Perhaps I've been watching too much Property Brothers, don't they just make renovating properties look so easy?! Last month we had our own fixer-upper project and it was certainly interesting. Jonathan (the renovation twin that does all the dirty work if you haven't watched the show) would be disappointed that we didn't take any walls down, but for a first reno it was challenging enough without it. Let's save demolishing walls for the next one!
If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that July pretty much consisted of spending any spare time planning and renovating a buy-to-let property that we recently got. I loved the challenge, though hard when you are running a business, have two young children and renovations going on in our own house too, we initially wanted to get the work done in two weeks which turned out to be a nearly impossible task when you are depending on builders and handyman during the hottest weeks of the year. So four weeks later, it was done.
The property is a two bedroom terraced house in Milton Keynes, and it was looking sorry for itself (I'm generous when I say that!) when we got the keys. The renovation included installing new kitchen and bathroom and decorating throughout amongst other things that needed fixing/updating. Check out how it looked before we started the work.
Not only it looked tired, it was also not functional. The kitchen was old and poorly planned with layers of vinyl stuck on the floor, the living room looked very dark with brown carpet and beige walls, the stairs were unsafe with gaps between them and no banister. There was no heating, considering we are in the UK you'd freeze there in the winter! The bathroom: blue carpet... sums it all. Old carpets in the bedrooms, stains and marks throughout. In the garden, more TLC needed.
As the property is for letting, we wanted to keep it neutral enough to be appealing to anyone moving in who would want to make it their own. So there is a lot of grey and white, and it works perfectly to give the property a modern uplift and bring it into 2018.
With central heating installed, new flooring and decorating throughout at hand, we still had the task of planning the kitchen and bathroom renovations, the installation of the banister and the garden updating. It took many days (and nights after work from the Mr mainly) to get everything done in those four weeks, including sourcing and setting timelines of when we would need everything in. That meant picking flooring, tiles, and paint colours and designing the layout of the kitchen we sourced from (yes, it really was from there) Ebay! Which was the biggest bargain we got for this house by the way...
Bedroom with freshl painted walls, new carpet and radiator.
The flooring in the living room was uncovered when removing the brown carpet, and all internal doors were replaced.
The steps on the stairs were blocked off and a banister was installed.
We sourced the kitchen from Ebay from a new build so it was brand new, however it needed adapting to the space which meant units trimmed and doors adjusted. For the cost of £521.11 it was worth all of it and it meant we could get a new kitchen within our budget. The worktop was sourced separately.
We chose white metro tiles from B&Q to keep the kitchen bright and airy.
New tiles, vinyl flooring, and white paint made a world of difference in the bathroom
The towel rail and copper piping finish the bathroom renovation nicely
Aside from the delay in getting the builders and handyman in when we needed them and getting them to meet deadlines, it was a smooth project. We could've done a lot more however being a rental property we had to keep the budget low and be selective with our spending. The property is now rented and as much as we are so glad it is completed and there are no more late nights or 7am shopping trips to B&Q, I'd love to take on more renovation projects.
For the time being though, I'm quite busy preparing mood boards for the makeover of my bedroom, play room, living room, kids bedrooms... (let's just pretend Mr Room Alive won't be reading this...) so watch this space!