Rear View
Rear View
An update on the house renovation of a 1930s semi-detached home and the trials and tribulations of such a project including the blend between old and new
Master Bedroom Now
Master Bedroom Now
An update on the house renovation of a 1930s semi-detached home and the trials and tribulations of such a project including the blend between old and new
Master Bedroom Then
Master Bedroom Then
An update on the house renovation of a 1930s semi-detached home and the trials and tribulations of such a project including the blend between old and new
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Lolly’s House Renovation {First Fix & Plastering}

Author: Lolly Gautier-Ollerenshaw

It’s been a while.

It’s been a long, long while since I last shared an update on all that’s been taking place at our house. Eight months in fact! Since my last post (which you can read here) we’ve made heaps of progress. I left you with a house that was about to be subjected to a full re-roof treatment and windows (or rather gaps for windows) that were exposed to the elements, piles of rubble in the garden and a side extension that hadn’t been built.

Ok so the piles of rubbish are still there…I doubt they’ll disappear until just before we move in but I’m happy to report that the brand new reclaimed roof is now on, we have beautiful windows installed – full length aluminium numbers downstairs and sash upstairs and even a new set of bifold doors in place of the tired and grubby uPVC door in the living room. The side extension has been built and the roof for this is being crafted as we speak. I wanted to wait to post the most up to date view of the back of the house until it was on and tiled but you can keep up with our progress by following me on Instagram should you so wish.

I think I actually cried when the windows were installed. It made the house feel more complete and I finally felt as if we were getting somewhere and although the back of the house doesn’t quite look as it exists in my mind’s eye, I know that in a year’s time once the (already purchased!) wisteria and rambling roses have been trained across it, we’ll be a step closer to perfection.

Perhaps more significantly the whole of the upstairs of the house has been plastered; with the exception of a couple of walls to enable the plumbing to be fitted after tiling has been completed. First fix of both plumbing and electrics has also been ticked off the list too. It feels more real now, larger even, now that walls as opposed to uprights of timber are in place. Ste has been up at the house tidying and painting this weekend so it undoubtedly is beginning to look even more finished than it appears in these images and we have an ambitious move in date of April so it’s all systems go!

So what next?

Well as Lauren mentioned in her DIY post last week, I’ll be resurrecting last year’s Rock My Room series very soon with my own bathroom project, two of them in fact. We’ll be tackling both the shower room and the family bathroom complete with luxe bath that I sneak peeked in Lauren’s post at the end of last year. Stay tuned as I’ll be kicking off this series very soon…

Aside from the bathroom project, it’s all go go go at the house. Doors are being ordered for upstairs and I’ve spent this weekend placing orders for architraves and skirting boards and investigating the best places to buy polished chrome flat plate sockets and switches. If any of you know of any websites that offer stylish designs at budget friendly prices then do let me know! Ste and I have put a deadline in place that all of upstairs should be complete (with the exception of carpets) no later than the end of February.

That’s not to say that things are at a standstill downstairs…far from it! Aside from the side extension roof which I mentioned at the beginning of the post, we’re keeping our carpenters busy by installing a brand new set of stair spindles, newel posts and handrail. I really didn’t like the old staircase at all. There’s also cupboards to be made, shelves to be put up and even more skirting boards and architraves to put in place. Due to the new extension we’re currently battling with different ceiling heights so our carpenters have been hard at work bringing them all to the same level; this seems boring but is absolutely essential for the final aesthetic. Again first fix are all complete on this level too and tonnes of stud work to hide all the pipes and cables has been knocked up to provide a smooth finished look. It’s so exciting.

We’re hoping that we’ll have the whole of the downstairs plastered by the beginning of March and to have almost completed the snug and the living room too….at least get one coat of paint on the walls anyway. The real work will be in the kitchen area where have yet to find a design we like despite our rather large Pinterest board. And that’s where I’ll leave you for today. Granted I feel that currently it’s rather unsatisfying from an interiors inspiration perspective for you lovelies so I apologise profusely for that…as well as for the rather unprofessional photography (Adam wasn’t free unfortunately to snap the bomb site that is my house!). That said if you are looking for an interiors fix then I recommend that you pop over to our sister blog Rock My Family for the most exquisite nursery tour on the blog today. It is so beautiful! I promise you that by the next time I post another house update things will have changed rather dramatically and it will be exponentially more exciting.

Until next month then…

{Contributors}
Author
Author: Lolly
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.
Follow Lolly on instagram @graceandgable

35 thoughts on “Lolly’s House Renovation {First Fix & Plastering}

  1. Oh love, every time I see an update I applaud you inside my head. It’s such a long slog for you all but you can see it coming together. It *will* be worth it!!

    You can really start to see now how your final home will look.

    How’s it going with Hector too? Hope he’s enjoying his site visits! Xx

  2. Ahhhh thank you so much doll! I really really really hope it’s worth it. Hector is improving…we’re managing to stay for about ten minutes before he demands to go back to the car. That said he made full use of several smooth surfaces on which to race his cars this weekend…insert eye roll here xxx

  3. Lolly, can I ask you what made you go for the Windows over the bifold door that I think I see in the plans? We are hoping to have a kitchen extension this year and I prefer the fixed glass idea as I don’t think we would use the bifold that much and it gives you more options with placing furniture. My hubby however is a bifold fan. Would be interested in your thoughts xx

    1. Morning Lisa! We opted for large windows over bifold doors for several reasons…firstly like you we just didn’t know how often we would use them – partly because we have a house cat that doesn’t go outside hence the need to keep doors closed and mostly because the Great British Summer rarely comes up trumps. Incidentally two of the windows (those either side of the central pane of glass) are actually full length doors so there is that option to use them to go into the garden if you want to. We also found that the cost of the doors versus the cost of bifolds was a no-brainer as well – far cheaper to have windows than bifold. And lastly because the height of the windows is larger than the standard measurement, opting for windows was our preference, over a set of doors that may have had to include a bracing bar near the top for support. I was very keen for the panes of glass to be just that…clean and uninterrupted so this swayed us too. Obviously this also gives us more freedom with furniture placement too…hope this helps?

      1. that really helps, thank you! I agree with all that you say. If it helps, my friend had an amazing kitchen made by Marsdon Interiors (google them, they are based in Derby). Her kitchen is just like the ones on your Pinterest board and if you go on the website hers is the one with the pale grey cabinets and white worktops. Might be worth a look xx

        1. Thanks so much Lisa! Her kitchen is sublime…do you have any idea what her budget was for the kitchen?

          1. Am afraid not. Another company to try is Incite interiors, again Derby based. Check out emma.hellocake’s Instagram and see her new kitchen, looks fab. Have been kitchen stalking a few people on insta dreaming of my kitchen extension…

  4. Ahhhh it’s so exciting!!! Just look at the ceiling height and sense of space that plaster job gives, the house will be epic when all done!

    Really hope listed building consent comes through so I can join in Rock My Room! We have a hideous space upstairs that should be being transformed into a sleek master suite with en suite.. but only if we get permission!

    1. I really hope so Lucy…I’m currently in architrave hell. Choosing a design that is enough to add a sense of depth to the house but not going so overboard that we end up with a Victorian chocolate box (nice in an actual Victorian house…not so much a 1930s semi!) is really tough. I’m relying on the final epicness to spur me on.

      Keeping all my fingers and toes for your listed building consent too! When will you find out?

      1. Hi lol, we were in the same situation as we wanted something similar to the original. I’m a huge believer in replacing like for like (or closest available) to maintain the architecture of the building. Our house is also circa 1930s and I found lambs tongue architrave and skirting the closest match. Unfortunately the skirting boards are not as deep as the torus skirting in our old vicorian house but this is because the ceilings are not as high. I personally think ceiling height should dictate the depth of skirtings to prevent that ‘chocolate box’ effect. Hope this helps

  5. Screwfix for affordable but decent looking electrical fittings. Good luck with the rest of the work, it’s going to look amazing!

    1. Thanks Jen – I was initially taken with their offering but wondered if I was missing out on a super duper amazing store that I hadn’t heard of…Think I’ll just bite the bullet and buy from them!

      1. One thing to remember with flat plate sockets and switches is back box depth…we found out the hard way!! I found the ‘click define’ range on electrical2go.co.uk good value.

        Your project is Defo taking shape now and looks fab, it’s amazing the transformation plastering makes. Keep up the good work 🙂

  6. You’ve made such a progress with the house, I’m loving the contemporary windows and frames you have installed in the back. I’m currently looking to have a renovation on my own home, so it’s great to pick up any design tips!

  7. Lolly, it looks amazing! After your post last week, I went back through the archives to find more of your progress posts so it’s great to see another. We’ve got a second viewing on a house that is not too dissimilar to yours (although we’re hoping to live in it during renovations, eep) – Any tips for things we should be looking for during the second viewing? At the moment I fear we will be peering at the boiler and randomly knocking on walls and nodding and oohing…

    1. Ahh bless you Sian!
      Couple of questions for you…are you doing full scale renovations or extending bits here and knocking a wall through there?
      This will have an impact on what I can suggest that you look for….

      1. Ah thanks Lolly . We would be (hopefully!) knocking the kitchen and dining room together and then extending out the back (ground floor only) to create an open plan living space. Everything else needs work but its largely cosmetic (swirly carpets, awful wallpaper etc) aside from the bathroom which will need ripping out. The current owner passed away so it’s essentially a very dated house but I don’t know how we know what ‘other’ work is needed – e.g. re-wiring, new boiler etc. Thanks so much for any help. Also, if it wasn’t for Hector’s arrival, do you think you would have been able to live in your house whilst work was going on? (Albeit doing the work in sections and a bit slower etc). x

        1. Hi Sian

          Oh it sounds so exciting! I have so many recommendations for you but these are just the main ones….
          Firstly check if there’s a solid brick wall above the wall you want to knock through; it won’t necessarily be an impediment to your vision but it will cost you more in structural work i.e. RSJs etc and structural drawings.
          Check for any additional planning restrictions aside from City Council Planning – are you on a special conservation trust like us? If so then you’ll need to submit plans to them as well; potentially they could be more strict than your local council which could have an effect on your plans.
          Drainage and manholes – it’s worth checking out how far away from the house they are and where the run of the drains lies. If your extension falls on the current run of your drains then you’ll need to reroute them…as we had to which cost us £20K out of our precious budget which we couldn’t even see. Insert sobbing face here.
          Always plan for the worse…do you have any friends who are electricians/plumbers who could attend the second viewing with you…they can help to provide an estimate on how much this work is likely to cost you.
          Lastly do you have any neighbours at the new property? Have they extended? If so you can be sure that your plans are more likely to be accepted. Our immediate next door neighbour hadn’t extended so we couldn’t go as far as we would have liked/would have been able to if he had already extended.
          Hopefully all of those pointers will help you a little bit…feel free to drop me an email if you need any further questions answering.
          Oh and could we have lived there? Luckily we had the option not to and I’m so glad we haven’t had to…realistically I’d say no. If you really do need to go back to brick and rip everything out I’d say it’s worth moving in with family or considering a short-term let to prevent you from pulling your hair out. It makes things easier for your tradesmen too as it does get very very messy.

        2. Hi Sian

          Oh it sounds so exciting! I have so many recommendations for you but these are just the main ones….
          Firstly check if there’s a solid brick wall above the wall you want to knock through; it won’t necessarily be an impediment to your vision but it will cost you more in structural work i.e. RSJs etc and structural drawings.
          Check for any additional planning restrictions aside from City Council Planning – are you on a special conservation trust like us? If so then you’ll need to submit plans to them as well; potentially they could be more strict than your local council which could have an effect on your plans.
          Drainage and manholes – it’s worth checking out how far away from the house they are and where the run of the drains lies. If your extension falls on the current run of your drains then you’ll need to reroute them…as we had to which cost us £20K out of our precious budget which we couldn’t even see. Insert sobbing face here.
          Always plan for the worse…do you have any friends who are electricians/plumbers who could attend the second viewing with you…they can help to provide an estimate on how much this work is likely to cost you.
          Lastly do you have any neighbours at the new property? Have they extended? If so you can be sure that your plans are more likely to be accepted. Our immediate next door neighbour hadn’t extended so we couldn’t go as far as we would have liked/would have been able to if he had already extended.
          Hopefully all of those pointers will help you a little bit…feel free to drop me an email if you need any further questions answering.
          Oh and could we have lived there? Luckily we had the option not to and I’m so glad we haven’t had to…realistically I’d say no. If you really do need to go back to brick and rip everything out I’d say it’s worth moving in with family or considering a short-term let to prevent you from pulling your hair out. It makes things easier for your tradesmen too as it does get very very messy.

  8. You have no idea how happy I am to have found your build journey today! I’ve been reading back through all your posts and it has restored my faith in our own project. We are going through a similarly long haul renovation at the moment – coming on 1 and a half years since we picked up the keys.

    The property is an old hostel that we will be turning into our family home and business (The Hunter Press). We’ve been through planning rejections, architect delays, Listed Building issues and now the dreaded bats who have chosen to set up home within our roof space! All is on hold until surveys are undertaken over the summer, following which we can finally get started. Hurray!!

    To top it all off we are out of our current home in 1 month and I am 5 months pregnant – isn’t it funny how things work out? This week I have been experiencing HUGE anxiety about the whole process – how many years will it take, where will we live in the meantime, how we will we afford it all, how will my business run once the baby arrives, is it all worth it… you know how it goes!

    It’s amazing how much comfort simply reading about someone else’s project can bring. Cup of tea in hand, Pinterest boards back in action, and I’m ready to tackle this head on again. You’re home looks like it will be fantastic when finished and reminds me that the journey, no matter how long, is happening for a reason and will be 100% worth it. A huge thank you from a very hormonal pregnant lady today! Wishing you guys so much luck and happiness with the rest of your dream xxx

    1. Lyndsey it’s comments like this that honestly make my week. First things first huge congratulations on your pregnancy – I trust that you’re an avid reader of all things Rock My Family 😉
      Secondly I completely and utterly feel your pain. Planning rejections, requirements to adhere to design guidelines, re-submitted plans and then my own pregnancy with Hector have caused significant delays with our build. I’m not going to lie – there have been times when I’ve sat at the bottom of the dusty decrepit stairs and sobbed my heart out wondering if we had made one of the biggest mistakes of our lives. In fact I’ll be sharing a post in a couple of weeks on the impact that the build has had on my relationship with Ste. But I can say this…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Honestly it’s such a cliche but in the mess comes the magic, be that for you individually, the design of your home or even in your relationships.
      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to undermine the stress and the anxiety of the situation, been there and worn that t-shirt, and there are still times when I go to the house and suddenly there just seems so much still to do and I feel like I’ve got a tonne weight sat on my chest. But I absolutely promise that you will get there, and suddenly something will happen and it feels like you’ve made a huge jump in progress. You’ve just got to trust that it will….that’s how I got through it/am getting through it anyway. One small step at a time is all you need to do right now. Crossing all my fingers for you! xxxx

      1. Thanks Lolly 🙂 We know how to keep things busy for ourselves! I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for those future posts. As much as I hate the thought of others going through the same stress, it is a huge comfort to know we’re not the only ones. I’m keeping a tight hold on the “it’ll be worth it in the long run” frame of mind. Fingers crossed I’ll be writing a blog post on the final stage of our build in a year or so’s time! Thanks so much for sharing your project with us all xxx

  9. Loving the update – huge progress, I am so impressed!!! Re light fittings, try either mr-resistor.co.uk (showrooms only in London I think but the website is comprehensive), which are good quality (in my humble opinion), or for cheaper options you could try tlc-direct.co.uk, we had some of the chrome finished ones in our temporary kitchen (don’t ask, it wasn’t supposed to be quite so temporary…) and they looked ok but I must admit were a little flimsy – you just need to make sure they aren’t over-tightened when they are screwed in otherwise they bend a little bit, but otherwise they are budget friendly and pretty good. Good luck with the final push!! x

    1. Hi Annie…will check out Mr Resistor now! We bought our sockets from TLC for our last house and like you said I found them a bit flimsy hence my desire to shop elsewhere this time. Thanks for the recommendations though!

  10. I love reading these posts Lolly, I am in complete awe of what you and Ste are doing.

    We’ve been in our house for just over 3yrs and everything we’ve done so far has been pretty basic DIY. A lick of paint, a bit of wallpaper… simple. We’ve used a carpenter and an electrician for a few bits, but it’s all been fairly straightforward.

    We’ve just found out we need to replace and ultimately relocate our boiler, so we’ve decided to take the plunge and completely overhaul our utility room. It needs gutting before we do the boiler work, replace the floor/sink/cabinets and install new storage. It’s essentially a small kitchen {without an oven or a hob obviously} and I’ve got no idea where to start or how to organise the various people we’ll need to make it all happen. I wondered if you might have some advice for a newbie?!

    Thanks,
    Franky xxx

    1. Morning Frankie…thanks so much for all your very kind words. Ok so some tips for you…are you doing any structural work to your utility area or is it simply a case of ripping everything out and simply starting again? If structural work is involved i.e. extending then you’ll need to submit plans before you do anything. If it’s simply cosmetic, will you be doing all the work yourself or getting in some tradesmen aside from the plumber? You will probably save money if you carry out the gutting yourself (make sure you have a skip in close proximity even if it’s just a baby skip to get rid of all the junk). I’m assuming from what you’ve said that the boiler is going in the utility? Is that right? If so then I’d get the room back to its bare bones and then let your plumber install your boiler. Only when this is in place can you start thinking about putting the room back together. You may need plasterers, painters and a trip to a kitchen showroom if you’re after a new set of cabinets too…Hope this helps?

  11. Love this post, your house is going to look fabulous and it’s so important to take loads of photographs because after all the pain and heartache (7 years into our renovation) you really do forget how bad it was. We used Hamilton polished chrome sockets and light switches, which we are very happy with but we are now adding an extension and I’m re-thinking! Whilst watching a programme with one of my favourite architects, Charlie Luxton, he said, why would you want sockets to stand out, if you have neutral walls, which I do, F&B Pointing, plain white sockets blend in much better and are far cheaper, but still not sure!

    1. Hi Eileen, like you we used Hamilton steel sockets and switches when we moved into our house on my husbands insistence! We are now nearing the end of our extension and I’ve gone for white plastic this time! Our walls are all pale and I really don’t like the way the steel stands out. We’ve kept steel in the kitchen as it just seems to look better as they tend to be more on show somehow but everywhere else it’s plastic. It’s saved a fortune (B&Q Tradepoint) and I really like it as you just don’t notice them!

      The few extra steel ones we needed we got on eBay which were by far cheaper than anywhere else and seem exactly the same. They aren’t Hamilton but you’d never know.

  12. Forgot to mention for those thinking of extending, ask if your planning department do a pre-planning application. Our architect submitted rough plans which were considered by the planning department and they advised us what would and wouldn’t be allowed, hence the final plans went through straight away, saves paying twice for full planning permission (ours is a listed property, so can be more problematic).

  13. It’s all looking fabulous!! If you’d like affordable but stylish skirting, coving and architrave then I would highly recommend https://www.decorative-coving.co.uk/ We have been doing a big renovation project over the last couple of years and can’t fault this company for value for money and good customer service. As for flat plate sockets and switches, we used screwfix ‘LAP’ range which are brushed stainless steel so don’t show the greasy fingerprints as much as polished chrome. They were excellent value for money and look so stylish. I would well recommend the sockets that come with USB as well – REALLY handy for being able to charge your iPhone without using up a socket! http://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-13a-2g-sp-switched-socket-3-1a-2g-usb-charger-brushed-stainless-steel/1861p Hope this is good for thought xxx

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