Plan, plan, plan – Daryl and Hannah’s renovation blog part 28 August 2017
In the second instalment of our new regular blog feature Daryl, a website manager, and Hannah, a Director of a parenting advice company, share their experiences of their renovation and retrofit journey as they embark on the re-build and renovation of their 1950s bungalow to turn it into their dream family home with an improved energy rating.
We’re three months into a six month renovation of our 1950s bungalow and I can honestly say, it’s been a pleasurable experience. Yes we’ve had some problems, some mistakes on our part, some from our contractors, but nothing significant enough to dampen our enthusiasm.
As I write this, the final rafters are being laid, ready for the roof covering to begin next week. This is such a big milestone as that moment you cover the roof really feels like you’re into the second half of the build, and we’re pretty much on schedule.
You tend to look at the project in stages (demolition, ground work, block work, roof, windows, plumbing and the first fix electrics, and then the final finishes) each one then becomes a hurdle to overcome, and each one seemingly more important than the previous. I’ve watched enough Grand Designs to know where the main problems tend to arise, and we survived the potential money pit that is the ground work, and navigated the block work with minimal issues. A complex roof structure has proved tricky but it is coming together well and we’re starting to really see what the house will look like. It’s bigger than we imagined!
If I could pass on any wisdom to my pre-build self, it would be very simply, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! I thought I had planned this project well, in fact I know I did, but you can always do more. We’ve fortunately not suffered too much because of this, but all of the times I thought ‘Yeah, that will be fine’ or ‘Well, we can decide that later’ I regret. They come back to bite you in the behind, and everything is much easier to sort before it occurs on site.
When trying to keep a project on track it’s important to make sure you’re working with great partners. We’re lucky to have great contractors (Stokes and Lovegrove) who have been collaborative, communicative and knowledgeable as well as a great relationship with Ecology, who have been a friendly and informative voice, to help us navigate our way through the renovation process.
We’re looking forward to the weeks ahead as the focus shifts internally and you really start to see the build become a home, as well as some cooler weather. Mobile homes, with three children and a dog, are not fun places in 34C!
Find out more about Ecology’s mortgages for renovations and retrofits here.
Artist’s impression of what Daryl and Hannah’s renovation will look like when completed