Monday, 30 December 2013

Work stops to celebrate Christmas

When we bought our house in October 2012 we thought it would be a brilliant idea to invite my family down from Essex to spend Christmas 2013 with us. As the months of renovation went by the house was getting more and more like a home and ready for my family but it was hard work. We were grouting the bathroom the night before they arrived and working right until they knocked on the door. But once they arrived they downstairs was looking good but the upstairs still needed work but this had to be ignored and we were to ignore the plasterboard bedroom walls and lack of carpet and hope that some nice curtains and bedding would make it comfortable for my family until we were 100% finished on the house.

For our first Christmas in our new home and the first Christmas in Cornwall for my family the whole festive period was a success and we will definitely host Christmas again when the house is completely finished.

Ready for Christmas in Cornwall

Christmas in Cornwall

Roasting Chestnuts

Pigs in Blankets

Open fire in CornwallChristmas dinner table

Christmas in Cornwall 2013

Monday, 16 December 2013

Fitting oak doors in the bathroom and bedroom

With only 9 days until Christmas we really should be thinking about turkey dinners and wrapping presents but right now the DIY continues late into each night. Tonight we have added two new internal doors upstairs, these are on the newly created bedroom and the bathroom. Although we currently don't have the door handles or lock on the bathroom door we are hoping that these will arrive any day and we can get these fitted before the big day!
Fitting oak wooden doors

Bedroom oak door
We both know that the house won't be finished by Christmas but it will be really close and the only thing stopping us from getting it finished is a simple case of money. In the new year we will save up and go through the final big spend and hire a plasterer and order some carpet. Once these two big jobs are completed it will be time to decorate the upstairs and the house will be finished! 

I know it will never be 'finished' as we will then start on the outside and start renovating the currently untouched garden and patio, and then the driveway and front of the house will get a makeover not to forget the man cave that is the garage which I know will get a lot of love to make the perfect get away for James. When all this is done hopefully it will be time to enjoy the house that we have put so much time effort and money into building and I can enjoy baking during the weekends and James can enjoy tinkering in his garage. But right now we have 5 days until the family arrive so we must get on getting as many jobs finished before Christmas as possible!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Fitting new bannisters in our little Cornish home

With the new wall in place at the end of the bathroom it gives us the location to fix the stair bannisters to. Up until now there has been no bannister and an worrying drop off the edge of the landing. The bannister has arrived and finally our house is safe and hopefully now after living here 14 months we can have a house warming party without the fear of someone having an accident on the dangerous stairs. 
Fitting new bannisters in our home

New bannisters on the landing
We feel like this is a really important day with the bannister going in and think that it makes a massive difference to the upstairs. If you look with blinkered eyes and imagine the walls are plastered and painted and the floor carpeted the house will be nearly finished. 

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Painted wooded floor boards

With the old carpet removed we are left with bare floor boards in the second bedroom with Christmas only a few weeks away and the parents coming to stay in this room we make the decision to paint the floor boards to make the room a little nicer. We won't have time to get the walls plastered and the room decorated or have the money to get new carpets fitted throughout the upstairs but we are trying our hardest to make the room hospitable.

Bare floor boards in the bedroom

Painted floor boards in the bedroom
With the floor painted and the bed in place in doesn't look to bad, once we put up a curtain pole with some nice new curtains, a matching bedspread, a fluffy rug at the end of the bed and a beautiful lamp it won't look to much like an unfinished room. I'll post some pictures once it's done and hope that my parents don't mind the half finished house to much for their first Christmas in Cornwall! 

Happy Christmas to a little Cornish home... and me :@)

For the last 14 months we have used and abused our little Henry Hoover and he has been a little trooper during our house build but with one week to go until my family arrive for Christmas and the house needing a thorough clean he sadly has joined the Henry Hoover party at the local dump! 

As an early Christmas present or rather an necessity our little Cornish home has been treated to a much needed to Hoover and to James's amusement I returned home from work with a pink Hetty.
Pink Henry Hoover
He responded with he can't believe I bought a pink Hoover with eye lashes!!! I love her and can't wait to put her through her paces. 

I'm not really to sure what has happened to me in the last 14 months but since becoming a home owner I can sadly say that "Yes" I'm excited by a pink Hoover! What does becoming a home owner mean!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Moving the bathroom door

When we first moved into the house we very quickly did not like the upstairs layout of the house, the extremely steep and dangerous stairs that went straight up and into the bathroom. The bathroom that was a step lower than landing floor. The upstairs didn't feel very well planned and the bathroom extension was simply that, it was a bolted on bathroom extension with no thought to fit it in with the rest of the house. 
Changing position of the bathroom door
We had already decided to remove the stairs and fit a new stair case going up the opposite way as well as having a quarter turn at the bottom meaning that the stairs were not as steep as before and therefore a lot safer. Which is particularly good for people as clumsy as myself who was always tripping up the old staircase. But with the stairs now coming up the other way this left the bathroom door to the wrong side of the bathroom. You would have to squeeze around a very narrow landing around the corner and through the door. So we decided that we would move the door from the right hand side to the left hand side. Although that sounds relatively simple it was a massive job that involved moving bedroom walls to make the landing big enough to except the new bathroom door. Removing the concrete wall where the new door will go and cutting into the ceiling to increase the height so that a full height door will fit in.
Bathroom wall removed
Here the concrete wall on the left has been removed and an acrow prop is held in place where the old door once was. This is just a temporary measure to keep the house safe whilst the new structural timber wall is built in it's place. 
New bathroom wall being built
The frame starts to go in and the shape of where the new door will go sits in place, we decided to build the frame out slightly further from where the original door sat and utilise the small bit of space that made the top of the old landing. Utilising this section of dead space means that firstly the space is not wasted, but secondly the bathroom is slightly bigger and we now have the space to include an inbuilt bathroom cupboard for towels.
Building the new bathroom wall
The plasterboard is fitted to the new frame work.
Making the bathroom bigger
With the new frame in place it is now time to remove the old lintel and bring the bathroom ceiling height up further to fit in with the rest of the bathroom. We won't go up as high as we would like as this would involve structural work to the roofing beams so although we will be gaining height in the bathroom it won't be flush with the rest of the bathroom ceiling. But it will be safe and not to mention cheaper doing it this way and we know that it will look so much better than it does now so we are more than happy. 
Removing concrete in the bathroom
Where the existing concrete wall has been removed the floor was slightly uneven so a little cement has helped us to level this out.
Bathroom renovation

Building stud work bathroom walls

Plaster boarding bathroom walls
The old section above the door is removed and the new section slightly higher starts to take shape.
New bathroom ceiling going into place
The section starts getting boxed in and looks so much better than it did previously, the door now opens up onto the new wide landing and really was worth all the extra work to make the new doors position perfect.
Bathroom door successfully removed

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The bedroom continues to get built

Installing plaster board walls
With the old lath and plaster walls removed and the old plaster removed from the external walls it's time to start putting the bedroom back together. Building a stud work frame wall on the existing wall means that we can line the bedroom with thermally insulated plaster board making the room warmer. We will also make a plaster board frame to surround the window and at some point in the future we will replace the window with a new double glazed one to match the downstairs. 
Building stud work walls

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Finally the skip is removed from the drive

Since we moved into our new house in October 2012 one of the first things we did was started ripping the house apart and this meant that we needed a skip. Well it wasn't just one skip that we needed and this week we were up to skip number seven but when this skip was removed we weren't getting another one. 

It's a really exciting feeling knowing that the majority of the renovation work is now coming to an end and that the house is nearly complete but most exciting is that we now actually get to make use of the driveway that comes with the house
Skip removal from the driveway

Skip collection from our driveway
There have now been skips on the driveway for the last 14 months so it's left quite a mark on the driveway but i can't wait to have my car on the driveway instead of the skip!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Creating our new bedroom by adding plaster board to the walls

Removing the bedroom walls was a very big decision as we were only moving the walls by around a foot however the work involved was incredibly messy and time consuming. By moving the walls we were going to gain a larger landing enabling us to move the bathroom door in line with the new landing as well as making the master bedroom bigger. Although the second bedroom would now be made smaller it is still big enough for a double bed and also puts the wall and new bedroom door in line with the existing bedroom wall and door making the upstairs look a lot more organised and the space now works a lot better. 
Creating new bedrooms from stud work frames
With the stud work wooden frame in place the plaster board is now added to the frame to create the structure for the new rooms. We now need to get our electrician around to wire the light switches and electric sockets into their rough new homes before the final layers of plaster board are added to the inside of the bedroom.
Plaster boarded stud work frame

Monday, 9 December 2013

Building a bedroom for Christmas!

Renovating and removing bedroom walls
Whilst most people are putting up their Christmas decorations we are putting up our bedroom walls! With the lath and plaster walls now nearly completely removed it is time to start really pushing forwards with putting the bedrooms back together. 
Building stud work bedroom walls
The new stud work wall starts going into place, the wall has now moved over by a foot making the second bedroom smaller but most importantly making the master bedroom bigger.
Recreating the bedroom walls
The last piece of plaster is removed from the old wall and the shell of the new room is now going into place. 
Building a bedroom wall
The new bedroom wall stud work is now in place and ready to receive plaster board and we can start recreating two bedrooms exactly how we want them.
Stud work bedroom wall complete

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Restructuring the upstairs and creating new bedrooms

Removing lath and plaster walls
With yesterdays destruction removing the lath and plaster wall at the front of the bedroom today it is now time to remove the second wall.Once these two walls are removed we can rebuild the walls and start putting the upstairs back together.
Lath and plaster wall removal

Building new stud work walls
Whilst James's dad removes the second bedroom wall James starts constructing the new bedroom wall and the upstairs in flying back together in no time.
Lath and plaster wall removal
This is the wall that adjoins our bedroom so currently there is just a thin dust sheet between the carnage and our bed, although the dust sheet is gaffer taped to the ceiling and the floor there is a lot of cleaning to do for the ladies whilst the boys continue with the destruction and construction.
Removal internal bedroom walls

Building new bedroom walls
The new wooden frame is now being built for the slightly smaller second bedroom and you can see the scars on the walls where the old wall used to sit. Although the wall hasn't moved far it will make all the difference to the new larger landing.
Constructing new bedroom walls

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Work now starts on the upstairs!

With just a few weeks until Christmas we really start working a lot harder on the house. In less than three weeks my family are joining us from Essex for their first Cornish Christmas in our new home and there is lots of work to do!

So far we have only done the bare minimum upstairs in the house and only completed work when we have had to like changing the position of the stairs and removing the old bathroom but with my parents and my sister and her partner staying for Christmas we need use of both bedrooms! So far we have move from one bedroom to the other every time some work needs completing and as for the box room... well this is for boxes and is currently storing a lot of our stuff until we have built cupboards for them downstairs.

It was only a few days previous that we had the brainwave to even complete this work. We love the house and the transformation of the downstairs has been incredible and I didn't ever expect the house to look as good as it does. Being our first home and first project I didn't know what to expect, with the downstairs taking shape and looking beautiful we had only one problem with the house and that was that the bedrooms were all quite small. Now you might be thinking that there is only two of us and three bedrooms is a bit greedy but each of the bedrooms are small and so we decided to remove the internal walls upstairs and make the master bedroom bigger by around a foot. To me this seamed like a lot of work to make the room only fractionally bigger but the extra room means that we can fit our wardrobes in and make much better use of the space and although this makes the second bedroom considerably smaller it is only a guest bedroom and makes perfect sense.

Removing an old door frame
The plan now is to remove the two walls of this bedroom and move them both in, creating a smaller room but creating a bigger master bedroom and a bigger landing leading directly into the bathroom via a new door rather than going around the corner through the old bathroom door.
Removing the old plaster board
Once the door is removed it is now time to remove the old plaster board and expose the lath and plaster behind.
Exposing the lath and plaster walls
Now being a complete novice i had no idea what lath and plaster was and I certainly had no idea how messy it would be to remove, suddenly the thought of my parents staying here in a few weeks horrifies me and feel that maybe we should have left this job until after Christmas, but now we have started we must finish.
Lath and plaster wall removal
The plaster is removed from the wooden slats covering the whole house in dust. Whilst the boys smash and crash upstairs I try to keep on top of the dirt downstairs and constantly sweep and hoover the floor as with our new wooden floor down the last thing we want is the floor getting damaged. 
Removing the lath and plaster walls
With the majority of the lath and plaster removed and several trips up and down stairs off loading sacks of rubble the wall is nearly down.
Internal wall removal

Internal walls removed
The first wall is completely removed and now time for a tidy up before removing the next wall tomorrow.
The renovation clear up commences