2017 Goals

Happy New Year!

I’m not normally one for making resolutions, but we have always used calendar years to set goals. People often ask how long we think we’ll spend renovating this house, and as we’ve said before we think it’ll be around ten years. Because we’re talking such a long period of time it often helps to split work down so that we still feel like we’re achieving things.

So in 2017 we would like to:

Baby proof the house

This is obviously out of pure necessity as Ewan will be crawling around and probably walking this year. What we have at the moment isn’t particularly suitable so we want to try and get the inside of the house sorted from a layout point of view sooner rather than later as it will  be much easier to do this safely when he isn’t very mobile. This way we can shut doors to the rooms we’re working on instead of having it all open plan as it is currently. This includes:

  • Creating a corridor at the front of the house
  • Moving the doors to the snug (our current living room) our living room (the extension) and kitchen so that they come off the corridor.
  • Moving the stairs to the front of the house (not the easiest job as they’ll require structural support)
  • Creating a floor where the stairs used to be (or else we’ll just be left with a gaping hole which defeats the ‘baby proof’ objective!)
  • Moving the chimney breast in the snug to balance the room. This is because we’re borrowing floor space from the room to create the corridor meaning the fireplace would then be in the corner of the room. To avoid the imbalance we want to move it over – but haven’t decided how best to do it. It certainly isn’t the easiest job!
  • Rewire the house! Again, it’s important to us to do this one sooner rather than later so we don’t have wires around a toddling child. We’ll also be able to bury the wires correctly in the new walls if we do it as we’re making the layout changes.
  • Similarly, we want to get the plumbing correct as we’re moving things around. This is mainly moving radiators as doors and walls change but we want to knock things around before we do the decorating of the rooms. The thing that wont change yet is the bathroom – we’ll move this room around in it’s entirety in a few years.

Hopefully we’ll be able to get the walls for all of these changes in place and plastered, but we’re not really expecting to have any of the rooms decorated. This next year is mainly function over style unfortunately.

Create a playroom

With all of the work is going on, we want a place where we know Ewan will be safe to play.  We have a large open space which currently is a weird fourth bedroom/corridor to the bathroom and will eventually become partitioned off and a room in it’s own right. For the time being though we plan to put baby gates at the doors and then keep it as a room he can play safely in, away from the mess.

The dumping ground the room is at the moment.

We’re going to tidy it up slightly, and decorate using materials we already have. It will be a very quick and simple make over purely to make the space fun and bright!

Finish the extension

We also want the extension finished. This means insulation on the roof and walls, wiring done, plasterboard added, plaster skimmed and the upstairs floor down.

We want to be able to use this space as soon as possible so that we can start doing the structural works to the other rooms (moving the chimney etc) so we will be using leftover paint and curtains in the new living room. It won’t be pretty or ‘finished’ by any stretch of the imagination, but hopefully will be a clean, normal looking room that we can use to switch off from the chaos going on around us.


How it looks currently.

The upstairs however is a different story…

Master bedroom

We are planning to knock through upstairs then we can start to work to make this a functional room. With this one however, we want to decorate right first time round, so we will have two (including the nursery) finished rooms by this time next year. It is unlikely that we’ll have the en-suite finished too (tiles are so expensive!), but hopefully it will be a bit more functional too.

I’ll be sharing my plans for this room too over the next couple of months.

Garage extension

I know I’ve only mentioned this in passing but we are part way through a garage extension (keep your eyes peeled for a proper post about this in the next few weeks). As much as we’d like to get this built and finished I think funds will be an issue so it may be lacking doors and roof tiles short term.

The start of the new garage walls.

Changes to the windows

We have a few windows that need moving:

  • Two in the kitchen so that they balance with the ones upstairs
  • One at the back of the house that is above the existing stairs but needs to be adjusted slightly for when we turn this space into a room

We also have two windows that just need blocking up as they serve no purpose other than to get in the way (they’re tiny things that shouldn’t have been windows in the first place and it’s impossible to get curtains or blinds to fit them.

The windows that need moving at  the front – we want the bottom two in line with the top.

Front door

A big goal over the summer is to get a front door. We’ll need to wait for the internal corridor to be finished first, but then we want to put in a front door and create a external porch to frame it. The road outside is higher than the house so we’ll need to make sure we have the drainage sorted and therefore isn’t a simple job, but we can’t wait to get this done.

We’re aiming for something like this:

Image credit


Once all of the external changes have been made, we’d really like to get the old house rendered to match the extension. This will involve having to knock off quite a lot of the current render (as it’s flaking and falling away) before getting a new smooth coat added and then painted.

This will be the house finished from an external point of view though.


Suddenly now I’m looking at what we want to get done I’m worried that we’re being overly ambitious so we’ll just have to see. Budget is definitely the main constraint for 2017 as I’m off on maternity leave for the first half of the year so things are still very tight!

So do you think we’re being  overly ambitious? Are there any projects you’re looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments below.