2019 Before and After’s

It’s that time of the year where we relax, do no building work, reflect on what we’ve achieved this year and inevitably plan the next 12 months!

This time last year I was about to head back to work after having a 10 month maternity leave where juggling two kids under two and a decent bout of post natal rage meant I was in no position for Lee to work on the house – I needed all of his ‘free’ time to help me with the kids. As a result, the work on the house massively slowed, and we both struggled to live in a house that was making no progress.

This year it’s been a different story. I returned to work in January, and went back to full time in April. The difference that made to my mood and my mental health massively helped find motivation again. Having that time with adult company meant I missed the boys and was happy to spend time with them by myself again, which meant Lee could get some work done.

We also admitted that we actually needed to start getting more help which made such a difference as we were able to get so much more done.

We’re not quite where we wanted to be (we wanted to be ready to plaster for Christmas) but we’re not that far away actually. And we always set ourselves stretch goals so I think we actually feel like this has been a productive year. Here’s some ‘befores’ (actually a lot of them are taken during) versus where we are now:

Ewan’s room


This is the ceiling starting to come down, to put beams in to support the chimney breast in the attic, so we were able to remove the brick in his actual room. The old wardrobes were still in place and we hadn’t replaced the window with one that didn’t take up the entire wall!

Now, this chimney breast is fitted and the flue for the new stove is fitted (still needs boxing in and the ceiling still needs patching up):

The window is more much in proportion with the room and means that we can get a bed down the far side of it. We’ve also removed the wardrobe and incorporated this into my office (the other side of the wall):


This was the original view coming up the stairs.

Now, the stairs are out, the door way that you can see at the top of the stairs has been opened up to make the new landing and the wall on the left has been moved over to create the space for my new office:


The Snug

You can see in this photo the doorway through to the kitchen hasn’t moved, the stairs are in their old location and the chimney breast hasn’t moved.

Some in progress shots show the kitchen doorway moving:

The hallway wall going up, and the stairs being moved:

And here’s how it’s looking now we have more plasterboard on the walls:




It’s been a better year for me, but Lee’s really struggled this year. He’s had four years with pretty much no break from constantly knocking the house to pieces. Now that I’m back at work he has to do the wrap around care for the boys as well as working a full on full time job. He’s bored and tired and we know we need a massive push to get this part of the work finished so that I can take over and start decorating.

We then need to take some time and stop having a building site that we’re living in the middle of. We’re not going to stop work as there is just so much to do, but we know we need to have a couple of years of living in a house that has finished walls for a change. We’re hoping that by the end of 2020 we’ll have all of the above rooms finished and decorated, and we’d really like to focus on the workshop extension (which we started in 2016!) and the garden over the next couple of years. We want to have a space that the kids can enjoy outside as soon as we can because they are (of course) growing up scarily fast.

Hopefully concentrating on outside will just let us feel like we’ve got our house back a bit. So that’s us done for 2019. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a lovely new year.

Amy, Lee, Ewan and Harris. x