House Renovation Chronicles Ep 1 (Refund?)

We finally settled on some builders and paid up the eye watering deposit on Friday. To our surprise they started on Saturday (we had agreed a Monday start). They clearly weren’t able to get hold of a skip and thus the contents of the master bathroom is sitting on the driveway and porch but I don’t mind at all I’m just really happy and impressed that the process has started already…

Pre completion on the house we had been watching a lot of property related TV shows like Homes Under the Hammer and Grand Designs etc, and had made the conscious decision not to live in the house whilst major works were being carried out. After visiting the house last night and seeing the THICK layer of dust EVERYWHERE I’m thanking my lucky stars that we stuck by that decision (and that we’re in a position where we can rent close by). Thank you and thank you again stars. Phew!

Now onto the somewhat gruesome discoveries that are inevitable in any house of a certain age (where the previous owners haven’t taken care of it as they should have).

The builders reported that they found a sizeable nest of mice who have decided to take up residence under the bath tub in the master bathroom. Nice! They said that the “residents” in combination with the damp was causing THAT smell which I had mentioned in a previous post. They haven’t actually taken the floor up yet so there could be many more residents/pests/colonies/inhabitants/locals (delete as appropriate) to be discovered. I’m not afraid to admit that I have a phobia of mice so this has caused me some minor anxiety which I’m hoping will be eased once the builders report the residents have been… evicted? I’m not entirely sure how that will play out but I think it’s best if I don’t dwell on it too long. I think I may just dig out the number for an exterminator to do a once over on the whole house….and may employ a killer cat for good measure.

Ok now that’s out the way I can move onto the comparably minor (in my head) issues of the ceilings being in such a bad state they’re about to cave in, and the extensive damp caused by the shoddy work done of removing and filling the original fireplace….the bricks are literally wet to touch…I mean how does that happen? I’m dreading to think what’s behind there!

The specification of work outlines the removal of Artex from the ceilings on the ground floor and the subsequent replacement with smooth finished ceilings. If you don’t know what Artex is, its a swirly patterned textured finish applied to ceilings to give a erm “arty” feel to the room – I personally can’t stand it. In theory they weren’t going to remove the whole lot, only the protruding framed edges and cover the rest in plasterboard and /or create a false ceiling. Why? Because in their experience chipping away at the Artex can cause the whole ceiling to cave in and then all of a sudden you have to pay for construction of new ceilings rather than a different finish on existing ceilings.

Soooo….guess what? They tried the whole, oh yeah we’re just going to take a little bit off…and then BANG… whole ceilings fell off (well mostly). Good times!

I really do hope that at some point in the near future I’m desperately in love with this house because for now I don’t want to go near it. Is it too late to get a refund?

See the various pictures below for your viewing pleasure.

Master Bathroom (original and mid-gutting)

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Artex ceiling

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Falling apart ceiling (as you can see they’ve already started repairing it with sheets of plasterboard)

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See the lovely dark red bricks? That’s damp. The bricks are that colour because they’re wet to touch. This is where the original fireplace was…

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