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 1 – Structure & Changes

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I have decided to set a little challenge for myself today, 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. This week we received a letter of confirmation from the solicitor stating that our offer had been accepted and that the keys would be ours in a countdown of 6 weeks (which at this moment, feels like a lifetime) provided all goes to plan.

So, I have broken down a few topics that I would like to write about now for me to look back on when the project is complete. One of the main reasons I have made this blog is so that in the future, I am able to look back and remember the whole thing, and also to allow me to think about things more clearly and see where it could have been done better. Nonetheless, right here, right now I am going to write about the present layout, the structural improvements that we aim to make and the cost that we hope to limit ha-ha.

At present, when you walk in through the front door, firstly there is a little entrance way and through that you are then met by the staircase in the hallway, to your left a sitting room and to the right we have a slightly larger lounge area. Further on from these, there is the doorway to an extremely little kitchen and a separate utility room with an additional porch area (which is like a small, wooden shed somehow attached to the back of the house).

Halfway up the stairs, we have an awkwardly placed bathroom and then fully on the first floor there is 3 alright sized bedrooms.

floor plan

See below my altered plans: I have made 2 different versions, the only difference between the two of them is the placement of the ensuite bathroom.

ensuite 1

Ensuite Layout 1

ensuite 2

Ensuite Layout 2

Now then, what I would like to do with the ground floor, ideally would be to knock down the dividing wall between the kitchen and lounge. The days of having a 2 front rooms, I believe are well and truly over and additionally, I think it makes for a very anti-social home life. This space would be perfectly sized for an open plan kitchen dining room, it would bring in light from either end of the house using the space inclusively as opposed to divisively. The tricky thing with this job would probably be that this wall looks like a load-bearing wall meaning that the weight of the house sits along this wall and suggests that the wall is structurally important. Of course there are ways to remove it if it does turn out to be load-bearing, as we don’t necessarily want the building to collapse, we could perhaps replace it with an I beam, this would run along the bottom of the ceiling and shift the weight, instead of directly to the floor like the wall was doing, it would evenly distribute the weight to either ends of the room and down walls kind of like a bridge.

Another modification I would like to make to the layout would be to add an ensuite bathroom to the upstairs. The current bathroom is rather tiny so an additional bathroom space would be great in this house. Internally, this building has limited space so it might be tricky to incorporate an ensuite, but I thought, instead of restricting it to the one room, a Jack and Jill ensuite between either bedroom would look really nice. In the plans that I have put my changes on to, you are able to see the kind of design I went for and the effect it would have on the space in the bedrooms. Looking at the plans next to each other, I am leaning more to the 2nd option where the ensuite sits sandwiched between bedroom 1 and 3. I’m no plumber, but it also looks like plumbing could be a bugger, where would the pipes go? Furthermore, the size I used is the same as the bathroom minus the corners I cut out to fit the doors, in the 1st plan there would be no way to make it any larger as it would sit perfectly in the middle of the 2 windows but in the 2nd plan, there would be the option to expand more into bedroom 1 for sure.

Right now, those are the only major changes that we are looking to make (except from the porch but I want to write about that in a separate blog). The roof is also looking like it’s going to need a bit of work but that is way out of my league, so I’ll not bother mentioning the changes that are going to go on with that yet. In terms of cost, I would ideally like to stick a maximum of roughly £1500 on the building work of the designs that I’ve described (not including the cost of the actual ensuite, just the structural work), literally no evidence to support this figure, just a random figure I’ve chosen based on what I’ve been seeing online, pretty pointless even guessing but hey-ho.

I’ve been on Pinterest to find some examples for what I would aim for with the new kitchen/dining room if we do go ahead with the work I have described.  I’ll put their original links in the post too as they aren’t my photos and I’ve got a home design board on Pinterest that I will link below too.

Whilst I was looking for inspiration on Pinterest I came across the website: visualresistance.org, which has amazing content, I found exactly the kind of open kitchen I was looking for. I’ve inserted 2 of the photos from the website, one more country style and the other a more modern, simplistic kitchen-dining room.

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(http://visualresistance.org/kitchens/home-kitchen-diner-design-ideas.html)

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