Living on a building site.

I’m trying not to get stressed out but the house is a bomb site at the moment. On any given day there may be a plumber, carpenter, decorator or labourer here and some days they are all here! It becomes a full-time job keeping everyone in hot drinks and biscuits. And then there are the dogs. I have to pen them in and herd them from room to room and of course, all they want to do is say hi to everyone. I set my alarm each night, get up very early and try to be dressed and ready before anyone arrives, although there is usually a van or two on the driveway before 7.45am. When Vern is here I can relax a little as he is always up with the lark but three days a week the responsibility rests on me to be up and ready before they turn up. By 4pm they have all packed up and gone and I am left with the aftermath of the days’ work. Did I mention the dust? It gets everywhere. It covers every surface and collects in every crevice. I hate it. Often there is wet paint to avoid, not easy with three dogs running around. New hazards crop up all over the house from tools being left behind for the next day, extension cables trailing everywhere and actual holes in the floorboards. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m having my house beautified beyond all recognition but IF we ever move house again it will have to be to a completely refurbished house with nothing to be done, because I am never doing this again!

Our builder Lee reckons Phase One of the Money Pit refurb will be complete in the next couple of weeks. He is throwing everyone at us in a bid to get it done as he has a huge job coming up in the Spring elsewhere which will need all his tradesmen. Phase One covers installing underfloor heating in the living room, decorating and creating new steps. When we moved in there were huge semi-circular steps down into the room which dominated the floorspace. These are now sitting proudly in the skip and we have smaller square steps which are much more modern. We are also turning the downstairs bathroom into a wetroom with an LED shower which has mood lighting. Now that the hall floor has been levelled we are decorating throughout and replacing the floor, along with the old wooden banisters. We now have eight new doors downstairs, all of which shut properly and I am planning to upcycle some of the old furniture. Vern plans to build a bookshelf and tv stand using industrial steel fittings (his company makes them) and reclaimed wood. It’s all very exciting. This weekend I got really excited when I found the perfect light fitting for the living room. It was pricey so I had to compromise on the hall lighting which will be simpler and cheaper but it’s totally worth it. Since the day we bought this house I have had a vision of how the living space should look and I’m sticking to my guns, no matter what. Lee thinks I’m mad because I want to paint the hall ceiling dark grey but he will eat his words when he sees the finished result!

Phase Two will happen later in the year. This will be a total kitchen revamp. I want to include my baking hobby in my little tea party business so I will need an all-singing, all-dancing kitchen with double oven and proving drawer (this is a deal-breaker) to create beautiful cakes and scones in. The bedrooms also need a facelift but we will decorate those ourselves once all the building work is finished. Oh, and I forgot to mention that we also need to work on the back garden as there is currently a two foot drop down from the orangery! So plenty to keep us busy, and broke, but I cannot wait to get it all finished. I’ve been taking photos throughout to make into a book so we can look back at the changes.

Thanks for reading. xx

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