House Renovation

Since May last year, my father and I have working hard renovating a £86,000 property.

This month, we completed the work, put it on the market and sold it.

It all happened so quickly…

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First thing we did was replace the windows with double glazing…

Next, we moved the door of the bathroom from the left to the right and we fitted the bathroom suite…

Then we started decorating the upstairs bedrooms…

Meanwhile, Dad knocked down the wall between the living room and kitchen…

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Before we designed and booked our blue kitchen design…

Dad built a small downstairs toilet…

 

The upstairs bedrooms were finished…

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pre_load_imgAnd the kitchen fitted…

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Carpets, flooring and bricking up the old porch…

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And then it was a case of finishing up the little jobs. I’ll attach some more photos into the Gallery of my website, feel free to have a browse.

 

Can’t believe it’s sold already, time to say goodbye. But hopefully another one will be on the agenda soon 🙂 🙂

Laura

My Experience – Buying a House at 19

Buying a House at 19

“Buying a house is kind of like catching a train, it’s probably going to get delayed.”

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At the beginning of 2019 I made the decision to invest in a renovation project, I was inspired by my parents who have bought and sold properties in the past. I had been feeling a bit useless and life was at a standstill working a full-time job just felt like I was living the same day repeatedly, I needed something to fulfil my goals and regain my energy. Although, I didn’t want to undertake this huge opportunity single-handed, so I came to an arrangement with my parents, this deal being that they would loan me the money to buy and renovate a property, with their help, they would get the entire loan back and any profit would be split between us dependent on different factors, such as:

  1. Time spent working on the house
  2. Work effort
  3. I contributed around 5% of the overall budget, therefore, my share of the profit will be considerably smaller

Fortunately, they were in the financial position to buy the house free of any kind of mortgage or loan for me which saved us a lot of time and hassle meaning that we could jump straight into house hunting. Regardless of my parents help, I made sure that the house was put in my name, I am so thankful for everything they’re doing it was such a big deal to me because it felt like the beginning of something positive in my life. We viewed multiple properties in our local area but none of them quite buttered our bread and we left most viewings feeling rather flat. This being said, it was a blessing in disguise as if it was not for these shortcomings, we never would have found this house

We went to view this house after seeing it online, it simply ticked all the boxes and going to view it was the icing on the cake. My dad in particular just loved everything about it, and so did I! We didn’t hang around, as soon as we finished, we were in the solicitor’s office putting in an offer. Sadly, this offer was at the top of our budget and got rejected, but it didn’t knock us, we wanted this house so badly that we dipped into the renovation budget to accommodate a slight rise in our offer which, thankfully, bagged us the house!

Since then, I have been in and out of the solicitor’s office. I honestly don’t like it, something about walking into a room of extremely wealthy, old people just feels daunting, like they’re totally judging me, and I can definitely feel it sitting in the waiting room. In the office isn’t much better either, I like my solicitor, she is friendly, of course she is (we are paying her…!) but she just talks with so many words that I have to pretend to understand, she could honestly be talking another language and I’d still sit and agree with her as if I was fluent! I’m glad to have my parents sat on either side of me, I hope they’re more clued up than me. One thing I did understand however, was that there was a discrepancy with the plans, which means we have a problem.

Whilst we waited for the sale to process, I decided to start up this blog. I thought that it could be a clever tool to track the progress we make, as I hope to do this again in the future, it would really benefit me to have something to look back on and help me to make better choices in the future. Adding to this, it’s a way to keep me entertained and most importantly, focused, while I haven’t got any jobs to do. It has been harder than I had thought it would be, keeping views and likes consistent and thinking of things to upload has been like a job in itself, not to mention that Instagram is a dog eat dog world, one minute I have 100 followers the next 90 and 80, and so it goes on! It’s hard to keep up sometimes, but overall, I enjoy it a lot. @huntersparkdesign

Hunter and Spark, Family Property Development since 2019

We were updated by the solicitor that they were resolving the issues with the plan and that it should not be much longer before the keys are in our hands, it’s annoying that we didn’t get them a week ago like we had first thought, I can tell my dad is eager to make a start, but as is life.

Aside from my blog, in the meantime I have been making budget plans, drawn some pictures, a spreadsheet timetable (currently with no jobs or times on it yet but I have the layout!) and looking at home inspo on Pinterest to get me prepared for the big day! I think that we will possibly be looking at another week before I can pick the keys up but that’s okay, good things come to those who wait, blah blah. As soon as those keys are in my hands, I’m going to be in there measuring it up and taking photos, I can’t bloody wait.

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Also, another thing I am buzzing about is that summer is almost here!!! 🙂

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Week 4 – Property & Final Blog

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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.

Garden

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.

Back-of-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

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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.

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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.

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The wallpaper that I like for the bedroom

https://www.homebase.co.uk/boutique-jungle-animals-cream-wallpaper_p491743

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Week 2 – Budget & Design

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Last week I decided to set a little challenge for myself, I am going to upload one blog a week for the next four weeks. 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. I kickstarted this challenge last Monday writing about the structural changes and layout we were aiming to achieve within our new house.

To briefly summarise what I went over last week, we are looking to change the current downstairs layout by removing the dividing wall between the kitchen and the front lounge and then add an ensuite bathroom between bedroom 1 and 3.

Current Layout

So, on to this weeks post… I’m going to mention budget first and foremost because money is always the elephant in the room when it comes to property development. After that I will then write more about the plans for our kitchen and bathroom.

Hopefully, the maximum to be spent on the entire project would be in the ball park of £105,000.00, ideally cutting this too 100,000.00. I don’t want to cut corners and I certainly would not jeopardise this project in the name of budget cuts however, I will be bargain hunting, you mark my words! Of course, this number has been determined by the total cost of the house and the fact that our estimated cost of work to be done comes to about £18,000 give or take. The maths that I have done has been based on figures that I have roughly researched and been guided to by my parents from their past experiences; we have not begun gathering quotes or speaking to trades yet as we have not got the keys right now. I have compiled my estimated figures into a pie chart for a different perspective, surprisingly to me the task that takes up the most of our budget is actually replacing the doors and windows. Second priority in the order of cost would be the roof work taking up 4% less of the budget than the doors and windows. Heating and rewiring we have given the same allowance of £3000, putting these collectively at 32% of our overall budget.

I understand that people could be confused by why I’m just guessing numbers, honestly the only reason I can give would be that I really want to see the transition from guess work to the real deal. Throughout this whole process I intend on keeping up to date with this blog, showing the before, during and after because it will be interesting to me to see the difference. In addition to this, setting a budget of any kind is important, even if it is a little loose. budget

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went”

From now on, that pie chart will be the reference point to all the work that goes on, and for the amount of time it took me to screenshot it and transfer it on here, it better be worth it.

I planned this post to also elaborate on the plans for the design of the kitchen and bathroom too and as you can see from the chart, the kitchen is probably going to under go the most work out of the 2. The lines become a bit blurry here in the chart as our kitchen-diner will come under both ‘structural changes’ and ‘kitchen’. When it comes to architecture and interior design I am no expert but I believe that our house suggests quite a Edwardian style, so when it comes to décor, we really need to sustain that classic, old style vibe and not be too influenced by a modern aesthetic, which will be difficult to steer away from with a open kitchen-diner as this trend is not very old fashioned. When it comes to the actual kitchen units, wooden panelled units look spot on in more classic houses and I am a real fan of the kind of pastel colour palette that is popular amongst country homes, I think this sort of criteria is what I would aim for with the kitchen because it strikes a great balance between classic and up to date.

  • Open kitchen-diner
  • Wooden units
  • Pale colour palette (love eggshell blue especially)
  • £3000

Another funny one on the pie chart is the bathroom. Our current placement for the bathroom would be around the £500 mark, I asked my dad on this one and I think that this just comes down to the fact that we will probably not splash out on a bathroom set and the plumbing should be basic enough for us to do ourselves. This being said, it’s a tiny little space that would definitely benefit from an ensuite situated somewhere else. With this in mind, the ensuite would probably be able to stretch into the following budgets, ‘bathroom’, ‘decoration’ and ‘structural changes’. The real challenge is going to be rearranging these rooms to maximise space and efficiency, in terms of design, I think we will opt for a neutral theme for the bathroom, keep everyone satisfied. Although… the ensuite you say… as this will probably be located between 2 rather plain rooms I would like to have a hint of life in this room. I am currently pondering a bit of a botanic vibe, so really plain walls with maybe pale green tiles in the shower, I have noticed the white tile theme on Pinterest is popular but to me, I think it looks a bit claustrophobic reminding me of a prison brick wall. Furthermore, hanging on the wall I would really like to have some pressed flowers in a gold frame (personally think this is interior goals ATM). Fingers crossed I get a vote of approval.

  • Neutral, calm, family friendly main bathroom
  • Jack and Jill ensuite
  • Botanical themed ensuite with pale green and gold highlights
  • Aesthetic/classic
  • £500/£500

Once again, I will have a search to find some ideas that will be able to illustrate my plans better than words can and will link the original websites so you can have a look. It has been really difficult to find exactly what I have planned but these are as close as I can get. I do have a board on Pinterest all to do with Home Inspiration so feel free to have a nosey.

 

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The kind of simplistic vibe I’m aiming for – https://www.homebase.co.uk/ideas-advice/kitchen-and-bathroom/bathroom-ideas (homebase ideal senses collection). I really like this simple suite for the main bathroom but probably using warmer toned tiles on the walls.

Love these tiles to fit with the botanical theme -https://www.homify.co.uk/ideabooks/42277/bold-bathroom-wall-tiles (Sea Green Dream). This website has some really beautiful interiors on their website, I like these tiles a lot so hopefully we will be able to get some good value ones for the ensuite.

This kitchen is perfect! – http://visualresistance.org/kitchens/home-kitchen-diner-design-ideas.html.

I would like a bath in the main bathroom and a shower in the ensuite – https://www.homebase.co.uk/aqualux-quadrant-800-x-800mm-shower-enclosure-and-tray-package_p105287. I really like the idea of the ensuite shower sitting between the 2 doors in the Jack and Jill suite, I think that it would look really stylish. Also those tiles would look nice in the main bathroom.

My Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/laurah0939/home-inspo/