This week on my House Renovation Highlights series I’m featuring Carlie, The Extension at 28, who is currently right in the middle of her house renovation which includes a loft dorma and a ground floor extension, and all of the dust that goes with it.
Often I show finished rooms and houses on my series, but this week I am sharing the bare bones and nitty gritty of this renovation, and I hope it is useful for anyone who is at this stage or just about to start their own. Seeing Carlie’s pictures takes me back to when we extended our own home 2.5 years ago too!
Here Carlie shares some really useful information on getting involved in the process, scouring Instagram and Pinterest for ideas, buying zip lock door frame bags for keeping the dust out, learning to be patient and to spend time choosing a builder until you find the right one for you – you will just know.
I would love for you to have a read of Carlie’s renovation story, and to give her a follow on Instagram where you can see more of her renovation process and all the finishes and fixtures that she chooses.
Tell us about your home and your renovation project. What did you do?
Our house is an old period property with many original features still in tact. We’ve previously renovated the living room and two bedrooms, and now the larger works have commenced! We’ve knocked down a conservatory to build an extension, and knocked down an internal wall to create a large open plan kitchen diner and living space. At the same time we are creating a dorma en-suite bathroom to the master bedroom on the 2nd floor.
What did you enjoy the most about your house renovation?
We are currently still knee deep in the brick dust stage of our renovation, so we still have lots of ideas yet to come to life. We’ve never done anything of this scale before, so I’ve enjoyed learning about all the planning processes, and watching the structural engineering, architects drawings, and building works all come together.
I’ve spent hours searching insta and Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, it’s a whole world I never new existed prior to our build! But I’m really enjoying making connections and hopefully, eventually, maybe, one day…. It’ll be my turn to post the pretty pictures!
What was your biggest challenge?
We thought having two young kids and a puppy would be our biggest problem, but they are actually so resilient and indifferent to everything going on around them, they’ve been no probs at all. With a bit of prep and planning we’ve got loads of things to keep them out of mischief – stair gates in doorways, play pens on the garden, and we moved out for two weeks when the chimney stack was knocked down, and structural steels put in place. We didn’t want them breathing in too much soot.
Our biggest challenge has been the demand on the tradesmen and supplies. The good tradesmen are incredibly booked up, so it’s hard to co-ordinate them, and pin them down to do odd jobs which can then have knock on implications which holds up the rest of the project.
Is there anything that you would have done differently?
So far, so good. I honestly can say I wouldn’t change anything…. Yet.
Tell us your top tips?
Keep meeting builders until you find ‘the one’. We seen a whole list of them, some of them would turn up and then never get back to us with quotes. Others would struggle with awkward conversation, and suck their teeth while saying ‘oooooo you want that?’. Then eventually we found someone who was good at communicating, full of advice, enthusiastic, and great to bounce ideas off. I’m so glad we didn’t just go with the first or cheapest option.
What was your best renovation purchase?
So far we’ve not bought much more than bricks and cement, certainly nothing pretty! But we did get plastic zip up doors from Amazon which are the best £12 I’ve spent. You duck tape them around the untouched clean rooms and it really does help to keep the dust and mess out so at least we have a clean place to hide.
Would you do it again?
Yes! So far I’m enjoying the process, it can be slow at times, and I’ve had fleeting moments of ‘what have I done?’ But over all we are excited to build our home.
What’s next? Any future renovation plans?
Who knows, but I’m addicted to Rightmove and have an aspiration to buy, do up and sell a property one day.
Thank you so much Carlie for sharing your renovation story so far and I’m looking forward to seeing the completed build and all the finishes that you choose inside, and good luck for the completion of your renovation. Please do pop over to see Carlie’s home on Instagram to follow the rest of her renovation journey.
If you would love to have your your home featured as part of my series, do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and take a nose at my last renovations highlight post featuring Architect V Engineer.