Stop! Look behind you

I was having a chat with a friend yesterday and the conversation came round to the Devon project, as most conversations these days have a tendency to do. It would have been so easy to answer the “how’s it going?” question with “not quick enough” but instead I actually took a step back and looked back on what’s happened in the six weeks (yes, it’s only been six weeks!) since I was handed the keys. Reflection isn’t something I’m renowned for – I usually have my head so far in the future I forget about the here and now, let alone looking back on what has been achieved. After some thought I realised:

  • The house has been stripped back to a shell – flooring up, plaster off the walls (for damp proofing), kitchens and bathroom ripped out.
  • New doorways have been knocked through, walls (and some ceilings) taken down.
  • Designs for the bathrooms have been signed off, and the first fix for the plumbing is about to happen, plus the new bathrooms have been ordered (choosing and ordering four bathrooms and a cloakroom is really not my idea of a fun way to spend the afternoon).
  • New heating system ordered.
  • Agreed with the electrician where new plug sockets and light fittings are needed (I didn’t realise quite how utterly tedious that was going to be, but thankfully my aunt and friend were there to keep poking me and forcing me to make more considered, less flippant decisions).
  • Kitchen designs and prices agreed – I do love a nice kitchen and I’m very excited about them as they’re going to be handmade, (something I’ve always wanted but thought would be way outside of my budget), at a very reasonable price by an independent cabinetmaker. For me it’s got to be a traditional Shaker style but The Parents have opted for ultra sleek and modern.
  • Floor tiles have been chosen, and tiller ready to go.
  • Discovered, with the help of South West Water (such a nicer experience dealing with them compared to Thames Water) why the water pressure is so low, and that new pipes are needed to bring the water from the mains into the house.
  • One of the problem outbuildings has been taken down, and the redesign of another has been agreed.
  • Decorating has been quoted for…and I’m still being treated for shock after seeing it.
  • The Parents and I are still speaking
  • Oh and we’ve managed to keep the fish alive

So, in summary, in the space of six weeks I’ve* taken a rather dated, slightly grubby but liveable house and transformed it into an uninhabitable husk – now if that’s not progress I don’t know what is!

*The builders


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