[DIY] Ongoing home improvements

NB: This article is a Work In Progress and will be updated as I go. You might notice some TODOs scattered about.

After myself & Hollie purchasing our first home in 2018, we have been undertaking ongoing improvements since, which has taken a huge amount of our time but has been worth every second.

The house initially was in dire need of stripping all the way back, with the majority of the work being in the front & back gardens, which had layers upon layers of home-mixed concrete across half of the garden, and a lot of fern trees and bodged buildings.

The concrete removal was done by myself with a pickaxe, and hired hands wheeled it out (via side access) to the front for a grabber to take. The guys who wheeled it out in the rain did an amazing job! The large pile goes under the surface into a pond. Afterwards, I gradually dug out 6 tree stumps (what was left after the tree surgeons cut them back), which will eventually be re-dug into small holes as seating in future.

Many skips and bonfires later, tree removal, and removal of a fence ontop of a council fence (which wasn’t even their boundary responsibility), we are getting somewhat closer to a livable outdoor space! Much of the wood has been upcycled into other things - such as a bike & log shed, and other projects.

TODO: Add recent garden & front & back of house pics

We plan to further make use of the outdoor space with an outdoor office building in the future.

TODO: Add shed build pics and summary

TODO: Add driveway before and after pics

The inside had several layers of carpets throughout, with some 80’s newspapers as underlay due to the main underlay rotting, but structurally the building was sound

We initially stripped everything back and then begun re-decorating. In some cases re-plastering was necessary. The worst part was most certainly the bathroom, as i’m not a plumber and did it all while learning. It took a lot longer than it should have!

We hired some door fitters to do put new front & rear doors in - while we did all of the internal doors ourselves, and hired ‘dan the boiler man’ who did an amazing job of fitting a new combi-boiler. We re-painted the inside and outside of the windows to give them a new lease of life too, and also fitted flooring in the loft to make it a useful space.

TODO: Get updated pic of bathroom, bedroom, living room, kitchen

Peter Alabaster

Full time Software Engineer & Dad. Keep up to date with my projects here.

Tracking progress of home improvements from 2018

By Peter Alabaster, 2022-06-12