We’ve only been in our home three years at the end of May and have been pretty much non-stop doing it up! I really wanted to buy a new home, but Ben was adamant they aren’t as well built as old homes so he convinced me to buy an older home. The home we bought was built in the 1960s I think and it didn’t look in too bad condition. We were quite naïve buying our first home together and even Ben thought all it needed was a lick of paint and a few jobs completed here and there.
His prediction was six weeks until we had it up to scratch.
Ba ha ha.
Three years on and we’re still working on the house!
We’ve changed almost everything indoors. If it hasn’t yet changed, then it will be on our seemingly never ending list to do!
Turns out we needed a lot longer than six weeks.
This year I really wanted to focus on the garden. We did a lot when we moved in such as removing a huge pond, replacing some patio and replacing a 2x15m overgrown border with grass, removing several trees and a path in the middle of the garden, but we still have a long way to go.
Ben had some time off over Easter and thanks to lots of sunny weekends before this we’ve really managed to get out there and get loads done already.
Here’s what we’ve managed to do so far this year and what’s left to do:
- Shed – we were using the shed that was left here, but it was rotting and falling apart. There is also a tree from next door which is pushing through our fence and was growing into the shed roof! We’ve thankfully agreed with them to chop some down off our land as we need to replace the fence panels, but it’s in the way. We bought a much smaller storage shed and got rid of a load of junk from the old shed. We now have a much neater shed along the side of the garden. It’s a metal green one and it was a pain to build, taking the best part of two days! Ben did most of it, but I had to hold it and help tighten bolts, etc, as it was impossible to do it by oneself.
- Chickens – Having removed half of the left hand border which came out up to 1.5m, I decided this would be a good spot for chickens. We have talked several times about getting chickens since we moved in and decided now is the time to just go for it! I ordered a coop and Ben has separated part of the garden for us to get four chickens. He’s been busy adding different terrain, a bath, a swing and more. It looks great and we’re off to buy chickens at the weekend.
- Mud Kitchen – I’ve wanted a mud kitchen for the kids for ages. Not only do they love the mud kitchens at playschool/school, but it will hopefully distract them from digging up my vegetables! Ben used a bunch of left over wood and pipes from the old shed along with our old kitchen sink to create an amazing mud kitchen which they are already having hours of fun with! It’s going to provide so much entertainment in the garden once the weather is scorching.
- Grow your own – I’ve been busy planting seeds in my two vegetable trugs and have used all other available pots from the shed/garden. This year I am growing almost everything from seed. We have: pumpkins, courgettes, green beans, carrots, tomatoes and lettuce. We also have strawberries, giant strawberries (apparently the size of a medium tomato), raspberries, apples, cherries, mulberries, pears and plums. Quite a fruitful garden! I look forward to seeing what grows and eating what does.
- Trampoline – We’ve not done this yet, but want to put one of those in the ground trampolines in so it’s flush with the grass. We have a good circular spot where we removed some trees and a circular path in the centre of the garden and grassed over. It should hopefully still be fairly easy to dig up. I do wonder why the in the ground trampolines are about three times more expensive though.
- Garden room – now the shed is gone we have some rubbish left to clear at the bottom of the garden and all the fence panels behind it need replacing. Then Ben wants to level the ground ready for a garden room. If we can get planning we’d like to build a garden room with ensuite to let as a short term holiday let. We’ll section off the bottom of our garden so they’ll even have their own private garden space. I imagine adding a fire pit/chimnea and outdoor seating. A cosy log burner inside the building. It’s our idea for some extra income and I think it will be fun too.
- Fences – we have lots of fences to replace and lots still to paint! Our garden is 90 foot, so that’s a lot of fence panels!
- Patio – I detest our patio. It’s the cheapest yellow and beige slabs and it looks like a giant checker board to me. Perhaps if it was a smaller area it would look better, but it’s huge. We had the slabs professionally cleaned two years ago, but already they look so dirty. I think that’s the main reason I don’t like them – because they look so dirty all the time. I like things neat, clean and tidy, so these slabs bug me a lot! Ben likes some slate slabs and I’m not sure about grey, but I guess they won’t show up the dirt or look bad for a long time? We are considering an extension on the back of the house, so we won’t be looking to replace the slabs until we’ve decided what we’re doing house wise as an extension could cover half of them. Maybe there’s such a thing as patio paint as a cheaper alternative for now?
- Border – We only have a quarter of the original border left to sort out! Hurrah! It’s at the back left behind the chickens. I’ve already pulled out the border edge (rotting wooden stuff) and Ben has lifted all the slabs which were the path next to it. My fruit trees are planted here, but we’ll pull up all the weeds and level the soil out ready to grass over.
- Log stores – Ben built an amazing triangle log store last year with left over fence posts from his brother and wood from B&Q. It looks amazing! We need 2-3 more, but it was quite time consuming to complete as he had to prep all the wood before, so we went ahead and ordered a flat pack for now as we have so much wood to store (and now a shed to chop up and use as log fire wood!) Hopefully there will be some time to build more of our nice triangle ones at some point. Ben even wants to sell them one day!
Wow, writing it all down really makes me see how much we have achieved already this year. But also how there is still so much left to do!
Fingers crossed for great weather this spring and summer so we can complete as much as possible. Then we’ll continue with the indoors. . .
I think perhaps five years would have been a realistic expectation to complete our new home!