because the house was maroon it might need more than one coat to cover it. Luckily there was a big tin of cream masonary paint left in the back lean to when I got the house. In fact it was a full 5 litre pot. Anyway, I thought that I could use that as a base coat for the white to cover the maroon.

So, I made a bit of progress today but as I had the car I also needed to take some stuff to the dump so I didn't get to spend all day on it. This is as far as I got...

Friday, August 31, 2012

A Couple of Days Off!

So over the last week I have been working on the plastering and also painting. I have painted about 3/4 of the living room so it is starting to look much better. The amount of dust in the house was getting excessive so I spent a few days cleaning up so that the place is a bit more liveable. It's nice to get a reasonably tidy house back again so I have decided to have a couple of days off from the work to rest a bit.

The guy is coming in on the 10th September to install the central heating system and the bathroom so that will be a bit of turmoil again so I am preparing for that too! It will be so nice to get the bath in and have a brand new bathroom, very exciting.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hitting the wall (metaphorically)

So today I have kind of hit the wall with all the filling and sanding. It just seems endless! After the first big fill I need to do a finer one but then that needs a big sand and a final fill before any painting and there are loads of channels to do that on so it is going really slowly. I guess everything I do is progress and once all this is done things will go a bit more quickly (hopefully).

On other news I phoned the council about painting the front of the house white and they said there are no restrictions on doing that so I guess I need to schedule that in when the weather is OK. I have the paint so I can get on with that any time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Delay on gas installation

So National Grid are supposed to be installing a gas supply to the house as it doesn't have one. The surveyor came round on 11 July and said they could start work within 3-4 weeks. However, having not heard anything I phoned them last week and they said it was on hold as the house wasn't ready. I said that was wrong and the surveyor had already been round.

So, it looks like they misplaced my application somewhere and now I have gone back on the bottom of the pile. They phoned with a date for me on Monday of 28th SEPTEMBER!!! Which is 11 weeks from when the surveyor came. This messes up my central heating installation which is being combined with my bathroom installation. SO the plumber will do as much as he can without the actual gas supply and will have to come back to connect and sign it off. Hopefully it won't get too cold before the end of September as I won't have any heating :-(

In other news I am making progress on filling in all the holes that the electrician made for the new wiring. I got a whole lot of stuff at B&Q at the weekend so that I could save 20% and actually managed to save £90. I need to finish the spare room and hopefully the living room by the time I have my BBQ on 22nd Sept and also I need to fill, sand and paint all of the areas that will have radiators on them so that I don't have to paint behind them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

20% Discount at B&Q this weekend!

So B&Q have introduced something called the B&Q club and it is giving a 20% discount on purchases this weekend if you join (all the details on their website I'm sure :-) - so this means that I really need to decide on whether to pick up my bathroom furniture this weekend. I think you can get a toilet for about £50 and the sink unit with cupboard underneath that I want is about £110 I think so that would save me £32 already. Plus I need plaster and a few other bits and bobs and I also need to decide what to do about the fireplace - do I put in an actual fireplace or just some kind of feature? I'm veering towards the latter as it seems unnecessary to have a fire after I have put in perfectly good central heating... Anyway, I'll have to write a list of stuff to get so that I can save as much as possible as it is not often that B&Q have 20% off.

Plastering up the new sockets

So all of the new sockets and light switches have gone in along with a new consumer board. So now I need to plaster up all the channels and big holes that the electrician had to make to get the new cables in. I guess if I had paid more I could have got someone who did this too but of course this is all about money saving if possible so I am going to try and do this myself. If it doesn't work then I will get a plasterer in!

There are some quite deep channels to fill so to start off with I am filling with a bit more hefty mortar and then I will use a finishing plaster to top it off. I think the difficult thing will be to get it completely flat around the back of the sockets so we'll see how that goes.

Here are a few pics of some of the sockets that need doing and a couple I have started already.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Electrical Work Nearly Finished

So the electrical work is nearly done - a new RCD box has been put in to replace the old one. All of the cables have been recessed into the walls and new sockets have been put in and recessed instead of being on the surface of the wall so it all looks better. Added to that the storage heaters have been disconnected and removed ready for the central heating to be put in. Am still waiting for the gas supply to be put in which I was told would be 3-4 weeks and I think that was over a month ago, must check up on that.

So now I need to plaster all the bits of walls where the cables have been channeled and the sockets have been recessed which is going to be interesting!

Also need to sort out a design for a feature where the fireplace was, I think it will just be a kind of decorative. Also need a new box in the hall to cover the electric meter and units.

Have filled, sanded and painted another section of the living room so that is slowly getting done. May do a feature wall on the chimney breast.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Mess Starts!

So today the electrician started work. Mike had given me a good quote and seemed like a genuine guy and so I was happy to give him the work. He also cleans up after himself which is great! You can find him here: MSK Electrics. I had forgotten how much mess this would create as he needed to channel out the lines for the new sockets and light switches. Work started in the bedrooms and I think all of the channeling has been done in those. Also the storage heater is out of the main bedroom.
Whilst the electrician was working I was stripping off the wallpaper in the living room - I made quite good progress as it came off pretty easily, some of it even without the steamer. I am leaving the paper on the ceiling and above the picture rail as it looks fine (just needs a coat of paint). The walls are OK with some tiny hairline cracks that will just need a kind of plaster/pva wash as they as so small.

Friday, August 3, 2012

No Quote, No Business!

So over 2 weeks ago I had an electrician from a local company (CJ Electrical) round to give me a quote for the various work that I needed doing. It's not like it is a particularly small job so I expected them to be reasonably keen to get the work. So nearly 2 weeks after they came round I still hadn't received a quote. I phoned but was too late to speak to anyone in that department so left a message asking where my quote had got to. That was 3 days ago and I still haven't heard anything back.

So today I tried to call another local electrician but there was no answer. If they had an answerphone I could have left a message but nothing. People, get the basics of your business right and you might get more work, it's not rocket science!

Anyway, 3rd choice guy came round. Seemed like a very trustworthy and decent guy so I gave him the job. He starts on Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Doors

So I had to replace all of the internal doors - in fact there were only 3, one on the kitchen that had glass in which was not safety glass:

Then there was one on the living room that had a chunk cut out of it (for cables maybe) and one on the bathroom door that had a hole in it for a vent. Although at one point the doors might have been nice, they had been altered and damaged and were really not worth holding on to. So, in with some basic new doors:


The chippie was here all day fitting the 4 new doors so I am pretty glad that I didn't try to do it myself as I am sure I would have taken a lot longer (and probably struggled hugely to get them to hang straight!).

I still have the long task of sanding, filling and painting the architraves and painting the doors so that will be a big old job.

Garden Wildlife!

So on Monday the sun was out in full force so I thought it best if I worked in the garden. One thing that I have found is that there are heaps of ants nests. All along the paving and even in the lawn there are tons of them. I have doused a load with boiling water and put powder down on some but it seems never ending. Monday seemed to be flying ant day too but I did manage to kill a lot of them off.

One of the massive ants nests in the garden :-(

There also seem to be a huge number of snails in the garden hidden in all of the nooks and crannies and climbing up many of the walls. I don't think these are particularly good for the garden but I am a bit loathe to kill them so I'm not really sure what to do about them. There seem to be a couple of snail breeding houses under some of the paving slabs and this was a bunch that I found that I have yet to decide what to do with!

So last on the wildlife list for Monday was when I was clearing out some of the large number of pots that were in the garden and taking them down to the tip. One did not have any holes in the bottom and so had some water left in it and a little friend in the bottom...

He was relocated to the back of the garden :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Drop Kerb

Oh yes and so when I spoke to Ipswich Borough Council during the week they said they would send out a form to apply for a drop kerb so that I can have a driveway in front of the house. However, on Friday a man from the council knocked on my door to actually discuss it. He said that there was no problem in having one but he didn't know how much it would cost. He would pass on his recommendation of approval and someone would come round to measure up and give me a quote. One of the approved contractors for doing the drive is the chippie who is doing the doors so that is good to know. I'm still not sure if I will be able to afford it but it is a bit annoying that people park on the verge right in front of my house so it would be pretty useful and a good selling point. There is a house 50 yards down the road for sale, again a 2 bed bungalow but it has extra grounds and a garage and off road parking as well as a conservatory and it is up for £139,950. 

More Work On The Garden

So as it was such a nice day today I did a bit more work on the garden. There is a lot of work to do and it will likely take months to get it nice. There are huge numbers of weeds everywhere and the grass was really long so it will take a while to recover. I started yesterday by scrubbing up some of the paving slabs to see how they would come out after a clean. I reckon I can manage at most 4 slabs a day as it is really hard work (especially as I need to take care of my back!). Anyway, you can see the difference that a good scrub can make on them here:

I also cleared the weeds from half of the patio behind the lean to which now just needs a bit of a scrub too, but that can wait for another day! I have done quite a bit of cutting back at the front as well and to show for it have a complete brown bin full of waste. I thought I had better do as much as I could as the bin men come tomorrow.

Still more to do but making progress!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Get the Chippie In

So yesterday i had a few people come round - the electrician came round to check out all the stuff that I needed done with that - I might need a new RCD(?) board and also I want some more sockets plus some extra ones taken out. He will also quote for taking away the storage heaters as I was wondering how I would get rid of those.

The chippie also came round - he gave me a flyer a few weeks ago as I was coming out of Wickes so I gave him a ring - seems like a nice guy and he can pretty much do anything! First thing I want to get done is to get some doors put on - the bedrooms do not have doors and the bathroom and living room doors need replacing. he sent me down to Magnet to order the doors and handles as he said they had the best trade prices. I got 4 doors with handles and hinges etc for £144 and he will hang them for £25 each so a total of about £250 for the 4 doors. Slightly over my budget but I'm now not sure if I would have got them any cheaper elsewhere. Hopefully he will do them next week.

I also phoned the council to get a form to possibly apply for a drop kerb so that i can put in a drive - there is plenty of room in the front so it just depends how much it will all cost.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quote for Central Heating and Bathroom

So last week a plumber came round to give me a quote for the central heating and bathroom. He is a guy I used a couple of years ago to do 2 bathrooms in my previous house so I know he will do a decent job for a good price. The quote he gave me for both installing the central heating system (including all the radiators and the new boiler) together with supplying and fitting a new bathroom suite was pretty much exactly on my budget so that was good news. I just need to get the tiles in and I have now chosen which ones I want which are only about £10 a sq m so good value. A friend of mine used these same tiles in her bathroom and it looks really good so I know I have made the right choice. Now I just need to go pick them up and hope my back doesn't give out! The plumber can't start til mid/late August as he is always really busy but the gas supply won't be installed until then anyway.

Looking Behind the Fireplace

So the fireplace in the living room had just been covered up by a wooden surround and a sheet of wood in front of it - not very exciting. There was a slim chance that there might be something interesting behind this but given the age of the property (50/60s?) I kind of doubted it. Anyway, this evening I felt like I needed to do something so I just thought I would see what was behind the piece of wood. Well obviously once I started I couldn't stop there!

This is what the fireplace looked like at first:

So then I took away the wood from the front and there was a bit of a hotch potch of tiles behind:

I hacked the tiles off and found that there were a few layers of wood behind...

Having taken away the first couple of layers (and having to remove the surround which was attached to a socket on the right of the chimney breast!) there was a hacked up door underneath:

So at this point I was pretty sure there was nothing decent underneath and I was proved right in that there was just the remains of the old open fireplace (sorry for the letdown ending!)

So now I just need to find someone to come and block it all up and plaster over it so that I can just hang a wall mounted electric fire on there. I have the electrician coming to give me a quote tomorrow so I can sort out a power supply for it too.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

12 July Update

So yesterday my friend helped me to get my wardrobe out of storage and up in the bedroom :-) I really needed her help as it was pretty heavy and not something I could do on my own even if I didn't have a bad back. However, I hadn't quite estimated how deep it was so I will have to strip a bit more wallpaper and paint more of the wall! I'm glad I did the bulk of it behind the wardrobe though.

The man from National Grid came this morning to check out the situation for the gas supply (there isn't one) and says it should get installed quite quickly - which means 3-4 weeks. Oh well the plumber isn't free til then anyway!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Doing things the strange way!

So this week I have started to strip the wallpaper from the bedrooms but I have been doing it in a bit of a strange way! I have a short attention span and so I like to see progress going quickly. So in the 2nd bedroom (which has lots of stuff in) I cleared all the stuff at one end and stripped the wallpaper, filled in the holes, sanded the walls and painted 2 coats of magnolia - just at the end of the room! This means that I can move some stuff to that end of the room and then start on the rest of it while moving stuff round. Oh well it works for me!

So last night I stripped the wallpaper from 1 alcove in my bedroom where the wardrobe was going to go so that I wouldn't have to move it again - did the same thing - stripped, filled, sanded and painted a bit. This afternoon my friend is going to help me get the wardrobe up so I can get the stuff in it that is hanging around.

So the good news is that the plaster is good in the bedrooms at least and should not need replastering - hooray!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Getting Quotes

So I had a guy in for some quotes today. He did 2 bathrooms for me in my previous house for quite a good price so I thought I would try him again. I need to keep the costs as low as possible or else there will be no profit in it. At the moment I think it is going to take £10k to do all the work (which I don't actually have!) and that should give me £10-15k profit hopefully. But every extra will eat into this and it seems that there is plenty of extra work that could be done. I just need to stick to my guns and keep it as simple as possible.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Slow and Sure!

So it is a bit of a slow business getting everything started. I haven't yet moved all of my belongings in as I want to sort out what is here first. I have set up a small desk in the living room so that hopefully I will be able to work on the smallish second bedroom first as that doesn't need a huge amount of work. The main thing in there is that the sockets do not appear to work but as I am getting an electrician in for a quote on Tuesday I will have to wait until all that is sorted. There is also cabling going over the wall so that needs to be inset but apart from that it just needs decorating and a new carpet.

Did some more on the back garden - mowed the grass (can't call it a lawn yet!) and did some weeding but the patio areas will need a heck of a lot of work!

I also put down some lino in the bathroom that I had in my studio before as the floor was very sticky from the previous flooring.
The bathroom as it was before the lino went down (not that it looked much better afterwards!)

The patio that requires rather a lot of weeding!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Attacking the Garden - Before Pics

So the first job I did was to start on the garden. As the place had been left empty for at least 3 months before I moved in and there had been a lot of rain in that time, the grass was, let's say, more like a field! Luckily I had a strimmer so that was set to work straight away. Only thing with a strimmer is, how on earth do you fix it so that you can just keep feeding the line through rather than having to take the thing apart even time it breaks?

Anyway, here are some pictures of the garden just before (and halfway through) attacking it:

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Got the Keys!

So at long last, with very little help from my solicitors, I finally got the keys to the bungalow today. It was as I remembered it (including the all pervading smell of urine!) and with plenty of work to do. All my belongings will be moved in tomorrow and I will have to try and do the work whilst living there.

In an hour or two at the bungalow this afternoon I managed to flymo down 2 of the massive long 'lawns' that had been left to grow over the past few months. More to do over the weekend though. I also managed to remove the carpet from the main bedroom and need to take that down to the dump tomorrow as well as trying to get the underlay out before the movers get there at 10.30am.

The bathroom is a bit of a state as it has a shower but no drainage - I guess they must have used it to wash themselves over the sink or something. My Mum decided to help by taking out the bathroom floor which was a great idea in theory but has now left super sticky floorboards to walk on. Ideally I will put in a new bathroom floor soon but I will need to wait until the pipes have been put in for the new central heating system.

Next door appears to be some kind of crack house for teenagers with the smell of dope wafting out the windows. Oh dear.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Searches Back

So the searches have come back on the bungalow. Nothing unusual to report except that the house is in an area of archaeological importance but I think I had seen that somewhere before. Also there is no planning permission (probably not needed) and build regs (needed) for the lean to that is on the back of the house - worst case scenario is I have to knock it down. I knew this was likely the case and that I would have to make some changes to it so that it got building regs. Or else I put a conservatory on instead. It is not a vital part of the property, just a useful extra area, so that is not the end of the world.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things Moving Slowly

So as is the way with UK property transactions, things seem to be moving slowly. I sent back a long list of answers to questions that my buyer had and also had to include the planning permission for my own house which was built in 2000. Initially I thought I did not have these papers but then found them in a bunch of stuff that was sent to me when I bought the place.

Anyway, things are also slow on the buying front as the old lady who owned part of the house died. Her husband is still alive so it passes to him and hopefully that will not delay the transaction. I need to get in some removal men soon for quotes and also possible storage costs if I have to move out of my house before moving in to the bungalow.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Survey Back, Contracts with Solicitor

So I had a survey done on the property and there wasn't really too much that I didn't know which was a relief. The place needs a lot of work and most of the jobs I had written down were pointed out. There were just a few things like a couple of loose tiles on the roof and the sofits (or fascia boards, I can't remember) needed painting.

I have sent both the sale and the purchase contracts back to the solicitor but am just waiting for the Property Information Form from the seller which seems to have been omitted. Hopefully all will go through within a month.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bungalow Before Pictures

So there won't be too much to report in the coming weeks as I wait for the purchase to go through (touch wood). I have instructed a surveyor to do a homebuyers report which will hopefully be done next week. I went round to have another look at the place last weekend and took some pictures. One thing that struck me was that the bathroom was smaller than I thought and there is only just room to put in a small bath. The other options are to move the wall into the kitchen a bit to give more space but I am pretty sure it is a load baring wall. However, it still might be worth doing as there is enough room in the kitchen to take it and a bigger bathroom would be a big selling point and might be worth the extra cost. I will get some quotes as soon as I get the keys.
Lean-to off the back of the kitchen

Kitchen door from the lean to

Back of the lean-to

The lean-to off the lean-to!

back garden

Flat roof on the lean-to needs replacing


Main bedroom

2nd bedroom, electrics need insetting

Living room bay window to front

Fireplace in living room

door to kitchen

wetroom shower and sink