We’ve been in our house for about 8 years and, each year for the last few years, we’re attempting to renovate a room. 4 years ago it was the kitchen, 3 years ago it was the top bedroom (aka Laura’s bedroom or, as it is now, the guest bedroom), 2 years ago it was my office and, last year, it was smaller spruce-up of the bathroom.
This year, it’s Lucie’s bedroom and it’s the biggest one yet.
Now, for some-one who likes to blog about this kind of thing, I was rather tardy in not taking pictures at the right time. I realised after gutting the bedroom that I hadn’t taken a “before” picture. I also planned to take a picture of the skip to show exactly what had been removed but then it was collected early. But I’ve taken pictures where I’ve remembered but will need to use my power of words to try and describe things better.
These are some washed-out pictures I took of the room not long after we moved in…
She’s not in a cot anymore, but a small double bed but the carpet, furniture and curtains are the same. The cupboards and dressers were all built-in. In addition to what’s here, she now has a cheap white desk that needs to go as well.
Monday 20th May
This is the week we need to start removing the content of Lucie’s bedroom – and by that, I mean removing toys, clothes, etc. I started on the Monday by removing everything from the wall and it immediately went wrong – Lucie wasn’t happy at how it looked and didn’t feel it was her room any more.
This coming Sunday was when I intended to take down the curtains – at this point Lucie was going to move into the spare bedroom on the top floor. However, Lucie decided it had to be now. Which, in a way, was going to make it easier for me to work in there.
Over the coming days, I tidied, boxed and removed content.
Thursday 23rd May
A skip that I hired is delivered, placed on my drive (it saves money, as you have to pay additional fees for licences, etc, to have it on the public highway). I went for the biggest one (8 tonne) as I had absolutely no idea what I’d need.
I’d bought a jigsaw (of the saw kind, not the puzzle) in advance, in case I needed to be cutting up the furniture to get it into the skip – now I realise that wasn’t needed.
Friday 24th May
Slight panic early on today – the decorators get in touch. They’re due next Friday and point out that it’s 2 days of work – they wanted to know if I wanted the days splitting over the weekend. Woah, they’d not told me it was 2 days. I have the carpet being put down the next Monday.
I ring them and they move the decorating forward a day to the Thursday. But this has another knock-on – the electrician is due on the Wednesday and HAS to do this work before the decorating. Having initially given myself a day’s buffer for the unexpected, I’ve now lost that.
I wrap up work with the intention of spending the coming long weekend (UK Bank Holiday on Monday) dismantling the furniture (with the exception of her bed, which is staying in the room) and putting in the skip. However, itching to get started, I do. Within no time I’ve removed the dressing table, dismantled the desk and taken down the curtains, rail and the wooden baton that it was screwed to.
Saturday 25th May
Last night I did a lot of the work I intended to do today, so today I’m going to do what I intended to do on Sunday – the dismantling of the built-in wardrobes.
There was a LOT of screws and it was a bit of a puzzle trying to work out what was holding what up. But it came apart in the end, with a bit of help from my wife holding things in place temporarily.
By the end of today, everything was dismantled and I’d placed all the bits that I could carry by myself into the skip.
Sunday 26th May
I kicked the day off by getting the final furniture parts put in the skip, with help from my wife.
But disaster occurred.
As I was carrying the final large door down the stairs my back suddenly went – I don’t know why as I wasn’t in an odd position of carrying anything heavy. It hurt but after a brief paused I finished that job off.
Last to do was the carpet and underlay which my wife kindly rolled up. I took the underlay down, which came up in sections. The carpet needed both of us and so, as we took it down the stairs, my back gave away again but, this time, in a spectacular fashion. I sat on the stairs and actually sobbed as I was in so much pain. After a couple more minutes I finished getting the carpet into the skip but it was agony to do so. I grabbed a couple of Ibuprofen and retired for the day to recover.
But here is the end result… ta-da!
I rang the skip hire company and let them know they could collect (I would like my drive back!). They said they would collect it on Wednesday.
Monday 27th May
Today was final tidying up.
Every time we do a room in our house we realise what a low-quality job the previous residents did – there is rarely a corner un-cut. So, as well as tidying today is about trying to fix any, erm, issues.
My back is still aching but not as bad as yesterday – indeed, the more I stand and walk about the better it gets. It appears sitting down and, worst still, laying on the bed is the enemy.
The carpet that was in this room was abysmal and when we took it up we could understand why. The underlay, which was a cheap affair, had been stuck at the edges and then stapled randomly across the middle – first job was, therefore, to pull up all the staples. Secondly, was to use an old credit card to get up the bits of overlay still stuck at the edges.
The carpet itself was rubber backed and hadn’t been stuck down at all (sigh). The rubber had deteriorated over time and turned to, what looked like, sand. So, much vacuuming too.
Now, we turned to the big problem – on one side of the room the skirting board was extremely loose. This was because, well, it was hardly stuck to anything – there are no floor boards underneath or even wall behind. One corner was particularly bad and I had to resort to a well-placed screw and “No More Nails” to try and hold it in place. It’s better than it was but I’m going to have to ask the carpet fitters to be careful. My plan to put a door stop on that skirting board isn’t going to happen now either – I’ll add a floor-fitting one instead.
Yeah, I’m not going to win any prizes for that but it’s better than it was.
Final job – there is a secret door in the room which leads to a cupboard under the stairs, leading to the top bedroom. This used to be inside the fitted cupboards and, so it could be opened, the door was hinged in the middle. However, it also fits badly as a result with the middle part flapping outwards whenever it’s shut. When it was inside the cupboard it wasn’t an issue.
So, I got some flat brackets and screwed them onto the back before removing the hinge. Now it opens as one. I’ve also removed the rather poor wooden door knob and ordered a new one from eBay (Pokemon themed, don’t you know?)
Tuesday 28th May
8am and the doorbell rings. The skip company has come to collect. A day early. But, it’s good to be able to put my car back on the drive again.
The driver commented that I hadn’t filled the skip. “I did my best”, I told him.
The electrician is due tomorrow and he’ll need to get into the loft above the bedroom – that means clearing out some of the stuff that’s in there so that he can get in (as most of, what would have been, the loft has been converted to a bedroom there are just two small sections either side – one of which is over Lucie’s bedroom).
Wednesday 29th May
Today is the first day a professional comes in to do some work – and today it’s Eddie, the electrician. This is the same chap who installed my Nest cameras and also did my bathroom lighting last year.
Initially I thought my office power (including broadband) was going to be off for a while – I have a UPS but this will only last an hour or so. Anyway, I had a brain wave – Eddie would only need the upstairs power off, so I could run an extension to downstairs to keep it all going. One old cable reel later and I was sorted…
Anyway, he had 4 jobs today…
- Remove the lighting cable that used to power lights in the built-in cupboards
- Remove a socket that is half way down the wall, now that the dressing table has gone
- Sink an existing socket into the wall
- Add a new socket the other side of the room
All of which were done in just a few hours and at a very reasonable price too. He made less mess than I expected too as he ran the cable for the new socket under the floorboards rather than down from the ceiling.
He also checked my own wiring too (at my request, I should add) as I’d fitted a new light switch. I’m happy to say it passed inspection!
So that’s all done and I already have the safety certificates.
Thursday 30th May
Today the decorating starts! No, not by me, I’m terrible at it. No, professionals.
It’s due to take 2 days and by mid-morning the room is prepared and the holes filled. By the end of the day the ceiling is painted and the rest of the room primed, with additional filling-in having been completed.
Friday 31st May
Second day of decorating. The plaster has gone off, so it’s sanded and the painting can begin fully.
By early afternoon it’s all done. Well, not quite. More plaster was needed under the electrical sockets and that’s not dry, so the painter is coming back on Tuesday morning to finish painting those sections (Monday the carpet is being fitted).
Sunday 2nd June
Not much happened over the weekend as we waited for the paint to dry. However, in the afternoon I gave the floorboards one final vacuum before the carpet fitting tomorrow. And I put the ceiling light fitting back on.
Monday 3rd June
Carpet fitting day! I had a phone call just after 10am from the fitters to say they’d be here from 4pm to 6pm. A little late in the day but that’s okay.
Meantime, something came in the post – there is a small door in Lucie’s room which goes to a cupboard area under the top floor stairs. The knob on it was a bit poor so I’d taken that off pre-painting. So, I ordered, from eBay, a Pikachu branded one! That came and I fitted it.
So, 6pm comes and goes. At around 6:10pm, the carpet fitters call to say they’re running late and they’ll probably be another hour. Around 7:30pm, they finally turned up. Thankfully they were done by around 8:15pm, but this was after my daughter’s bedtime (and she was REALLY tired today) so not ideal. Also, my receipt showed that I hadn’t wanted gripper rails (which I did, and can distinctly remember saying at the time of order that I didn’t know if I needed them as I hadn’t lifted the carpet but suspected I did because of the way the carpet lifts up when vacuumed!) – after some grumbling, they fitted them. Not sure what happens now about payment.
Anyway, the late hour also means I have no time to vacuum the many, many bits of carpet up before the decorator comes first thing tomorrow.
Tuesday 4th June
The decorator is here, bright and early to finish off the last bits – mainly touching up where damage has occurred, as well as painting under the electric sockets.
Until we sort out the furniture (which may take a few weeks), it’s now just bits-and-bobs of jobs to do.
I’ve thoroughly vacuumed the carpet today and have put a doorstop down so the door handle doesn’t hit the wall. The bed is also now in the correct place (thanks to the decorator who helped me move it!).
Saturday 8th June
After a few days of not much happening, today is the day we head to Ikea for furniture! But that’s not happening until this evening (Ikea during the day on Saturday is just asking for trouble).
Meantime, I’ve cleaned the plastic window surrounds, in preparation for the blind fitting on Monday. There was a lot of “greb” built up in the joins – a flat-bladed screwdriver and a damp cloth later and it’s much, much better.
The trip to Ikea was, as expected – long, hot and wearing. But we got everything we went for (bedside cabinet, mirror, toys boxes and bookcase, in the case of Lucie’s room).
Sunday 9th June
I made the furniture for Lucie’s room in short time (I’m very used to building stuff from Ikea) and it all got installed, along with a set of matching shelves that we’d had elsewhere in the house.
We could finally start emptying all of those boxes which have been under out feet for the last couple of weeks. I also broke out a night bedside clock and light that we’d been saving for the change and I set up an Amazon Alexa that I’d bought in the sale a while ago.
It’s now beginning to look like a bedroom again.
Monday 10th June
The man from Hillary’s Blinds came today! A rather splendid dark blue blackout roller blind has now been fitted, which means that Lucie can move back into her room.
I cleaned the window and made the bed.
I’ve even installed Philips Hue lightbulb in her ceiling light, so she can control it remotely.
Saturday 15th June
Yesterday, Ikea delivered the wardrobes. Today, it’s time to build them. My wife is out in the afternoon and I need her help to build the carcasses, so we get them done in the morning. I then spend much of the afternoon adding the shelves, drawers, etc.
We chose two children’s wardrobes in the end – each with hanging space and drawers. Lucie chose blue doors on one and a blackboard coating on the other.
The end result…
I also take the opportunity to put up a number of posters in the room – I need to stick some nails in the wall for picture frames, which I’ll do on Monday.
Monday 17th June
So, nails in newly painted wall. What could go wrong? Nothing in this case. Pictures went up and I had a final move around of furniture.
The only thing remaining is a pin-board which is going to go behind the door (so not something you’d notice). I’d consider the room now done.