Starting at the Start

So… Where to begin?

I spend a lot of time working with domestic clients on their own houses, now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is I guess! This is a bit of a stock take of where we are at:

The lounge with some classic mid century furniture (completely ruined by smoke!)
The lounge with some classic mid century furniture (completely ruined by smoke!)

We’ve had our wee house for just over three years and it’s still in the “work-in-progress” category. The house is a 60’s bungalow, fairly standard fare, but it has some good sized rooms, a wee bit of charm (somewhere) and a decent view looking south over the river Clyde.

The first issue we had to deal with in the house was the smoke… We bought the house from the original owner, and the house had been smoked in (I guess) constantly since 1964!

Specialist Toilet decor, never seen curtains that match wallpaper before!
Specialist Toilet decor, never seen curtains that match wallpaper before!

The walls, although not particularly to our tastes, had some good quality wallpaper so they were relatively easy to strip, but the ceilings were a different story altogether – we ended up coming to the conclusion that these needed replaced entirely. That meant emptying the the loft of the old, itchy, dusty, insulation and then smashing out every ceiling throughout the house! Not a pleasant job.

The other major thing to fix was damp on the front wall – when we came to look at the property we noted the wall which gets all the weather had signs of damp, with that in mind we commissioned some “damp experts” to investigate before we put our offer in, whilst the cause of the damp was identified by these contractors, all of the solutions proposed were a) expensive and b) purely cosmetic, none of them proposed to actually fix the issue at source… Our house is cavity wall construction and someone in their great wisdom had decided to install cavity wall insulation (CWI) in a completely inappropriate place, unfortunately the installation was never registered so we couldn’t claim with CIGA to have it removed and had to pay to get a company in with a bit of equipment which I’m sure Noo Noo from Teletubbies was based on, to suck it all out.

The old kitchen - Somehow the photo doesn't quite reflect the reality.
The old kitchen – Somehow the photo doesn’t quite reflect the reality.

In terms of the layout, we made a few small alterations, removed a wall or two (always check with an engineer before you get the sledgehammer out!) to give us an open plan kitchen/diner and sitting room, the old kitchen became a utility and that’s about it.

We did a huge amount of decoration, sanded floors, re-plastered, new kitchen and bathroom etc. (And there’s still a number of ongoing/unfinished jobs which drive my better half up the wall! So seems like the perfect time to do the next phase of work and add a loft conversion)

The Main Living Area
Updated Bathroom (don’t look too closely at the tiling!!)

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