We’re now into week six of our huge house renovation project.
That’s six weeks of living out of a suitcase, alternating between our parents’ houses every couple of weeks or so. (Oh how I now laugh at our initial idea that we’d be moved into our new house after two weeks. HAHAHA).
Work to the inside of the house is now 99% done. So, the builders have got straight on with building our kitchen/diner extension.
This is the point where I start to get a bit nervous about our timeline, because everything always overruns (the initial house renovations have taken twice as long), and it was most definitely NOT my plan to have builders in the house right up until my due date, or when we have a newborn.
We had the option to put off the extension until after baby 3 arrives, but we decided to risk starting now and just see where we end up when I reach full term.
Fingers crossed we will have a finished space, but no new kitchen yet at that stage (partly a budget thing and partly a lead time thing). Worst comes to worse, we will have an unfinished room and will be taking a pause on all building work for a month or so, so we can gain a bit of privacy and quiet back for those early weeks with a new baby.
We are, however, optimistically hopeful that the extension will go up faster than all the renovations to the existing rooms so far. The stumbling blocks with the internal work were all to do with old house problems – uneven floors and the entire network of old pipework needing replacing. We are crossing our fingers and hoping that building from scratch is faster than fixing old issues.
This last week has seen lots of small but significant developments – a digger in our garden, various visits from building control to sign off on the extension work and the internal renovations we’ve had done, getting the OK on a build over agreement from Thames Water as our extension will run over a public sewer, finalising decisions on windows and bifold doors, and approximately one million skip-loads of rubble and rubbish being cleared from our house.
The plaster has dried and most of the rooms have now been painted. We’ve opted for white everywhere at the moment, not wanting to rush our decisions on paint colours before we’ve had a chance to live in the space. But there is something really appealing about having fresh white walls everywhere (although I doubt they stay fresh for long!). It’s already had such a lovely, bright, dramatic effect on the feel of our house that we might just be tempted to keep it simple and white throughout for now.
Work on the bathroom is nearly done. Sam and I took our time choosing our sink unit, so there is still that to be installed, and I can’t wait to give the tiles a good wash and the walls a lick of white paint so that our tiles show up lovely and bright (they are currently reflecting the dull orange of the bare plaster, mmmm).
The makeshift kitchen that we will be living with until we have the time and budget to think about getting a smart new kitchen is now all installed and plumbed in. It’s only a small space for now, but it’s actually an improvement for us, considering we have just moved from a house with possibly the tiniest kitchen in the world. Plus, we have a big space on the other side of the room to put any extra temporary storage we might need in the meantime.
We’re at the point now where we could actually be living in the house. The whole place needs a good cleaning to get rid of the layers upon layers of builder’s dust, and then it’s just the time it will take to unpack and set up the basic furniture and kitchen items we will need. We are having to work around Sam’s business trips, which adds quite a bit of extra delay. Really, we are now just waiting for a clear weekend so he can get in the house, blitz the cleaning and set our beds up.
It has only really been the last week or two where we’ve had a few wobbles about our temporary nomadic lifestyle. I think because we are so nearly ready to move in, but still not quite there, the idea of reclaiming our own space back is seeming ever more appealing at this stage.
I have been sorely neglecting any sort of pregnancy update posts on this blog. I am currently 27 weeks pregnant and heading towards the start of the third trimester. To be honest, preparing for our new arrival has still very much taken a back seat amongst the house renovations. I feel that I won’t really start to focus on what we need for a new baby until I can see a clear end in sight to all our building work.
But at the same time, the main reason we are focusing so much on getting our renovations finished is so that we can reach that stage where we can fully focus on all things baby. I am looking forward to the point where I am washing and folding away all our newborn clothes, fetching down car seats and other equipment from the loft, and purchasing the few bits we will need.
Hopefully, by the time I write our next house renovation update, we’ll be all moved in and it will really feel like a new stage has begun for our family.
Click here to read my first house renovation post detailing all the work we are carrying out and the decision-making process behind our house purchase.