Newlywed & renovating: getting the keys

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.

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

Having our home of five years on the market during that time was certainly less than merry. 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, with plenty of storage and views out into the spacious garden we had lovingly cared for, or who made offers half the asking price.

Most frustratingly, when 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 – it all fell through at the last minute, as so often happens.

Things happen for a reason

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

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A three-bedroom 1930’s semi-detached property in Surrey, it was spacious, homely, in a location we loved and was crying out for some serious TLC. So, although we’ve doubled our space, we’ve tripled the amount of work we thought we would have to do. 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 at what we’ve taken on. However, throughout the three-month legal process Marcus and I have been looking at the floor plans and 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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We’re then hoping to knock through the separated WC and bathroom to make one big room, and will 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 a project 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 in around a year’s time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you…

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

Read more Newlywed & Renovating blogs in the series.

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

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