“It feels like a short lifetime I’ve been waiting to write our renovation plans post…I honestly can’t wait to see the place transform and become a space we can actually be proud of.”
AHHHH! It feels like a short lifetime I’ve been waiting to write our renovation plans post. AND I’M SO EXCITED IT’S FINALLY HERE!
I’ve gone from thinking solely about buying a house, to swiftly thinking all about how we’re going to renovate said house.
This house is a doer-upper, that’s for sure. It was previously rented out to Uni students for years, so:
A) hasn’t been kept in tip top condition, and…
B) has only been done out cheaply.
…And as of this moment, a tile has just fallen off the roof. God dammit Storm Ciara!
This meant having to see the ‘bigger picture’ when we first viewed it. The downstairs living space was much smaller than we were originally looking for – but we knew there was the potential to extend into the garden to make it the size we actually wanted.
Every single wall needs re-plastering. The whole house needs a freshen up with paint. The Victorian features Harry and I love so much need adding back in to the upstairs rooms. I’m talking ceiling roses, Victorian fireplaces (if we can!), large skirting boards and coving. The house needs more storage. New carpets and flooring. A new boiler. New radiators. A new bathroom suite. And kitchen. A garden overhaul. A new front door. Our wall at the front of the house needs rebuilding. New windows throughout. A dormer put on the bedroom upstairs. And some serious TLC to restore it’s beauty once more.
And yes. We’re crazy enough to take on the challenge!
Luckily for us, the house is perfectly liveable in its current state. But we want to put our stamp on it, and get it looking more like ‘us’. A little fresher, a little brighter and a little more modern. And I cannot wait to get started!
We first moved in, in October 2019. Other than sanding down the hallway floorboards, removing a pond in the garden and replacing the front windows, we’ve not done anything else. We’ve resisted the urge to paint anywhere or buy too many new things (other than a new sofa!), as there’s just no point until we actually make the big changes we want first. I thought it would be more difficult to resist, but in all honesty I’m just embracing not having to live and breathe building work while I can!
But, we’re so ready to start. The sooner it begins, the sooner it will be finished and then we can actually enjoy living in it! And I can bore you all like crazy with how much I talk about it. Yay!
But before we go any further, I’m going to direct you immediately to my ‘Reno’ Instagram highlight, where I walked you through our house just after moving in. You can see exactly how the space looked before we made any changes!
Anyway, instead of me continuing to gush about how excited I am (interiors are my thing nowadays and I feel like I could talk about it forever!) I should probably share our actual plans with you so you can see it for yourself…
Our renovation plans
After moving in, we pretty much got the wheels in motion straight away for an extension. Do the big job first, and the rest can follow at a later date...
We hired an architect to draw up the renovation plans for us, and to see exactly what we could/ couldn’t do with the space. Once the basics were sorted, we applied for a pre-planning application.
It’s free and was recommended to us by our architect. You submit basic plans of what you’d like to do, and the planners advise you of any changes they would suggest making before submitting your full application. It means you’re more likely to have your full application accepted, as you can make any changes beforehand. It adds a few extra weeks on to the whole process, but is so worth it.
And now, we’ve had our planning permission granted. YES!
We’ve now been looking at everything we want to include inside the space. The layout. The rooms we want to add in. How it will work the best for us etc etc. The renovation plans have been a little overwhelming (neither of us have ever done this before) and we want to make sure we get it right.
However, the essentials I knew I definitely wanted to add in were:
- Utility space
- Downstairs toilet
We thought we’d got our layout sorted, but we’ve since had a last minute switch around to something that we both feel so much happier with.
So, let me show you…
The drawings aren’t 100% accurate. The kitchen isn’t exactly how it will be and the utility area isn’t kitted out etc, but it gives you a very good idea of how the house will look.
Our house currently
Our house is a 4 bed, Victorian terrace. This image shows the back of the house in its current state.
You walk in through the front door into our hallway, with a front room to the right (currently the lounge, soon to be ‘snug’). You have the stairs going up, before entering the back of the house. Here, we have the kitchen, before going into a galley utility and downstairs bathroom. The space isn’t functional as it is, and we don’t have enough room for a dining area.
So, the plan is to knock out the downstairs bathroom and utility completely, knock out the end wall in the kitchen and open the whole space up to create open-plan living. We’re having a full width extension (4.13m wide) and adding on 8.27m in length from the current kitchen area. This will then give us 12.27m for our kitchen, diner, lounge and utility. And we’ll be adding in a downstairs toilet under the stairs too, to make the most of out the space we have.
As we’re going full width and we’re a mid-terrace, we’ve had to drop the extension down so it’s lower than the front of the house, and add in lots of windows. This is so we can have high enough walls, without affecting our neighbours ‘right to light’. It’s all a bit technical…
The view of the extension…
And this is how the extension will look!
The windows are going to flood the area with light (the dream for anyone who lives in a Victorian terrace!) and we’re going to have crittal style doors at the end. Just thinking about this space makes me so excited for summers spent in here. Just to have these doors wide open all day, with the sun shining in and to be able to see into our garden whilst we’re in the kitchen…absolute BLISS!
The inside space…
Note: the red areas on the drawing shows walls and a chimney which will be removed.
The layout we’ve decided to go for inside is as follows:
- Entrance hallway leads into the dining area
- To the right of the dining area you can access the utility space
- At the end of the utility space, you access the under stairs downstairs toilet
- From the dining space, you step down into the kitchen area
- The kitchen leads through into the lounge at the end, which looks out into the garden
We were originally going to have the kitchen at the top, but this is actually going to be the smallest space now due to adding in a utility area. So, it made sense to swap the kitchen and dining area around. It also means if you’re in the kitchen with friends in the lounge, you can still chat easily!
We’re hoping to be able to kick off phase 1 of our renovation plans in March – all being well with builders availability (and the weather, of course!)
I honestly can’t wait to see the place transform and become a space we can actually be proud of. A place where we want to invite our friends over, without apologising every time someone walks through the door because “the house isn’t nice right now”.
I’ll be sharing the more of our renovation plans and the process with you along the way. And, I’ve got lots of mood boards coming your way too to show you exactly how we envisage this space. Eek!
I hope you’re excited to see our home transform! And if you have any renovating tips, please do share them! We need all the help we can get!