E13: Lucky for some? My dream house wish list

luxury vinyl tiles to illustrate renovation blogs UK

If you’re searching for ‘renovation blogs UK’, check out the UK’s newest reno blog, E13. It’s by These Three Rooms’ editor Ariane and makes for entertaining if slightly worrying reading.

‘Renovation blogs UK’ is one of the top Google searches when it comes to renos. If you’ve stumbled on this blog due to that search, read the first blog in the E13 series first. Then pray for me, because I keep discovering problems with my new house.

I can’t entirely say I’m surprised. A three-storey Victorian house in London with a beautiful extension for under half a million pounds is bound to have problems, right? The thing is, the survey threw up next to nothing. Everything the guy flagged was stuff I’d already noticed. I should have saved the £1,000 I paid him and spent it on the problems…

Renovation blogs UK

To be honest though, I’d probably have bought the house even if I’d known all about its flaws. I blame my obsession with interiors. I was utterly seduced by the skylights, beguiled by the bifolds and in love with the light. There are sash windows throughout, letting in so much brightness and air. They’re UPVC, not the original wood, but you can’t tell and I’d rather have low-maintenance windows in any case.

Renovation blogs UK

Invictus Highland Oak plank LVT flooring in the shade Roasted as stated in renovation blogs UK
Invictus Highland Oak plank LVT flooring in the shade Roasted. This is the flooring I’ve chosen for the living room, hallways and kitchen.

So basically, the house has most of my dream features. Here’s the big list:

My dream house wish list

Kitchen extension? Tick.

Skylights? Tick.

Sash windows? Tick.

Garden with greenery: Tick.

Renovation blogs UK

More than one bathroom: Tick (one big bathroom and two ensuite shower rooms, no less).

Spiral staircase? Tick (only from the first floor to the second, though).

At least three bedrooms? Tick.

Three storeys? Tick.

Wooden flooring? It had laminate wood-effect flooring, but that’s been stripped. And I’m now going to replace it with wood-effect LVT.

High ceilings? Hmm, slightly higher than the average of 2.4m.

OK, so it doesn’t really have the right-shaped rooms for built-in wardrobes, or much cornicing. But what house has everything?

a spiral staircase stripped of carpet leading up from a dirty grey carpet full of fluff as explained in renovation blogs UK
Lots of little bits of carpet on the, well, carpet. Even the best vacuum cleaner in the world couldn’t suck them up without a blockage.

Disgusting thick grey dirty carpet

Renovation blogs UK

As I say, my ideal house would have is wooden floors. Right now, except for the kitchen, it’s completely covered in disgustingly filthy thick grey carpet. Some areas are worn, some are damp and some are mouldy – deep joy. So I’ve bought £8,000 worth of flooring: cream carpet for the stairs, and gorgeous rich oak LVT in the bedrooms, kitchen and living room.

There’s going to be parquet LVT in the bedrooms and plank LVT downstairs (and, of course, tiles in the bathrooms. The £8,000 sadly didn’t include these).

a four-poster mahogany double bed in front of a large window with herringbone flooring beneath it
Invictus Highland Oak parquet luxury vinyl flooring in the shade Roasted. This is the flooring I’ve chosen for my bedrooms.

Renovation blogs UK

So my builder has been taking up the carpet all over the house. And he seems like an entirely different person to the one earlier in the week. Instead of being grumpy, he’s cheery and happy and cracking jokes! I think maybe he was just having a bad day before. He’s honestly a joy to work with.

Renovation blogs UK: why Ariane’s builder is great

Even better, he’ll remove and dispose of materials as part of his £280 day rate. So he removed my entire old kitchen and took it to the dump. I sent another firm a photo of the tiny kitchen and they quoted me a whopping £1450 just for this job! My builder also removed and disposed of the carpet. I feel really lucky to have found him.

In addition, he’s honest. Unlike a lot of tradespeople, who want to be paid cash so they can avoid tax, he accepts bank transfers and provides invoices. It’s all above board here and great value, which is refreshing.

a pile of stripped grey carpet at the top of a flight of stairs with white banisters as explained in renovation blogs UK
A massive pile of dirty disgusting grey carpet. Good riddance!

Yet another leak

Today my builder uncovered yet another leak when he stripped the carpet in the loft room. We don’t know if it’s coming from the shower or the roof. But I swear, this house has more leaks than a Welsh soup.

We’re up to four right now. Every time we discover a new one, my heart sinks, and I mentally redo my budget. Because every leak costs money to fix, meaning another part of my interiors dream falls by the wayside.

Renovation blogs UK: renovating is hard

Right now there are five very nice and polite roofers tramping through my kitchen with their big boots. Alas, they have also all used the toilet, and let’s just say they might have had full English breakfasts beforehand.

Speaking of breakfasts, I’m meant to be dieting, but it’s hard with no kitchen. There’s so much mess and so many boxes that I’m finding it difficult to get to the fridge. I have a portable induction hob and a kettle, but every time I boil the kettle, I set off the smoke alarm. So I’m struggling a lot.

The floor is so incredibly dusty that every time I climb into bed, I transfer a load of dust from my feet onto the sheets. There are splinters and staples and bits of spongy carpet on the planks. Moan moan moan.

I just have to focus on how lovely the house will look in three months.

dusty oak floorboards
The floor is more dusty than Dusty Springfield.

Renovation blogs UK

If you enjoyed this blog, and you haven’t read the first in the series, it’s here. If you’re about to begin renovations yourself, learn how to start renovating.

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