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.
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.
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!