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5 tips for renovating

Exactly 6 months ago we moved into our new home. Instead of writing a long post about the joys of living in our own house (so many), I’ve decided to make a short list of tips for renovating.


The pictures aren’t from the same angles, but it’s the same garden and room 🙂

1. Ask for advice. We had so many long chats with our plumber. He explained a lot and told us about a few shops where we can find more material and a much better price. It was great, as we’ve needed a lot of things. We saved money or got better quality materials. For example, we’ve spent the same amount on an luxury underlay instead of the standard one offered by the carpet sellers.

2. Don’t listen to the advice. It sounds strange, but the advice is not always the best suitable for you and your situation. Hubby wanted to change the pipes and insisted on bigger ones. The plumber said we don’t need them as we don’t need the extra water flow, but he was wrong. It happened a few times to have the washing machine and the dishwasher on and, at the same time, to have to take a shower because we were in a hurry to leave. So, having bigger pipes was a very good call.

3. Be patient. It would be great to finish all the projects in no time, but unless you have an unlimited budget and an army of constructors, you’ll have to wait. Also you’ll have to compromise or do a lot of DIY. Even the tasks the contractors did took a while, as one of them had to wait for another and for the delivery and so on. Wait and all will turn out better instead of having a rushed up job.
As you can see in the “after” pictures, we still have some work to do in the garden and in the house.

4. Make a list. It’s obvious you have to prioritize, but the most urgent task doesn’t necessary has to be the obvious one.
The first thing we’ve done was to remove most of the slabs from the back garden, dig the soil and throw grass seeds. We did this while we had to do a lot of things in the house, like changing the kitchen cabinets, paint, central heating, change the carpets, refurbish the staircase. Our decision raised some eyebrows with friends and family, but now we have grass in the garden and not bare soil with new carpets. The grass is not thick enough and we’ve planted some extra seeds, but it’s still thick enough to be able to walk on it.

5. Think outside the box. I wanted to paint the stairs because they are semi-floating and I thought it’s a shame to cover them with carpet. The issue is that we have an 110 pounds dog, so the paint must be very durable. So, after researching a lot, I’ve decided to go with decking paint. Hubby was reluctant at first, but he agreed that it is the best option for us.
I would recommend this type of paint for stairs as it’s so durable and it’s not slippery at all, another important aspect. On the downside, the smell was horrible. We were still renting at that time, so it wasn’t a huge problem for us.

7 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing some great tips for those embarking on their own renovation projects! #MakingHome

  2. Hi Anca,
    Sorry I’ve been away (scheduled posts!) so haven’t visited! This is great advice! I hope we will buy our own house at some point and I have NO idea about DIY etc! I am SO pleased you replaced the awful paving slabs with garden- it is SO much better for the environment- helps retain the water table! I will be sure to come back to this when I need it!x

    1. The scheduled posts are great, I do it too from time to time. Thank you Kezzie xx I hope you’ll have your own place in no time x
      I agree, the slabs were awful. Although, for the elderly owner before us they were easier to maintain. When we had the viewing there weren’t any weeds and it looked better.

  3. Great tips! I can’t wait to get my own place that isn’t rented so that I can do renovations and make it a real home.

  4. The transofrmation in your pictures are crazy! My fience and I bought a house last June, and we’re still doing it up but it looks nothing like how it was when we first moved in. I still actually think there’s a long way to go before it feels complete. How are you finding living there? I wish I’d had this advice before moving in! x


    1. I love living here. I work from home, so having the room made to my requirements is so useful and it makes everything easier. I can say the same about the kitchen and bedroom and the garden is bigger and more suitable for us. It’s so much better x

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