For the most part, my house is a welcoming place. Ok, that’s a lie, but it’s a work-in-progress and whilst the walls might look mucky and floors are unloved and bare, the overall aim is to have the same as everyone else – a cosy little utopia to spend our evenings and weekends comfortably. In our mission to accomplish this, it’s taken a good deal of sacrifice. I’ve lost a few fingernails (that’ll teach me to give myself a manicure and then volunteer in heavy lifting), Joe has given himself multiple bruises, scrapes, and even near chopped his thumb off recently. Honestly, I leave him alone for 5 minutes….
Needless to say, through all the gorgeous home design blogs I lust over on my tablet or laptop, I so rarely see the mucky work it took to get to that stage. (If you feel the same as me, go here to read one of my favourite blog posts from Simply The Nest about the battle for real-life photographs in DIY/Interior blogs)
With our kitchen so nearly ready to be installed, we’ve had many people excited for us, because this marks the beginning of the end of living in a building site. So I thought I’d reflect on the rough bits of living in a once-abandoned home. This isn’t a moan by the way, it’s all good fun. I promise 🙂
Or lack thereof. It’s true that the likes of floorboards can look stunning when properly sanded, primed and painted, but we’re not quite there yet- that is, if we don’t bottle it and go for a plain old carpet. For the time being, if you don’t want to end up with scabby feet covered in shards of glass (okay so it’s mostly plaster pieces but it can feel sharper than glass when you step on it with bare feet) then you’ve got to wear hard-soled shoes. You’ve been warned.
We had asbestos in the roof of the outhouse. We knew that when we bought the place, with the knowledge that one day we’d have to remove it. It’s gone from the roof but now lies in the garden, ready to go to Asbestos heaven in the not so distant future. Until it’s fully disposed of however, I still worry a bit (it’s in my nature – a family of worriers we are ) that it’s going to kill me in my sleep or something mad. Is it just me?
If you were keeping up with my updates when the kitchen had a flood, we were panicking that mould would begin to set in. Nothing showed up in the immediate weeks after the incident, and we keep checking the woodwork, underneath the carpet underlay, and behind the floorboards – just in case! Unfortunately, because of its messy pattern and discolouration, every time I see something there I go into panic mode, run to the one cupboard we have downstairs to get the bleach and scourers, when really a leaf had just blown in and I wasn’t wearing my glasses. Oops. I’m going to give myself a heart attack one of these days…
Since moving into the house and receiving the many building documents from our solicitors, I’ve been fascinated with the history of our home. We have detailed plans of what the neighbourhood layout was before it was even built, as well as who commissioned it to be constructed, and how much was paid for it (about £100 if my memory serves me) – seriously, how interesting is all that stuff? But alongside these are the risks of your location too, including your chance of flood for example. As I’ve researched more I’ve been reading about radon (check out the below video on Radon Testing by Properteco if you’ve not heard of it) and how we are supposed to be checking our homes aren’t exposed to it, as it’s a cause of Cancer. I think I’m going to buy a radon testing kit just to be safe. Am I being too dramatic do you think? There’s a pattern forming here…
I’m not sure I really need an explanation for this one, and yes it sounds completely wimpy, but hey, I just don’t like spiders. And neither does Joe. Unfortunately, with many many holes emerging the the walls and floorboards, these evil critters keep popping up out of the ground making us both squeal like little girls. I understand there are worse things that could happen on a daily basis, but what can I say? I’m a scaredy-cat.
I think most of these worries will be eradicated when the house is fully decorated. Perhaps I won’t lose so much hair from worry. Perhaps I just need to take a chill pill?
What are your experiences of living through a renovation? I know I’m not alone here!