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Hannah

    First Time Renovator: new plans for the upstairs renovation

    Over the last few months lots of things changed for me and my family, and our extension plans. With an oil boiler breakdown halfway through the renovation and the surprise of having to replace all our windows – these two extras had eaten up all of our contingency budget – and more! Our original plans for the upstairs renovation had been to extend at the back of the house and create two larger bedrooms but this plan would need to

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    First Time Renovator: fitting and tiling the bathroom

    It was December, and the bathroom renovation was well and truly underway. We were desperate to have it all finished before Christmas, so our plumber and tiler worked quickly. The planning had been done, the old suite ripped out and a new toilet was now in (thank goodness!). The memories of having only a bucket for a toilet were fading, and I couldn’t wait to see it all come together. The shower tray was next to go in. There would

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    First Time Renovator: planning the bathroom

    Seeing our old dated bathroom suite being ripped out was definitely a high point of our cottage renovation but having two young children and only one, now unusable, bathroom in the house was definitely not! But more of that later, let’s start at the beginning – planning the bathroom. After the dramas we had encountered during the utility renovation, measurement mishaps and builders going AWOL, we decided to use an online tool to design the bathroom ourselves so we could

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    First Time Renovator: The entrance hall

    The entrance hall of a property is important, it’s the first impression but also one of the most underrated spaces in a home, in my opinion. We use our entrance hall for a lot – storage of coats, shoes, boots – but for my family it is also where we gather together before (sometimes rather frantically) leaving the house. I had a few key things on my wishlist for our new space: Somewhere to store a lot of shoes, which

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    First Time Renovator: finishing the utility room

    The utility has to be one of my favourite rooms in the house. I mean, it is beautiful, but it is also probably the most used space. With two young (and rather messy) children our washing sometimes seems never-ending and I am so grateful to have a room entirely devoted to this. It also helps that I can shut the door and walk away when it all gets too much. Finishing the utility room has taken us a while, though.

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    First Time Renovator: building the utility room

    With the living room finished it was time to get the builders in to start on the first major building work – the utility room. I thought we were ready for this but, having not encountered such a big project before, I don’t think I fully understood the impact this would have on our daily lives, especially as the build was happening right next to the only bathroom in the house! I had to keep reminding myself that this was

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    First Time Renovator: decorating the living room

    With the log burner fully installed it was time to start decorating the living room. I was desperate to have one room finished so we had somewhere to retreat to during the rest of the build. The walls were covered in some terrible cream wallpaper that had discoloured over the years, so the first job was to remove that. We worked tirelessly in the evenings after we had got the kids to bed and at weekends, we would take it

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