The Build

It was a storage space / workshop / office / maybe small living area? for the previous owner, years ago. The rooms were small, the lino was …not pretty! It was full of leftovers from the adjacent bungalow conversion – old garden tools, rubbish, our own leftover really-should-be-thrown-out-after-moving-here-but-vaguely-sentimental stuff… And then the washing machine, old bikes, wellie boots, empty paint cans, cassettes(!!), DVDs – bit of a mess, yes. Oh, and furniture that we had no room for now that we’d moved here to a much smaller (and we think much nicer) house.

But hey! It had plumbing, electricity, and nearly 40 square meters of potential loveliness so zero complaints!!

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We’d been using extension leads since August – in and out for the washing machine with our torches. Coming up with ways to keep our stuff from getting damp and the cat warm through Winter – still though – it was a mild one, so this isn’t a whinge, just a description!

Watching the builders and thinking HEY!! Where’s the cat flap gone??

So we decided it was time to clear out and take the engineer report’s advice – mental health wise if nothing else!! Get rid of the leaky roof, redo the floor, maybe replace the walls??? What you see in the pics is the empty shell – pity we didn’t think to photograph the mess – it was unreal! In the weeks that followed, lots of donations were made. That didn’t feel completely altruistic to be honest – the benefit to us equalling any benefit to others. Got rid of some stuff on eBay, Adverts (better than DoneDeal for SURE) and we started the arduous process of interviewing builders.

You think – sure that roof is mostly grand! Those walls are grand – it’ll be dead easy and quick. But then you learn that the roof is in fact crap, that the walls aren’t thick enough, nor are they symmetrical, that the floor needs to be dug up and insulated (HOW was anyone comfy here?) and BOOM! suddenly your required budget has literally tripled… Still though – it’s still fun! So far…

Why do so many builder guys not show up or return calls? OMG

Anyway – when we found the humourous and competent Kieran we knew we were set! Although we might never forgive him for pretending we did damage to his car…

So here are our pics and videos so far of the renovation and the pond – we know some people think we’re crazy. That’s half the attraction – the other half is biodiversity. It’s one of our things 😉

We thought the music was super-appropriate


Note how we got them to work in sync with the music?? OK we didn’t, it was pure fluke – funny though!

I’ve read enough – take me back to the booking page!

Will we get it done in time for summer holidays and for IronMan??? #eeeeekk! WELL – we would have if it weren’t for IKEA who, in fairness, have the worst customer service ever.

Lesson learned…

If we’d checked Trustpilot we’d have known… but we didn’t… ANYWAY – we’ll be ready in two weeks! Assuming they deliver the kitchen this time!

We’re thinking of this romantic toilet?? You like?

OK, no, we’re not really thinking of this toilet. But who knew toilets were so expensive?!! This project has been an eye opener. I can’t imagine the stress of building an actual house from scratch. But also, it’s amazing to watch – where would we be without the skill of builders?

Contour so the pond is child and wildlife friendly.
Music credit: Minim

We’ve been uploading pics and videos on our Facebook page – our latest and most exciting (for us anyway!) is the pond being contoured and guess what! – in our new managed meadow garden a rare species of bee have taken residence – how cool is that??

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