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Living on a building site - From Evija with Love
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Living on a building site – From Evija with Love


Have you ever wondered about the renovation process and what it is REALLY like? As you know we love to DIY and took this project on around year and a half ago, when we bought this beautiful house. We both knew it was going to be a challenge, but what we didn’t realise is how hard it is actually going to be living in the house you are renovating. I wanted to share with you our honest experience as we are going through the renovation process and currently living what I can only describe as a building site. The reality is, renovating a home (you are also living in) with a full time job is really hard and can be very challenging at times. Have I known this 1.5 years ago, would I still think about buying this house? Probably yes!!!

The reality

This is an old house and we are doing a lot of work on it to bring it back to life (see my post what we have done so far). You can see daylight coming through in one of the walls and there is a window pane missing from the bay window (when we had to smash the window when we and by we I mean Shaun locked us out of the house). There’s draft coming in from underneath the floorboards and from the old front door. Oh yes and of course, we have ripped the walls and the ceiling off upstairs so the roof tiles are exposed letting yet more cold in from the outside!

It is very COLD

Did I mention it is cold?? At the moment (December) our house is freezing cold, we only have the front, the back and the bathroom door on in the whole house. The rest of the doors were dipped and are currently stacked against the walls rather than being hung. The old radiators were removed and the new radiators have not even made it into the house yet. They are currently sitting in a crate on our drive and I am sat on the sofa wearing two jumpers and a dressing gown hugging a hot water bottle in front of an electric heater. That’s how cold it is currently in our house. Getting a shower is a task and a half, I literally need to give myself a motivational speech before I get in!!

I don’t think the temperature inside the house has reached double digits this winter.

Staying motivated

There is still SO much to do in our house and at the moment we are struggling with staying motivated. It is cold and it is dark and we are tired! We both work full time, so coming home at the moment is a little overwhelming. It’s a bit of a vicious circle as we need to do things, but it’s hard to do things, when it’s a) dark and b) cold. Also, we have a very long list of things to do so at the moment we try and work out an oder of which job is more important and what needs to be done first. The problem is one thing leads to another and there are no small jobs in this house! Instead of trying to get too overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done, I make lists and try and keep on top of my to do list. Sometimes things happen and we are “behind the schedule” but we have to remember, we also need to rest and have a life as well.

Bank account balance plummeting

This is another thing people don’t really like to talk about or share when it comes to renovations – the costs! When we sold our house in 2020, we made a very good profit. This meant that we had money in the bank to spend on this renovation project. We had a healthy budget but as we have never done anything this big before, we underestimated the amount of work and money this house will need!

Everything costs more and all the little things add up very quickly. I am scared to look at my spreadsheet every month as even our little trips to B&Q or Screwfix in the last couple of months buying a few “little bits” have cost us over £600. The cost of materials and timber has gone up in the last couple of years and who knew we would need so much insulation or various bits of drainage for the house? So whatever you think your budget is – double it!

Seeing the bank balance plummet has had us question this project on several occasions, I am not going to lie. However, deep down, I know that we made the right decision when we bought this house. All the hard work and expense will pay off in the end even if the bank balance will be 0 by the end of it. Our house is so special and she is so worth all the hard work and effort!!

Amazing room makeovers

I wish I could give you amazing room makeovers by now, but the truth is, the renovation process is long and hard and does not happen overnight. I am still trying to finish off the bathroom makeover, which we started back in April/May of this year (you can catch up with the posts here to see how much work is really going into this makeover). None of the rooms in the house are completely finished yet, that’s the truth. As soon as we get close to finishing a project (bathroom) we have a snagging list, but we just don’t get to it because, we need to remove the old lath and plaster so that we could insulate and plasterboard the upstairs as the electrician needs to have access. Before we can put plaster over, however, we need to get the roof tiles sealed, but hold on to get the concrete on schedule, we also need to sort the drainage out and as we have hired the digger, we need to dig out the soak-away. Well you get the gist, there is always something more important that needs to be done before I can finish off the little not so important jobs. I will finish the bathroom this year, I am very very close!

Christmas 2022

We have no Christmas decorations in the house, because there is just no point, it is dusty and cold and full of boxes, piles of clothes and bags. I think I spend most of my time moving things from one room to another. We have also decided not to get each other any presents as we have everything we need and our priority at the moment is the house. Christmas break this year will (mostly) be spent, you guessed it, working on the house. To be honest, I am ok with that as I know next year it will be a completely different story and I will have a Christmas tree and decorations in every room!!!

I am trying to stay motivated and think how amazing our house will be next year!! The good old saying – IT WILL BE WORTH IT IN THE END right??? Hope you are enjoying our renovation journey so far and I really hope you stick around to see when our ‘old girl” is finished! It will be worth the wait, I can promise you that!!

Join us on our journey and see more behind the scenes on my instagram account.





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