House Renovation :: Week One ::

Posted by vicki brown on

I hope to do weekly updates of our house renovation, as it was this update was intended to be published last Friday, when it was written, but pesky half term interrupted!

So one week on from finally buying a house and picking up the keys, here's a little update of how it's been going.
I don't think any of us have really let it sink in that we actually have our very own house, not only that, that it's the gorgeous house we've got. I can't believe how lucky we are and how lucky I am to have a mr who despite his own preferences in houses, chose a house completely the opposite to please me! He even carried me over the threshold on that first day (whilst I carried Effie in the sling!).

Our first weekend as house owners was spent away at a beautiful wedding of very dear friends, so no real work begun until Monday. I headed down with Effie first thing in the morning, whilst she napped in the pushchair I got to work on removing all the upstairs carpets (all except for Milo's as he wanted to do his himself). The first room I worked on was the master bedroom. I was utterly thrilled to discover under the lino, under the carpet, a local newspaper from December 1938, the year the house was built. I couldn't believe it! I don't think those floorboards, or that paper had seen the light of day since then, both were in immaculate condition. I will of course keep the paper and hope to frame it to put up somewhere in the house.

Under the carpet in Effie's room I found a piece of parcel paper, addressed to the previous owner. Unfortunately the stamps had stuck to the carpet on top of them, so I couldn't see a date stamp but my guess is the 50s, judging by the carpet that was laid on top of it. I found lots of other miscellaneous objects too, including a pearl, a mystery key, a receipt for some coal and lots of buttons.

Next up was some wallpaper stripping which revealed what I believe to be the original paint colours. Effie's room also has some lovely little leaf imprints on the wall, I imagine these were left behind by wallpaper long since removed.

On Tuesday an electrician came over to do a quote for the rewiring. The whole house needs a complete rewire, there are currently an assortment of 4 fuse boxes under the stairs all of which look as though they are well passed their best. There are also night storage heaters which need removing as we plan to have central heating fitted and the whole house needs new and extra plug sockets. Something I really really really want to keep however is the original light switches. The electrician originally told me this was impossible as they are timber mounted. I understand this is a hazard but I couldn't help feeling massively disappointed by this. I'm hoping I can find a solution to this problem, though I'm not sure what yet. You can get reproduction replicas of the original bakelite switches, but after looking at those (and their prices!) I realised I would rather have new modern ones if I wasn't able to keep the originals. It's them that I really want.

As half term started on Thursday and we were busy on Wednesday we didn't get anymore work on the house done this first week, but I'm pleased with what I've managed to achieve so far and with my sister and her entire brood arriving today and a full weekend of work ahead of us, I'm feeling very positive.

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