Finally, after starting in June, our upstairs is now inhabitable. Some tips if your doing major house renovations:
- All estimates are lies. Time, money, materials
- Double the amount of time and money you think it'll take
- EBay is your friend. New 1.5m shower cabinet + triple shower thermostatic unit - £400. Bathstore - £1500.
- Kingspan/Cellotex insulation is amazing. Not only is it warm upstairs, the boiler is running at minimum heat. I got mine from SecondsAndCo - Around £3 a 1.2mx600m sheet, instead of £12.
- Buy plasterboard in bulk. I got a 72-sheet pallet for just over £300, instead of the £500 from the local DIY place.
- Get good tradesmen and get references for them. The one tradesman we didnt cost us a huge amount of time and re-work.
- Expect marital breakdown half way through
- 'It had better be worth it'
- Dulux have a paint called 'Light and Space' that helps brighten up an otherwise dark room.
- Underlay. The carpet folks wanted £3 a square meter for their green rubber crap underlay. I managed to get Cloud 9 cirrus (11mm, TOG 5, -40db noise reduction) for £2.80. And its amazing.
- We stuck in a new alarm from RGB Digitech. Amazing system - phone interface, CO2, Smoke, Fire detectors, as well as pet-proof movement detectors and door alarms. Well worth it.
- Low power halogen units are just too much hassle. The transformers on them blow out, and they never come with long enough cables to get the lights in the right place. Just stick in 240v halogens.
Some pointless stats:
- We upgraded two bedrooms, two bathrooms, the downstairs hallway, stairs and upstairs hallway. Around 75 square meters of internal space.
- Only three 'walls' remained around the stairs. Everything else aside from the floors was removed
- We took 10 large van-loads of old material - plasterboard, insulation, etc - to the dump. And personally walked it all up a flight of stairs. I'm guessing around 10 tonnes of stuff.
- We accidentally lost our balcony railing - so that'll have to be redone
- We rewired the house at the same time, moving and putting in a new consumer unit. Handy when both myself and the joiner hit a live cable. Instead of frying, the RCD clicked the power off.
- We used about 68 of the 72 sheets of plasterboard - around 8 more than we expected. And have painted all surfaces at least four times.
- Now the rest of the house looks like it needs renovation
- We have approximately 27 cubic meters of insulation left. Picture a medium sized car around 15 feet tall.
- I now am far better at plumbing than I thought I would be. I'd recommend plastic HEP fittings over speedfit. If your going copper, get a pipe-slicer, and just use compression fittings. Soldering joints is old school, and as one of the plumbers demonstrated, a fire hazard.
- I was going to use X12 to computer control the lighting. But - life was too short.
The slideshow is over here.
We went from this: