About Me

Progress

Re-roofed

March and April were very productive months at This Auld House. There has been so much going on that I’ve been sadly remiss in keeping this blog up to date. Not only has the roof been put back on, a fairly mammoth task, but the first fix plumbing and electric has gone in, the floors are down, insulation is in and the boys are boarding out in preparation for the plasterers to begin work.

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The reclaimed Bangor Blue slates go back into the roof 

Decisions, decisions…

Even though the walls are still mostly back to brick and we still have no electricity, heat or running water, we are already at the stage where we need to choose and order our bathrooms and kitchen. If you have ever seen my Pinterest account, you’ll know that I have been storing ideas for my dream kitchen and bathroom for the last two or three years so you would think this part of the project would be a breeze. Not so. When actually faced with a selection of kitchens and bathrooms (and the cost of achieving the high-end look I was hoping for), reality has begun to bite.

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The high end look I’ve been dreaming of for our kitchen

Hubby finds his voice

Having spent months trying to persuade my darling husband to look at bathroom catalogues and give an opinion on my choices, I finally dragged him along to Beggs & Partners to order what we needed for our en suite and main bathroom. Having told me all along that he trusted my taste and was happy with whatever I ordered, he waited until the lovely (and very patient) Brian Kitchen was going through our order in the showroom to decide that he didn’t share my streamlined monochrome Art Decco dream and announce that he preferred a peacock blue scheme and a rice bowl sink.

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The blue sink we are considering for the en suite (although I’ll be swapping the chrome for brass).

The debate is still ongoing but as I have had my way with literally ever other decision in the house, I may have to accede to his demands on this one. I did a quick Instagram poll (you can follow me @This_Auld_House) and 77% agreed we should go with the peacock blue but don’t tell that to Mr Wright! I don’t want to give him any more bargaining power.

Dream Kitchen

Next on the list is the kitchen. I know it is where we will spend most of our time during the day. It is the most open plan area of the house (although I have ensured that we can close off the family room with sliding doors if the kids make too much mess in there). I’ve been dreaming about it and planning it for so long that I really want it to be perfect. But perfect, as I have discovered, is pricy and very hard to come by.

I quickly realised on getting quotes for the  solid wood hand-painted fantasy that I had imagined, that I may have to downscale my expectations just a little. Let’s just say that not every drawer will be solid oak-lined with dove-tail joints.

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After a few twists and turns with a couple of other kitchen designers, it was third time lucky for us as we found Ballycastle Homecare following a recommendation from a friend. A meeting with the very amiable Philip resulted in our dream scheme coming to life and also (if I can restrain myself from ordering additional oak lined drawers) delivered a scheme that doesn’t cost the same as the National Debt.

I’ve found lots of ways to save money and still get a high end look though. If you are planning a new kitchen, go to my highlights @this_auld_house on Instagram for my top tips on how to achieve your dream kitchen without breaking the bank.  In it I’ll tell you where to source high end finishes at bargain prices and show you how to make savings without compromising the overall feel and function of your scheme.

Next up will be paint colours and tiling. I really want to use the tiles we reclaimed from under many layers of bitumen, cement and Lino but the builders (who are extreme perfectionists in all that they do) are horrified at the thought of relaying my battered old quarry tiles.

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My quarry tiles waiting to be cleaned and re-laid  

I have lifted the floorboards from the bedrooms and they are currently ‘curing’ downstairs to be re-laid. They would have ended up in the skip though if I hadn’t been quick off the mark. I’m praying they will go down on top of the underfloor heating without warping. Any useful tips on cleaning cement off old tiles and laying ancient wooden floors on top of underfloor heating will be gratefully received!

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My floorboards curing in the kitchen

Are you planning or in the midst of a renovation? Maybe you are like me and just love to nosey around other people’s houses. You can follow me on Instagram @this_auld_house for more hints and tips and to check out some of the great accounts I am following.

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About Me

Raising the Roof

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The roof is off!

 

After a fairly dry January (meteorologically and alcoholically speaking) where we waited for the second team of builders to come back on site, work has been carrying on this month in earnest. There was great excitement in This Auld House at the start of February as the roof was removed in preparation for the roof space conversion and much needed insulation.

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About Me

Dry January

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The scaffolding is up at This Old House

Dry February

It’s getting exciting (and terrifying) at This Old House this month. The weather has been extraordinarily kind over the winter months and the builders have finished the bulk of the building work. Just as the rain and snow finally arrives, the scaffolding has gone up and work is about to commence on taking the roof off the rest of the house. Never mind dry January, I’m praying for a dry February!

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About Me

Christmas Past

Christmas Past

So Christmas is now a distant memory and it wasn’t quite what I pictured this time last year. When we bought This Old House, I had envisaged that by December 2018, work would be complete. I saw myself carving the turkey in our dining room with the scent of a real tree in my nostrils as the soft winter light poured through our beautifully restored stained glass windows.

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One of the stained glass windows in our house

Well…. maybe next year.

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About Me

Rain, Hail and Shine

Rain, Hail and Shine

For the last few weeks, the wind has been howling through the hallways of This Old House. As the rain soaks the ancient timbers, the guilt creeps in. I feel like a very poor custodian of this beautiful building. As we knew it would, the weather has turned against us and the builders have been seeking shelter in a few indoor projects elsewhere. Continue reading

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About Me, This Old House

Slowly But Surely

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The back of the house showing the block work for the rear extension

Slowly but Surely

I suppose you could say that things are moving on slowly but surely at This Old House. Our builders (J.B Bentley & Sons) are experienced and capable. They are fairly patient with my continuous questions, my requests for updates and site visits that see me trampling over their newly laid block work. They politely tolerate my attempts at project management although they’d surely prefer me to go away and leave them to it.

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About Me

Demolition Days

Demolition Days

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The first stage of demolition at the rear of the property

It has been an exciting month for Him, Me and Our Three. Amidst the preparations for a return to school, after four submissions, we finally received building control approval for our plans.

We are not thrilled with some of the conditions we have had to agree to.  The trickle vents in my beautiful hand-made wooden sash windows being the main compromise that is pushing me to the edge of sanity.

We are so excited though to finally begin work on This Old House. Before building comes demolition, of course, and there has certainly been plenty of that!

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