Blog Challenge 2.3 – Property Progress and Future

In May 2019 myself and my family bought a 3 bedroom house in the south of Scotland. We have been renovating it for the past 6 months and this month I have decided to write a blog to celebrate our 6 month of renovating.



Bedroom 1:

Wallpaper Inspiration:


Bedroom 2:

Master Bedroom:




Living Room/Hallway:



Blog Challenge 2.2 – Budget and Cost

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”
For those who may not already know, I have been renovating a property for the past 6 months and at the beginning of the venture I challenged myself to write 4 blog posts on different topics. Now that the house is nearing completion, I have decided to review the process and redo the blog challenge!
I previously wrote a reflection piece just outlining our progress and this week I am going to be writing about the budget.

So, rewind back to May 2019, I had written my blog post highlighting my expectations for the house and had just been given the keys. We purchased the property for £86,500 and I commented in my blog that we aimed to spend roughly £105,000 in total, so just shy of £20,000 for the restoration. I’ve been keeping good track on receipts and have tallied up nearly all of our expenditure right up to the end of October. However, I am missing receipts for a couple things that we purchased online like the oven, so I would say my record could be out by no more than £1,000, and adding to this, we still haven’t paid the plumber or electrician! But I aim to do another progress report once we have gathered all the costs up, I am not looking forward to scouring receipts and payments!!
Here is the chart I created at the start of the project:


1st Estimate Finance Chart

I have changed the colours but kept the same numbers, so it is still the same chart.
And this is where we are at now:


6 Month Rough Spend

I have a little note pad where I record every receipt, I write item bought, the price and the date, if there are multiple products on one receipt, I tend to just label it generically i.e. plumbing equipment, tools, etc. I wish I had been a bit more detailed though because when I came to make this chart it became really difficult to split some receipts into categories as there would have been items bought that went into different areas, so I excluded them from this chart. So, the chart above is just a ballpark figure currently.

According to my records we have spent £99,912 but considering that I haven’t recorded the boiler or cooker yet, we are probably about £100,912. All that we really have left to buy is flooring and of course pay the plumber and electrician so it wouldn’t be too shabby if we finished at around £107,000; £2,000 over our initial budget. In addition to this, we had a rough evaluation a couple of weeks ago to ensure we were not over-spending and the evaluator recommended putting it on the market at £145,000-150,000, so a £38,000 gross profit would be tiddddy.

Just to quickly debrief my estimates, comparing both charts it’s clear to see that some areas were quite close to my guess, but some were way off the mark. The roof was a pleasant surprise, after gaining a couple of opinions it was confirmed that the roof was dandy and needed little repair work, the money we have spent on it was mostly on replacing the guttering.

The kitchen segments are similar, I set a price of £3,000 in total for the kitchen which we just about reached but not quite, #winning. The bathroom was supposed to be £500 for the main suite and £500 to construct and install a brand new ensuite but we decided to not go through with those plans and instead put a little WC downstairs in the utility cupboard, with just a sink and toilet it fits nicely in there and in budget too – even better!
Also, I have added fees into the updated chart as I didn’t think about the solicitor’s fees and taxes we would be paying. Luckily, we get a discount on council tax due to the property being empty but we haven’t included what we have paid in council tax on the chart yet as I haven’t gotten around to adding it up. The structural changes on the graph have mainly consisted of knocking down the dividing wall between the kitchen and dining room and replacing it with a steel beam and this cost roughly £600. I haven’t included the porch on the new graph because all that my dad did was remove the horrible wooden cladding and brick it up to the roof that it already had using the bricks that had been knocked out of the wall inside, love a bit of recycling ❤ also, we added a window and door to it but those are included in the doors and window category.

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All in all, it’s going well in terms of budget. Hopefully, the only categories to grow before we finish will be the decorating one, the fees (from the sale), the plumbing and electrics. So happy with the project so far and will be a little bit sad to see it go, but I’m sure the pay day will cheer me up… If all goes to plan after all!!

Blog Challenge 2.1 -Renovation Update

6 Month Renovation Update

In May, my family and I were given the keys to our new property in the South of Scotland. This was such a big opportunity, especially for me as it was something I had never done before. My mum and dad had renovated a couple of smaller properties in the past but this one was going to be a learning curve for us all.

We are now 6 months into the project and to follow on from my blog challenge that I did back in May, I am now doing another challenge to celebrate. I will upload this blog every Friday for the remaining 3 Fridays in November to mark our 6-month point!



This first blog is just a recap of what I had outlined in the beginning and comparing it to what we have actually achieved so far. Starting with…

The Bathroom

Here are some pictures of what I was aiming for in regard to the bathroom, I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest.

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After we moved the position of the door, I really stuck to the green and white colour palette, but I decided to keep the original wooden boards around the edge of the room after I found a picture with something similar and thought it looked really nice. We did tile a small part of the wall behind the shower, just for practicality really. I incorporated a small line of patterned tiles to break it up slightly, if you look closely you can see a little shiny blue tile that has a little swirl in the middle which was the main reason I chose those tiles because I thought it was fair cute.

The bath suite that we chose was a P-style bath, mum and dad wanted a free-standing bath, which I liked but I preferred the P-style because I just felt it fitted the room better and was cheaper! Win, win.

The Bedrooms

At first, we believed that the bedrooms were all going to be plain magnolia with the original skirting boards and doors painted white. We mostly have stuck to this, but we are going to wallpaper one wall now.


The Chosen Wallpaper

Additionally, due to the actual struggle of stripping the really thick, embossed, floral wallpaper from the middle bedroom, we decided to leave one wall covered. After painting over it I am soooo glad we decided to leave it because it blends in so nicely with the room, it’s so subtle and just adds a bit of a feature to the room.

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Now most of the work upstairs is complete, bar a bit of painting and wallpapering to do, we moved to the downstairs…

The Kitchen

Whilst we were working upstairs, we were waiting on the plans coming through for the downstairs. If you have read my blog 6-months ago you will have seen the draft plan I made for the changes to the layout of the house, where we planned to knock the kitchen wall down to create a kitchen/diner, I also planned on creating an ensuite upstairs but we decided against it because it just took up too much space and made the bedroom sizes quite awkward. We have put an additional toilet room downstairs in the utility.

ensuite 1

Currently, we have had the planning permission accepted and the wall knocked down with a supporting beam in place. As well as this, we have bought the kitchen from Homebase, French Shaker style in an eggshell blue colour.

It’s going to look lush when it’s built, just waiting on the boiler to be installed before we assemble the units completely.


The Utility/Lean-to

We settled on bricking up the porch and put in a back door and window, so it’s came together well. Next to the porch is the utility room and like I mentioned previously, we decided to use the space to install a small toilet and sink area. In the remaining space, we have a couple extra kitchen units to put in.


Sitting Room

This room needs very little work, we have been using it as a bit of a storage room until we complete some more of the work downstairs.

Overall, we have completed most of the major work, except the boiler which should be done in the coming weeks, and then we just have painting and decorating left to do! On Friday I will be uploading my next blog which reviews our budget. Thank you for reading this update, there are more pictures in my website gallery and on my Instagram page: @huntersparkdesign


Week 4 – Property & Final Blog


I have decided to set a little challenge for myself this month, I have uploaded a blog per week for a month and this, as blog number 4, will be the last. Currently, I am really excited to begin this new project so it isn’t much of a challenge but more of a time killer until my parents and I can get into the house. When I upload this blog, we should have a 12 day count down to the day we get the keys! #happydays I do plan on keeping this blog updated throughout the renovation progress because I think it will make for an interesting little project.

So far, I have written about the structural changes we aim to make, our design views, budget, personal challenges and goals. In this final post for my blog challenge, I am going to share the pictures we have of the interior of the house taken by the estate agents and expand a little on the garden and lean-to on the back elevation of the house.


The garden at the back is definitely on the smaller side but it still a really good feature to have. It will probably remain mostly grass but we would like to replace those slabs with a nicer looking patio. The gate that is left ajar in the photo above leads into the neighbouring garden which as far as I’m aware holds a shared access. All in all, we will not be doing any extensive work on the back garden but definitely a bit of scrubbing up.

Looking at it from the other side you will see the back of the house.


Our lean-to is a bit of a nuisance as it sits in the garden of the next house, but it is our property as the utility leads into it. We plan on bricking it up and having a little sky light in the roof of it, just build properly from what is already in place. I think that it is a very ugly addition to the back end of the house so let’s hope it’s easy to resolve.

We don’t have any concrete plans for the garden or lean-to at this moment, we will probably discuss them more once we have come up with a more conclusive plan for the other rooms. It is extremely difficult to draw up anything conclusive at this time as we don’t have access to the building and any plans that we have got lack substance due to missing measurements and such. Even since I wrote my first blog post we have changed our minds and developed our initial thoughts so this whole process is going to be interesting, especially with all the changes.

With the day of entry getting close now I am hoping to start coming up with a bit of a work schedule, possibly pulling together a small Gantt chart but I’m unsure as to how useful it will prove to be because we don’t exactly have time limits or goals to meet. I believe that it would be useful in terms of keeping us focussed and also would be a fun thing to do to track the progress each week.

Speaking with my dad, it seems that the first task will be to get in and measured and then from this, drawing up some actual plans for the building work, getting it all checked by the professionals and submitting these for approval. Although, if you were to ask my mum, she would tell you the first job is to give it a good old clean!

I have attached below the pictures of the interior from the estate agents page!

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Week 3 – Goals & Finishing Touches


I have decided to set a little challenge for myself, I have been uploading a blog a week this month, and this is blog number 3. After this post, I will upload one more then I should be getting the keys to our new property, so exciting! In this post I am going to write about my personal goals that I want to achieve throughout the duration of this project, what my ‘role’ will be and also expand on some of the little finishing touches I would like to incorporate into the interior of the house.

I am already aware that working with my parents is going to be the biggest challenge I face. We have entirely opposite views on pretty much everything so finding some kind of common ground is going to be tricky. I understand that when it comes to actual maintenance work, there will be no arguments because I am in no position to question any of that work, however, the kitchen, bathroom and new layout are, even now, causing a bit of friction… But it’s to be expected in any work place, different opinions are to be celebrated and accepted, the only problem is finding a compromise, it will just take patience. Another challenge I think I will have to really work against will be fatigue. I have a 40-hour job beside this, and I worry that I will struggle to find the time to really give it my all, but I do desperately want to, I feel exhausted just thinking about it… Other people in the world have it way harder so I reckon that I will just have to channel my inner grafter and get on with it (fingers crossed). My main goals are currently:

  1. Learn to tile
  2. Keep the paperwork in a consistent order
  3. Learn to wallpaper
  4. Learn a little bit about the plumbing
  5. Keep it simple!

In terms of my actual role within the project, I am eager to turn my hand to most things. The professional and more kind of laborious work I will just leave to the professionals and my dad, but I think I will if not willingly, be forced by mum to help with tasks like tiling, painting and decorating. Also, I was quite good at woodwork at school, so I think that I’d be able to lend a hand when it comes to measuring and fitting things like doors, blowing my own trumpet slightly so I hope I’ve not jinxed it, it’s been a long time since school, potential for a disaster…

Furthermore, doing the job that I do has led me to be quite regimented with paperwork, so I am going to take the lead on keeping on track with receipts, paperwork and of course, the budget.  Additionally, this will help with keeping this blog updated on cost and progress. Having a paper bank of all the updates and expenses will assist me in the future when I start to embark on these projects singlehanded because it will give me a clear insight on how much work costs and experience with dealing with specific trades, bearing in mind that every house will require different work. Not to mention, my mum always loses the damn receipts and we have to endure a few days every year turning the house upside down on a proper mission to find everything, if I can avoid us having to do that, I will be very happy.


The Budget Chart

In regard to the finishing touches I would like to make, I personally think that every house needs to have a little something about it. I understand that it’s safe to paint it all magnolia and have everything very ‘Plain Jane’ but I still think that giving it a subtle personality is important. In all the houses my parents have done, they’ve wallpapered one wall in the house. If it was my house, I think I would have the whole sitting room papered, that is the done thing in these more classic interiors, a soft pattern all the way round. However, this is not my house so we might wallpaper one wall in the sitting room to give it some life, or we might just leave it for the people who would move in. Although, for small bedroom I spied a beautiful cream wallpaper that would be barely noticeable if the room is to be magnolia like the rest, but it has animals like elephants and zebras etched into it in gold; how beautiful would that look in the sun, just a plain bedroom but with the light shining on to a gorgeously drawn design, I think it would be perfect.

As for the rest of it, we will probably steer away from any kind of personality as it might hinder it in the selling process. I was thinking of framing some art to hang up on a wall or 2 just to brighten the place up a smidge but I’ll see how much time I get. I’m also on the hunt for a big gold mirror and a glass frame for those pressed flowers for the ensuite I wrote about in week 2, I think I am getting a bit giddy, but I am awfully excited.


The wallpaper that I like for the bedroom

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