I am SO excited that our latest project is finally happening – it has been well over a year in the making, but this week we are finally starting our kitchen renovation! I can’t believe we are starting really, although having spent most of this weekend packing up our kitchen, I really should by now…
Let me tell you a bit about how we got started with this project. When we bought our house (which we have now been in for almost 5 years) we had intentions to reconfigure some bits of it, starting with the kitchen. At the end of last year we had our plans drawn up and submitted to the council, and planning was approved early this year. Then it took us ages to find a builder – have you ever tried to find one?! You’d think that it would be relatively straightforward, but no. We were let down by several at the quote stage (never a good sign!) but had been told that getting 3-4 quotes would be a good idea. This is right of course, but it was slightly frustrating to have watched several months pass by waiting to hear back from various people, only to choose the first one! Hindsight is a wonderful thing! But this way we have chosen a builder who we are very happy with, so it was worth it.
We were hoping to start the work over the summer, but by the time we had chosen our builder he was booked up into early autumn. The weather has delayed things slightly, but we are just so happy to be starting! Although we have got planning permission for a two-storey extension, our budget only allows us to do the ground floor at the moment. We currently have a garage at the side of the house, which will be knocked down and rebuilt with sturdier foundations, and then one of the walls in the current kitchen will be knocked through. I thought I would take some ‘before’ shots to show you – this was the kitchen yesterday as we started to pack things up:
As you can see, we don’t currently have much workspace…or cupboard space – this is it. We’ll be doubling the number of cupboards we have, which will mean no more keeping loads of stuff on the worktops – yay! We were trying to work out how old these units are, and we think they might be the original ones. They are Schreiber units and have obviously lasted a long time, and we think they must be at least 20-25 years old. So they have served the house well! I remember when we moved in we were really hoping that the previous owners would leave the cooker (because we didn’t have any money left to buy one), and thankfully they did! I have often wondered if it would last long, but it has kept going for us. We’ll be very glad to have a new one with a fully-functioning grill though – the one in our previous rented flat didn’t work either, so we haven’t had one for about 8 years!
This is the door to the garage, and it is this wall (the one with the wall units) that will be demolished to make one big kitchen. You may be wondering why we have got our fridge freezer squashed in here – it is because we used to have it in the garage, but one really cold winter it stopped working because it was too cold out there! There is a cupboard behind the fridge freezer, which will be knocked through so that the kitchen can be accessed from the hall as well as the living room.
The garage currently has a downstairs toilet, but as it is generally inhabited by spiders and woodlice we’re getting rid of it (and also because we never really use it, and the space for the kitchen would be more practical really).
So, that’s the ‘before’ tour done! Hopefully I’ll be able to share some progress photos with you soon…please pray/keep your fingers crossed/make a wish (delete as applicable!) for dry weather as we get started and for a smooth build overall. We have 5 weeks before Christmas and hopefully, the garage will be demolished and will be up again and water tight before then…that’s a big ‘hopefully’! I know that for our builders this is a relatively easy job, but for us it’s like our very own Grand Design and we can’t wait 🙂