Our House Renovation – 1 Week In

Let’s face it. Carrying out any kind of renovation work when you happen to be the owner of small children is shit. You either stay in absolute bedlam and hope they don’t choke to death on the amount of dust flying about, or, like us, you move out for a while. We’re really fortunate that we’ve been able to stay with my amazing in-laws for a few weeks, and to be honest they deserve a medal for having all of us descend on them once more (this is the third time in 5 years we’ve lived with them whilst building work has taken place). Having said that, the situation isn’t ideal for anyone, as my poor MIL will attest when she’s woken up pre-7am by a 5 year old who wants to test her on her knowledge of capital cities. I don’t know why, but I also feel more stressed than I have done on the previous occasions, even though nothing is especially different and I should probably be used to it by now. Maybe I’m just a bit jaded third time around and just know what a pain in the arse building work can be, especially when you have to keep making trips back to your house to retrieve various toys/underwear/maternity notes. 

Anyway, I shouldn’t complain- we have fabulous family to stay with, with room for all of us, and who have been endlessly patient, and that is a big thing that I really am extremely grateful for. We’re also lucky to be getting the work done in the first place, it’s our choice and not something we needed to do, so we really do have to suck up the short term pain for long term gain. 

This first week of renovation work has been difficult though, as we’ve had a few issues, both minor and major with the house that has put the project back time-wise already, and has meant I’ve had to be at the house once, sometimes twice daily, whilst trying to work and continue to look after the children as usual.

First up our major problem was discovered, a big issue with the floor. After lifting up the ‘old’ (but actually fairly new) oak paneled flooring, our builders found a layer of hideously difficult-to-work-with composite flooring, and under that a deep-cracked concrete slab that the house was built on. Compiled with the fact that we’ve also discovered that all the kitchen pipework runs UNDER the floor, rather than overhead like in lots of houses, it means that a great deal of the floor needs to be dug up too. All that will then need filling with ridiculously expensive filler before the floor can even be leveled, and could cost up to 8K to right, which is something we really don’t need!

The minor problem that we’re hoping won’t turn into a major one is that the upstairs bathroom that is also being done has had a leaky pipe overnight on a couple of occasions, meaning that water had come through the ceiling in the kitchen, and we desperately need it to dry out now this week before the kitchen plasterer starts work, otherwise this is yet another delay. 

On the positive side of things, I can already see how spacious the new huge room is, and I’m so glad we decided to knock the wall down and really open it up. I keep visualising how I think it will look, and I’m so excited by the thought of it! Our builders are also brilliant so far, and have kept us informed every step of the way, with regards to jobs being done, costs of everything, and providing ideas and solutions for tricky areas of the job. After having not-so-great ones for the kitchen renovation in our old house, this has been a breath of fresh air for Mr and Mrs Wary over here! 

This coming week the plasterer is there to do the kitchen, the electrics are being finished off, the pipework and radiators for the kitchen sorted, bathroom continuing to be worked on, and hopefully we’ll know exactly what’s going on with the floor, and what the final cost of this will be. 

Fingers crossed it’s not ball-breaking! 

I can now present you with possibly the dullest and un-prettiest photos in the history of interiors blogging, but I feel it’s a ‘must’ to show and record the process of our kitchen renovation! 

I’m hoping that the next time I write about what’s going on, I’ll have some more visually appealing photos to show you.

In the meantime, here’s to gritting your teeth, getting on with it, and remembering that this is happening for a reason, and that I’m learning more about laying flooring and debating cat flap positioning than I ever thought possible! 


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