Renovating our new house on a very tight budget

When we bought our new house we were lucky enough to be able to live with family while doing the renovations-it would have been impossible otherwise as we completely ripped it back to its bones.

Our first move was to ask an architect for some sketches so we could see how feasible our ideas were, then once we had a plan of action we set to work pulling the house apart. As the work involved removing walls & chimney breasts etc. we had to get building control involved. The project would need to be signed off at the end & we’d receive a certificate to show compliance with building regulations.

The main tasks were as follows:

Remove chimney & chimney breast to create space upstairs for an en suite shower room

Block up the second front door & create a downstairs toilet & utility in that space, move the boiler into there too.

Take down the wall dividing the narrow kitchen from the living room to create a larger kitchen/dining/family room

Rewire

Replumb

New main bathroom

At every stage we were obsessed with the costs. Constantly weighing up quality versus price. I spent countless evenings poring over bathroom fittings, flooring samples and curtains until even I was sick of looking at them-but we simply couldn’t afford, and didn’t want, to just throw money at it to make for an easy life.

We made a lot of compromises; the plastering is appalling-you definitely get what you pay for there-and since moving in we’ve paid the price for hiring a low budget plumber. I’ve spent many hours underneath our bath/shower/kitchen sink trying to address the leaks. We tried to relocate the boiler and not replace it but in the end we had to buy new, it seems it couldn’t cope with the move!

Our second front door

The master bedroom from the landing

2016-03-03 16.07.41

Chimney has been removed & the second front door bricked up

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