Tag Archives: electrician

Playroom renovation COMPLETE!

A year ago today – exactly – we moved to Edinburgh. To mark this anniversary, we can FINALLY say our house is finished! The boys have a new playroom and we have a whole new room in our house.

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I am SO EXCITED about picking up the Wee Man from school – he’s going to burst. Then we’ll have the best job ever of filling it with toys!

It’s been a fun journey – here it is in pictures.

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So my top tips based on our renovation?

  • Get good tradesmen and pay them promptly – the plumber must have been back and forth five or six times, but he was always very obliging because I transferred the money for his bill the same day each time.
  • Take advice even though you had a pretty fixed idea in your head
  • Shop around online – I ordered the staircase myself and saved hundreds of pounds. Of course, I didn’t tell the joiner until after he’d put it all together. He actually said: “You’ve just risen in my estimations”
  • Make lots and lots of tea and coffee and always buy the good biscuits
  • Make “how could I save a bit of money on that?” your default phrase – even when you’re in CarpetRight and everyone’s listening and the assistant is getting more and more pissed off as their commission shrinks before their eyes
  • If you don’t understand what your tradesman’s on about, say you’ll get back to him and Google it. I had to tell the painter about PVA for sealing brickwork – he thought I’d have to buy a specialist substance at £50 per tub.
  • Use PVA for sealing brickwork
  • Make sure your plasterer wears safety goggles – mine didn’t, even though he was doing ceilings, and had to go to the eye hospital leaving shite all over the place for two extra days
  • Humour people. No matter who you have in, they should have been in before the last guy. Just agree and offer more biscuits.
  • Offer lots of praise and then swiftly remove it when they’re not up to scratch – I’ve found it makes them much more eager to please. Yes I know this is coldly calculating.
  • Order wallpaper online. Never buy it from a shop. Ever.
  • Be prepared to get involved if it keeps everything on schedule. I was painting skirtings the night before the carpets came.
  • Locks. Put locks on as many doors as you can, especially if you have young, curious trouble-making children.
  • Be super nice to your neighbours throughout.
  • Make sure there is a spare key with a neighbour at all times.
  • Save everyone’s mobile number into your phone. Seems simple, but honestly saves your sanity.
  • Don’t let your husband do a dump run in the middle of any renovation, ever.
  • Take photos of every stage
  • Have fun with it – it can be a huge pain in the arse but it’s so worth it!

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Filed under Edinburgh, Edinburgh renovation, Uncategorized

Goodbye house

In the last nine months, two of my close friends have packed up, rented their flats and moved to Hong Kong. In the last nine days, another great friend has landed a job in London, so that he and his wife will also be packing up, renting their flat and buggering off. As we made our last van run today I pondered the fact we were all still standing. And slightly envied the fact that none of them had had an inquisitive toddler unpacking, climbing on and pouring juice into their boxes.

I’m quite proud of myself.

Apart from last weekend and today, Rod has mostly been working his socks off in Aberdeen. I’ve been meeting the financial advisor, showing round letting agents, auditioning builders, making tea for the handyman, chatting to the electrician and dragging my mother-in-law to B&Q on pensioner Wednesdays.

On the occasions when it’s threatened to overwhelm me, strange things have happened. One Tuesday, as I stomped up to Beanscene with the wee man mercifully strapped into the one place he couldn’t cause trouble, I bumped into the barista at the door with an armful of cardboard.

“Are those boxes?!” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Can I have them?” I asked.

He looked at me strangely. “I’m moving house,” I explained, to his relief. The charming chap even kept them and brought them out to my car later. That, and other odd coincidences like a neighbour’s friend turning out to live two streets away from me in Aberdeen, have made me wonder if they were fateful signposts that I’m on the right path.

I’ve enjoyed the growing feeling of space, in my house and in my head, as I’ve binned, recycled and donated carloads of stuff. I even got up at 5.30 on a Sunday morning to go to a carboot sale. I should actually write a whole blog post on that – the characters I met and the banter we had made standing in a freezing warehouse for four hours totally bearable. I sold every single thing and made £110 to boot.

Today we took the last of the furniture, pictures and kitchenware to the place we’re storing it. We loaded the van with the clothes, TV and Wee Man Equipment for our rented Aberdeen house. On Wednesday I’ll pack what little clothes and plates remain and leave this house. At some point we’ll need to go through an abbreviated version of this process, when we buy a house. But that may be a while. I’ll have recovered by then.

Hooray for house moving!

Hooray for house moving!

 

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Filed under Aberdeen, home