Renovating a house while newlywed: getting the keys

renovating a house

Renovating a house just after tying the knot is a bit of a whirlwind. I believe it’s generally acknowledged that getting married, starting a new job and buying a new house (especially one that needs renovating) are some of the most stressful life experiences people can go through. Well, after partaking in all three in the past 10 months, a wedding and a new job both seemed a breeze, compared to the ordeal of the latter.

Renovating a house is quite an undertaking. However, I’m assured by the many homeowners I’ve met and interviewed having completed their projects, that it will all be worth it. Our adventure into the world of renovating started when my husband Marcus and I decided to put our two-bedroom maisonette up for sale only a couple months after the honeymoon, just before Christmas.

On the market

Renovating a house might not be easy, but having our home of five years on the market during the festive season was certainly less than merry too. A bunch of timewasters (no, not carol singers) persistently turned up at our door. We had people visiting who didn’t even bother looking in the kitchen, which although small had an industrial feel. It had plenty of storage and views out into the spacious garden we had lovingly cared for. And then there were the people who made offers half the asking price.

Most frustratingly, we had finally accepted an offer after five months of it being on the market – and subsequently found a house that we too made an offer on. Then it all fell through at the last minute, as so often happens.

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a home under scaffolding
Renovating a house is quite an undertaking. Photography: iStock.

Things happen for a reason

People told me “these things happen for a reason”. Though I didn’t initially believe them, I have to admit it wasn’t much longer after that we found THE house. And this house was so much better than the last. Well, in terms of potential for renovating a house, at least. We’d always intended to find a home we could put our own stamp on. However, we hadn’t considered a complete doer-upper, which is what we’ve inadvertently ended up with. However, we knew it was for us the second we saw it. We both experienced ‘the feeling’ as soon as we walked in the front door.

A three-bedroom 1930s semi-detached property in Surrey, it was spacious, homely and in a location we loved. It was also crying out for some serious renovating TLC. So, although we’ve doubled our space, we’ve tripled the amount of work we thought we would have to do in renovating a house. Everything needs changing, from a new kitchen and bathroom, to the plumbing, heating, electrics and windows. Not forgetting a complete rethink of the décor in every room…

The boxes are being packed

And now, as our final boxes are being packed before the imminent big move, I go through waves of complete excitement to sheer nausea. After all, we’ve taken on an epic renovating task. However, throughout the three-month legal process, Marcus and I have been looking at the floor plans. We’ve also been spending a lot of time discussing what we want to do. So we’re fairly confident we can get the ball rolling as soon as we’re in. First on the to do list is the instant removal of the musty brown carpets, as well as the rather stained floral wallpaper.

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worker with hammer renovating a house
Georgina and Marcus are due to begin renovating their house soon. Photography: iStock.

We’re then hoping to knock through the separated WC and bathroom to make one big room. Then we’ll start looking into potentially extending the kitchen as well. Now all we have to do is a final deep clean of the old house, joy, before we get the keys to our new home in a couple of days. We’ve never taken on renovating a house like this before. So although it’s daunting to say the least, it’s certainly thrilling to think about what our home will look like. It’ll take around a year to transform it. I look forward to sharing our journey with you…

Next month Georgina will be talking about moving in, and telling us about her first steps of renovating a house, from steaming off wallpaper to removing crusty carpets…

Featured image: Georgina and Marcus get the keys to their new home. 

Read more Newlywed & Renovating blogs in the series.

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