Thinking of undertaking a renovation project? Quick Move Now spoke to Beth Johnson who recently moved into her ‘forever home’ following an extensive renovation programme. She shares a frank and honest view of the difficulties of completing such a project with a young family and tells us why it was all worth it in the end!
They say that moving house and having a baby are two of the most stressful things to do. So imagine combining them both and adding three more children and a two-bedroom flat into the mix.
That was the reality facing Beth as she and husband Peter set to work on a massive renovation project.
Surprisingly it wasn’t the things that I expected that caused the problems with the house renovations.
We were lucky to have a family member offer us the use of their two bedroom flat in the next town throughout the whole of the rebuild, so we didn’t have to live in among the chaos of the building works. But we ended up staying out far longer than we expected.
We left our house when our third daughter was just two months old and moved back in just before her second birthday – and a month before the arrival of baby number four.
I had thought that keeping a small flat clean would be simple, but how wrong I was. We were crammed in and trying to keep the flat tidy was impossible with three children. Our youngest became adept at climbing on boxes to reach things that I thought I had put out of her grasp.
Having only two bedrooms meant that she also slept in with us throughout, which was far longer than I would have liked and now she is still a very bad sleeper. I think that was probably the hardest part of it all and has caused us the most problems.
I can’t complain at having had the opportunity to use the flat, but it was a long way from the children’s nurseries, schools and friends, so we spent a lot of time in the car too!
Another headache was the fact that most of our belongings had to go into storage as we were extending upwards and the roof needed to be replaced. The whole house needed emptying completely, but we couldn’t take it all with us into the flat.
We did obviously come up against the usual hitches people experience when they undertake a lot of building work. Peter is a quantity surveyor, so we thought drawing up the plans and applying for the relevant planning consent would be the easy part. But it took over six months to gain planning permission, when they usually say it should take six to eight weeks.
Once we got architects involved, they kept coming up with more lovely ideas that we could add on too. As this is going to be our forever house, we agreed to most of them, which has increased the costs considerably.
Time frames were also pushed back by the bad weather we had all winter, making some work impossible to undertake at certain times.
We managed to move in just a few weeks before our fourth child was born – very quickly and at our new home!
Despite the ups and downs, it was well worth it to be in the house today. We still have to sort out the garden and there are a few bits and pieces that need to be finished inside, but we couldn’t be happier or prouder with what we have achieved.