I’m learning how to juggle our finances

Our project is moving ahead at full steam, and the builders are starting to put our house back together.

Our project is moving ahead at full steam, and the builders are starting to put our house back together. Until now it’s been a case of ripping things out to get back to the bones of the house, and it’s certainly hard to remember what the house once looked like when you’re surrounded by bare brick, exposed pipework and no ceilings. There have been times when I’ve walked round thinking, ‘What have we done?’. But the builder assures me that from now on it will all start to come back together.

We’ve also received some good news regarding the rotten floor timbers in the rear living room. After removing the floorboards, the builder has advised us that it will be sufficient to replace the rotten joists and a couple of the timbers, and then prevent any further damage by treating the remaining ones. It has added to our budget, but it will be far less expensive than installing a new concrete floor.

Elsewhere, however, our budget has escalated due to all the extra plastering work we now need. We’ve had to replace additional ceilings from when the builder first quoted the job, and many of the walls have had to be plasterboarded in preparation for new plasterwork, while the remainder will need to be re-skimmed. Working out our finances has become a juggling act, deciding where we can save money later on in the project in order to finance the building work, but in my mind there’s no point forking out for your dream sofa or a top-of-the-range bathroom if you haven’t managed to repair the structure of the house properly.

The walls are now ready for plastering

Ready for plastering

Above The walls in the bedroom and living room are now ready for plastering

This month, we’ve also made an exciting discovery in the hallway. Along with the stairs and landing, this is the one area where we decided our budget just didn’t stretch to re-plastering and completely decorating – a lick of paint will be enough to smarten it ?up for now, so we’ve tried to keep everything covered up. With all the debris and dust in the house, however, it’s pretty obvious the carpet isn’t going to survive the renovation. Upon lifting a corner, I was thrilled to see an original oak parquet floor hidden underneath. Although it needs some serious repair, I’m hopeful it will look fantastic once renovated. The carpet has been put back in place to protect it, and hopefully we’ll have some money left to hire a professional to restore it, as skilled parquet renovation is definitely beyond the scope of my DIY skills!

Original parquet flooring in the hallway

Above We’ve discovered original parquet flooring in the hallway

With the plasterers due to start work any day now, the interior of our new home will soon be taking shape.