Welcome to our home!
Although we moved into our Edwardian home in the North West of the UK over three years ago, we are still very much in the middle of our renovation works. None of the rooms are completely finished and there is still a lot to do to the exterior of the house and messy garden, but hopefully you will be able to see some improvement in the progress pictures.
When we first moved in in June 2010 this is what the exterior looked like. As you can see, it was a bit of a mess. A lot of the decorative timber was missing and every time it was slightly windy, we would find more bits in the front garden below.
This is what the house looks like now.
We have repaired and replaced the decorative timber, the garden posts have been rebuilt (you can read about it here and here), some of the windows have been replaced and we have painted the render around the office window over the porch. There is still a lot to do though. You can see that the render on the gable wall is in need of some treatment (we aren’t sure if we are going to paint it or apply new render, the garden is still a bit of a mess, the roof could do with an overhaul, some windows still need replacing and we’d also like a new porch. Uff, it’s a long list!
The front garden itself was completely overgrown and had more resemblance with a dandelion farm than a garden. The asphalt path is dissolving as we speak and the porch is more or less falling of the front of the house. The gateposts are also barely still standing. One of our lovely neighbours (you can see him in the picture) offered to tidy up our garden for us.
After a lot of work, this is what the front garden looks like now. It’s hard to believe what a few hours of work and just a few little extra plants can achieve. We added the rosemary and the blackcurrants, but the lovely roses were already there, they were just hidden under all of the weeds.
As soon as we entered the house we knew it was the one. It did, and still does need a lot of work, but it does have potential. This is what the front living room looked like when we got the keys. We actually ripped up the carpet before moving in, as the previous owners had a dog that obviously wasn’t house trained. Yuk!
This is what the living room looks like now (You can read about our updates here). The whole room has been re-plastered, the original floorboards have been stripped and sanded, we have new windows and new electrics and a new radiator. We still have a lot of things planned for this room, but it’s getting there.
This is was the view of the living room looking towards the fireplace. We hated the wallpaper, which for our taste was just too busy. The 1950s fireplace would probably be okay for the right property, but not necessarily in an Edwardian house.
After a lot of work, including replacing the fireplace, having built-in cupboards fitted in the recesses on either side of the fireplace and lots sanding and painting, this is how far we are now.
This was the dining room looking out towards the garden.
And this is the dining room looking back the other way. The existing carpet is completely stained and the weird 1960s style gas fire is awful. We had it disconnected as soon as we moved in, as it wasn’t just only ugly, but also unsafe.
This is what the dining room currently looks like. As you can see, we built the shelves in the recess, removed the old gas fireplace and removed the horrible, stained carpet & sanded the floorboards. The biggest change (in the whole house) involved knocking down the load-bearing wall between this room and the kitchen.
There’s obviously still a lot to do, but it’s definitely a huge step in the right direction.
This was the view from the front door into the hallway looking towards the kitchen when we moved in:
The hallway has been completely replastered (some of it in magnetic plaster), the staircase has been restored and our original floorboards that were hidden beneath the laminate have been sanded. Now the hallway looks like this:
This was the view looking back towards the front door:
As well as restoring the staircase and painting everything, we also restored the door and had the missing stained glass panel replaced. This is what it looks like now:
The kitchen may not look too bad on these pictures, but it needs a complete overhaul. The cupboards are falling to pieces, there just isn’t enough storage and most of the appliances don’t work properly. A new kitchen is very high on our wish list! We recently knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room which has made a huge difference to the way we use the space. It’s definitely the improvement that has made the biggest impact so far.
On the first floor we have 4 bedrooms.
This is what the front bedroom looked like when we moved in. The original period fireplace had been painted yellow, and the wallpaper was falling off the walls.
And this is the master bedroom now. We stripped, re-plastered and painted the walls, replaced the picture rail, sanded the floor, had the electrics and plumbing sorted, restored the fireplace and lots more.
Although the before and after pictures were taken at roughly the same time of day, the room is so much lighter now. The 3rd bedroom is the smallest room in the house – it’s tiny. We currently use it as an office. When we moved in, the walls were mouldy, a corner of the laminate flooring was missing and bizarrely the door opened into the room.
This is the room now.
Amongst other things, we’ve had the window replaced, the floor sanded, the electrics sorted, a new radiator fitted and have plastered and painted the room. We still need a proper office chair and some more lighting, but we are almost there.
Even if it was pink and yellow, our guest bedroom was the room that was in the best condition of all of our rooms.
It’s the room that we initially used as our bedroom as it was the only one that didn’t have a carpet that had been soaked in dog pee. The laminate flooring was in a decent condition (especially compared to the loose floorboards everywhere else) and the walls were, in general, the cleanest in the house. The colours are not exactly what we would (ever!) choose, but that is the least of our worries!
After a lot of work, this is what the room looks like now.
We’ve sanded the floors, stripped, repaired and painted the walls, had a new window installed and have reinstated period features like the picture rail, fireplace and architrave around the window. It’s definitely an improvement on the dirty, pink walls!
The bedroom that was in the worst condition was the small bedroom at the back of the house. We used to use the room as a general dumping ground. The back wall was damp, some of the floorboards we missing and the electrics were probably not the safest thing in the world.
For some reason the previous owners had installed the boiler in this room, the plaster was also badly damaged and for a while, it was actually raining in through the ceiling.
Now, we’ve had a new window installed, plastered the room, had the electrics sorted, the boiler moved and a new radiator fitted, laid a floor and painted everywhere. We’re still not quite done in here, but it’s slowly starting to take shape.
Oh, and of course we have a bathroom, too. It’s in pretty desperate need of a complete overhaul – it’s on the list for next year!
When we first moved in, we gave the room a quick and cheap update by replacing the pee-stained carpet with some vinyl tiles, replacing the shower curtain and toilet seat and painting some of the tiles. It’s still not great, but it’ll have to do for a little while longer.
Both our house and house tour are very much works in progress. We will keep you updated on our improvement adventures!