The building work is finished

My word of the week this week, is finished, because we are finally finished with all of the building work involved in our garage conversion and extension. I say finished but when is anything ever really finished? There are still niggly things needing doing but the major renovation work is now done. For anyone who hasn’t been aware, we previosuly had a garage and a car port. The garage has now been converted into a lovely new room, the car port is now a proper garage. We have also moved our front door and had a small utility built at the front.

Not sure if this makes any sense but here is a before and after of the front of the house (or at least up to the point where the garage door went on).We need a step and other work doing out the front (remember I mentioned niggly things?) but that will be happening fairly soon I hope.before and after front

Inside our hallway is the same size as ever but where the old front door used to be it now leads into a lovely little utility room. We love this room as it means the noisy washing machine and tumble dryer can now be well and truly shut away, meaning hubs and I can actually hear each other when they are on – potentially saving our marriage hehe ;).hallutility

Our living room now no longer has many toys stored in it as they are all in our lovely new playroom/study. Which is here.new room

We love this room with the grey walls and we went for a lovely soft (but bleach cleanable) carpet as we spend a lot of time in there on our hands and knees playing with the kids. We decided to be bold and step away from our usual Ikea furniture (which we love) and get some different pieces in there. Hubs found a fab place, Swoon editions (not a sponsored post in anyway) where we got this gorgeous unit we are using as toy storage, a lovely new desk and chest of drawers too.swoon furniture

We also went to our favourite Multiyork (again not sponsored) to get this gorgeous vibrant snuggle sofa and chair. We love being able to choose the fabrics ourselves and I always love what I call “Jewel tones” like these.multiyork furniture

We still need to get some curtains, maybe cushions and decide what to have on the walls (there are the niggly things again!). We still need a bit more toy storage too though haven’t decided what form that will take. I love our book shelves though (Ikea picture rails, bargainous) and we did push the boat out when it came to the radiators, one in the lounge and one in the new room. Big and chunky and lovely.rads

Hubs bought this piano for £50 on ebay before we met and it has never had a home in this house and has been basically dumped in the conservatory with loads of other old furniture. It now has a proper home in the new room, and it has really helped free up space in the conservatory again making that room feel so much bigger again.20151008_093819

Having the garage itself finished, with a posh roller door (hubs’ choice) has made a huge difference too as for the past couple of months the entire contents of the garage have been kept in the conservatory. I allowed hubs to get his car in the garage once but then I am afraid it had to come out so I could reclaim the conservatory as that is our primary messy play area and very much needed on rainy days! Some of the stuff that is now in the garage needs to be sold and we need to get some shelves up and work out proper storage in there too.garage

So yes I say we are finished but as you can probably gather… there is still lots of things to be done. We also want some coat hooks on the walls in the utility to free up space in the hall and need to get a better shoe rack as there are constantly shoes all over the floor in the hall…. But the building work at least is finished and the building inspector has approved the work so hooray for that!

The Reading Residence

A bit of a break

My word of the week this week is break. You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on here this week and that is because life at home is currently very hectic, so I have taken a bit of a break from blogging. There is still tonnes I would like to write about but I just haven’t the time or energy for it at the moment with everything that is going on.

Our garage conversion and building work is going really well and when this is published, in theory the new room/old garage should be finished and ready for furniture to go in. As I write the plumbers are plumbing in the radiators and the carpets should go down in a few hours. This is a huge relief as the last couple of weeks have been hard work.

The first stage of the building work was all outdoors and so other than being noisy didn’t really interfere with our day to day life much. Since cutting the doorway between the new room and the lounge it has been a very different story. The dust has driven us mad. Not fun at the best of times it is definitely less than ideal with a 10 month old crawling everywhere and getting in to everything!

So we have been covering furniture with quilts and sheets (meaning lots more laundry to do, as if we don’t produce enough laundry already) and I have lost count of the amount of times I have swept the floor and steamed and been on my hands and knees trying to clean up the dust…

Dust

It has also still been noisy and smelly (paint) and there has been people in and out a lot. Our builders are a really good bunch and they love the kids but having strangers in your house all the time is just a bit weird and parenting with an audience really isn’t fun! Plus the conversations I have had to listen to/be involved in (generally moaning about their wives and women in general, fun, and occasionally sharing how little sex they have, way tmi for me!) is just a bit weird.

So the kids and I have been playing upstairs a lot to keep put of their way. Plus of course lots of trips out in between the rain (or even when raining).

Going for a walk in the pouring rain ay 9am on bank holiday Monday while the builders fitted the door tp the new room

Going for a walk in the pouring rain at 9am on bank holiday Monday while the builders fitted the door to the new room

LM has actually coped really well with it all so far, basking in the adoration of the builders and giving them the biggest smiles, but the strain is starting to show with Monkey. He still wants to be a builder and is ok with them but he doesn’t like them being in his domain I don’t think. If I have to pop out of the room to deal with LM he doesn’t like being on his own with the builders so wants to follow me everywhere or stands and cries. Honestly this morning I was settling LM to sleep while the builder was cutting bricks outside (SO noisy) and she was trying but obviously struggling through the noise. I got her to sleep and came back down to find Monkey (who I had convinced to stay downstairs for a few mins) hiding with tears in his eyes. Pfff. Poor thing but I am at a loss what to do sometimes, I can’t be with him every second of the day.

We also haven’t had a front door for a couple of weeks now so have been traipsing round the back all of the time. Meaning the buggy, shoes coats, etc have all been living in the lounge along with the dust and the builders… just not ideal, any of it really and I have to say that being able to actually use our new front door for the first time was very very exciting!!

front door

One of the purposes of the new room will be toy storage, which is also making us think about storage throughout the house. It is also going to be Hubs office so a lot of the office stuff and files will come down from upstairs and go in there. So my word of the week was nearly sorting as we have been using any spare time (?) to go through cupboards. We have been throwing away lots of old stuff and have sorted some things for charity shops too. I have started to ditch some toys (charity shop again) and have more boxes to go through yet. (I swear toys multiply of their own accord, they are taking over our house!!).

So yeah not a lot of time for blogging really (I wrote most of this on my phone while watching bake off and the rest in 5 min bursts as today has been chaos).

At one point today we had the builder, 2 plumbers, an electrician, and a carpet fitter here at the same time. t worked well and lots got done but it was chaos!

At one point today we had the builder, 2 plumbers, an electrician, and a carpet fitter here at the same time. it worked well and lots got done but it was chaos!

But a break probably is no bad thing. I have been feeling slightly disillusioned with blogging for a while, possibly because life is busy and I am exhausted, but all of the commenting and linkies and sharing, let alone writing, has been feeling like a chore.

But I do love writing and that is why I blog really, as well as to create a record for the kids to look back on. So it won’t be too long a break I am sure… just a break until we return to something resembling normality I think!! I was going to add I some shots of how it is all looking now but it has taken me so long to write this post that I can’t be bothered so will save them for another post.

How has your week been? Slightly less chaotic I hope?

The Reading Residence

Making good progress

My work of the week this week is “progress” as we are making some great progress, on a number of fronts.

I wrote last week that we are starting our new big project, and honestly the builders have worked so hard and only 1 week later, the progress is incredible! They’ve obviously got a way to go yet but the work is well underway!

progress

The old garage is feeling much more like a room, now the stud work is up, it is insulated and has the plasterboard up. The new, larger window has been created and the old garage doors (front and back) are well and truly gone. The foundations have been dug for the new wall on the garage and what will be our utility room, and today these were filled with concrete.

It’s very exciting though my word could also have been chaos as of course it has been noisy and hectic and a bit chaotic having the builders in – and they will be around for a while yet!

We’ve also made some progress getting rid of some of the old stuff from the garage and have sold a few things on ebay, which is brilliant. No point stuff we don’t use going back into the new garage! We’ve given away lots of baby clothes and other bits including a moses basket and nursing chair to friends. We know we aren’t having any more babies but it is lovely to see our bits go to a good home,

We are also making progress in a totally different area, potty training Monkey! I haven’t mentioned it but we also started potty training last week and Monkey has been doing amazingly. We’ve had less than 10 accidents all week and he is getting better and better at telling me he needs to do a wee (rather than just going when I take him). He goes a couple of hours between wees and has even had a few dry nights which we are hugely impressed with! I will write more about how it’s gone in a later post but I am so glad we waited until he was ready.

We tried earlier this year and he wasn’t ready, but now he is and he has just got it straight away. I know we all feel the pressure to do it early and having a 3 year old in nappies certainly what I thought would happen but waiting until he was really ready and following his lead has been absolutely the right thing for us. It has actually been really easy, which is a huge relief, and it is lovely seeing him in pants rather than nappies!! :)

In many ways it has been a tough, and certainly busy, week with the builders, LM and I have a cold and Monkey is a bit ratty and not 100% either. But it is good to feel like we have made some great progress and are really getting somewhere!

How has your week been?

The Reading Residence

Our next big project

We moved into our house about 3 weeks before Monkey was born. It is in the area both Hubs and I grew up in, an area that we love. We got it at a really great price because it needed work doing to it, more work than we initially realised to be honest! We moved in to a garage that was basically flooded from an old roof, a kitchen that was falling apart, rotton soffets with birds nesting in the eaves, pretty nasty bathrooms and both front & back gardens were a mess. Initially we thought we could live with a lot of it but gradually we realised we needed to do some work sooner rather than later.

So when Monkey was still a baby we did many of the repairs needed, had a new kitchen fitted, a new bathroom, and created a shower room out of the existing downstairs toilet and hall cupboard. We completely gutted and landscaped the back garden and made some “smaller” changes to the front, including a new gravel driveway area.

The 'small' changes to the front garden!

The ‘small’ changes to the front garden!

Our itchen when it was brand spanking new!

Our itchen when it was brand spanking new!

There have been smaller changes over the last 3 years, lots of decorating and replacing ceilings but one of the things we loved about this house was it’s potential to grow with us. Since early this year Hubs has had a bee in his bonnet that he has wanted to start this process. He felt, quite rightly, that if we want to extend in any way then we should do it now when the space is really useful to us. If we wait until we can more easily afford it then the kids will be older and it won’t be as useful to us as it is now.

So, it has taken months of decisions and back and forth and organising architects drawings and building regulations (thankfully we don’t need planning permission) and now it is finally happening. We are converting our existing Garage into a Study/Playroom, and the carport will become our garage. We are also moving our existing front door, gaining a utility room and potentially re-doing our driveway. Eek!!

We thought originally we had a month or so before work started but all of a sudden the builder is available and bam it starts this week! So we came back from holiday a little earlier than we would have, and have had some work to do ourselves. Thankfully we cleared out the garage a few weeks ago but we hadn’t got round to selling some of the stuff we want to sell :S. So all of that stuff, plus other garage bits are now filling our conservatory!

Plus because we are moving the front door, we have some bushes and plants to move around too so we have had some old horrible plants dug up and then we have been moving the plants we like into the spaces they left behind.

We have also been working out how we want our new room to look so have already ordered most of our furniture, some before we went away and some while we were away! All very exciting but always nerve wracking! Fingers crossed it all looks the way we imagine… I will share more details with our choices in another post.

I am nervous, excited, apprehensive and everything in between. Wish us luck with the chaos and noise and fun having the builders in for the next 8 weeks or so (!!!??!!!) will undoubtedly bring!!

So bye bye garage, car port and front porch, with the annoying front step and garage doors that barely close let alone lock. Spiders it is time to find a new home! :)

old garage and carport

My word of the week this week, is project!

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