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2016 Renovation Cost Round-Up

2016 renovation cost round up

Ahh it's that time of year again, when I look back on our yearly renovation spending and cringe. Renovating a home is not a cheap process and despite trying to do everything "on the cheap" things still manage to add up to horrific numbers. And I know we've spent A LOT of money this year because we took out a home improvements loan and that money is now pretty much all gone! YIKES.
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What we Achieved in 2016 | 12 Months of Renovations

Renovation Achievements of 2016

2016 was a total roller-coaster; we've began making some of the biggest changes to our home this year and it's definitely made a memorable year - although not entirely all for good reasons. We started the year gearing up for a huge change to the layout of our home, removing a bathroom, knocking down two walls and living for almost a whole year without a kitchen. We've done so much and yet at the same time, it also feels like we've achieved very little.

So here's what we have achieved over the last 12 months...

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Our Not-So Festive Home

Christmas tree made from bricks

December is such a busy month for us. We work in retail, so there really is zero holiday season for us. Instead our hours increase, workload increases and we spend December feeling more stressed than any other month of the year.

This year I was absolutely adamant at spending Christmas alone with one another (we really don't get much time alone together to enjoy anyway and we haven't spent a Christmas with just the two of us for the last three years) buuuuuttt the slow renovations and lack of cash has meant we're now facing our Christmas alone without a kitchen (the woes! I love a good Christmas dinner!) and with rather empty pockets as well.

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Alternative Logs for Wood Burners

heat logs review

A few months back we took the plunge into finally purchasing a wood burner and since then we've been enjoying many nights snuggled by the fire, enjoying it's glorious heat. And if you didn't already know - this is a pretty huge deal for us, after having spent the last six years (and more to come!) without central heating. We finally have heat and it's bloomin' amazing!!

We've been getting to grips with our log burner; learning which logs burn best for our needs, how to stack a fire and so on and so forth. Something I've read a lot about is heat logs. They're hugely popular throughout Europe and can be a more efficient and cleaner alternative to actual tree logs. They have lots of other benefits too and come in a variety of different forms. So, when Lekto Fuels asked if I wanted to sample some of their heat logs, of course I said yes.
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Winter Giveaway with CastFireplaces.co.uk!

festive fires giveaway

At this time of year, my Instagram feed turns from beautiful flowers, blue skies and autumnal leaves to fire, log burners, fireplaces, and a few pesky broken boilers (always the way!) yep - it's almost winter.

We may not have central heating, but we do have for the first time this year(!!!) our newly fitted log burner, which we purchased from castfireplaces.co.uk a few months back. It's already been a freaking life saver and I know as it gets colder, we'll love it even more! The heat output is pretty damn amazing and it heats the room quickly and efficiently too. Considering it's our only source of heat, we've really put ours to the test and have been nothing but impressed!
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DIY: Exposing a Steel Beam & Fire Protection

how to fireproof a steel beam with paint

Steel beams - you either love them or hate them. Their purpose has absolutely nothing to do with being an interior statement, but to safely support the building that sits on top of it. However with industrial interiors becoming a growing trend, there's nothing that quite punches a statement of industrialism more than an exposed steel beam. But keeping a steel beam as a feature to a room isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Nope, there's building regulations to adhere to and safety aspects to consider first.
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{DIY} Rustic Garden Screen

DIY Garden Screen

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you'll know that our garden lacks privacy somewhat. We don't have full height fences, but a half height wall with a kind of trellis on the top. It means is that our garden is very exposed to both our neighbours gardens and a road too. We've used reed screening, grown climbers and even planted bamboo elsewhere in the garden to combat this problem. But I wanted to do something a little bit different in this area of the garden, which is much closer to the house and where we'll eventually have decking and possibly another seating area. Yes, another! (tad obsessed) I picked up some pallet wood locally and decided I wanted to create a kind of quirky rustic garden screen that can also double-up as a trellis.
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All I Want for Christmas... Is a Kitchen

christmas in an open plan kitchen

I hope you don't mind a slightly more chatty post for today - or the topic of Christmas either. I know it's probably (definitely) too soon, but when Christmas catalogues are being launched and shelves are being appropriately stacked with tree decorations and crackers, well, if you can't hide from it - you may as well just join it.
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12 Ways to Survive Winter Without Central Heating

12 Ways to Survive Winter without Central heating

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know we've had absolutely zero form of heating in this house for the last two winters. When we viewed this house (and read the selling form) we were overjoyed that it had a boiler and radiators - our previous home had zilch, just old electric storage heaters that cost an absolute bomb - so much that we never used them for three whole years. But of course, as we got so carried away with the beauty of this home, we never actually looked for the boiler. Surely seeing radiators in a property is enough?
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Boarding Over the Kitchen Ceiling!

over-boarding a ceiling

So you've seen our new kitchen walls and you've also seen our recent roof addition, the Velux window (still LOVE IT!). Today I'm sharing our new ceiling! It's not that exciting, I admit. But when you're renovating, every small step towards the end makes a huge impact to the room and the tunnel gets shorter and shorter. And for that, I'm excited!
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{DIY} Cheap & Easy Fire Pit for Under £25!

How to Build a Fire Pit for Under £25

This post is either stupidly late since summer has been and gone - or perfectly timed, in preparation for Bonfire Night. You choose which ;) Building a fire pit was something I'd planned loooooong ago - seriously, over 2 years ago it appeared on this garden planning post. And finally, I have built one! Our plans for the garden have changed slightly over the years, but a fire pit was always a must have for us. We love spending time in the garden and being Britain, the weather often doesn't allow it. A fire pit would give us the warmth we needed to enjoy the garden almost all year round. We also wanted something that could double-up as a BBQ purely because we find storing BBQs a pain in the damn arse and we don't really have the room to keep one. And so, I created this.
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The Roof has a Window!

full roof window installation - how to

One of the biggest negatives about our kitchen (I say that word very loosely - we currently have no cabinets, flooring, or anything that resembles a kitchen - but you get what I mean...) is that it doesn't have any windows to the outside, thanks to a conservatory/lean-to stuck at the side. Our new french door is the only thing that brings light into this room - and it's a fairly small french door at that. The dining room also suffers from the same problems and the window in this room looks into the conservatory too. It means the entire back of the house is really very dark. We don't have the space to add any extra windows - and we didn't have the cash to enlarge the opening for our new french door either. The kitchen is actually an extension to the house (albeit a very very very old one - we're still talking Victorian here) and is single storey, which means unlike the dining room which has rooms above, the kitchen has a roof directly above. It was the perfect opportunity for us to add a roof window for some much needed extra light.

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The Log Burner Installation Reveal!

Log Burner Installation

Five years we've lived without heating. Five years with one single electric radiator moving from room to room with us as we move around the house. I kid you not. Central heating is something that's completely alien to us. Throughout the two houses we've owned - we've never had it. Why, you ask? Because we simply don't have enough money to have it installed as well as being able to renovate the rest of the house. It sounds so silly to decorate and do-up a house when some of more practical elements, like central heating aren't there. But that my friends, is something I'm willing to sacrifice for the sake of a nice looking cosy homely home. Okay - who am I kidding, it's obviously not going to be cosy unless I'm walking around wearing my duvet, but you get my drift, right? Feeling relaxed in a well put together, but colder home matters more to me than having a heated horrible dank smelly house waiting years to be able to change it.
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Painting the Hearth | Victorian Fireplace Reveal


victorian fireplace with painted hearth

Some months ago I purchased a Victorian Fireplace for the smallest bedroom off eBay. It needed some restoring which I finished a while back, but since then it's just been sat in the bedroom against the wall, unattached, collecting dust. The reason I hadn't gotten around to fitting the fireplace was because I couldn't decide what to do with the hearth. The original tiles were long gone and instead we were left with a concrete slab that really needed some interior style attention.

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Kitchen Update: Cracked Walls & Plasterboard

kitchen renovation update: cracked walls and plasterboard

So you might have been wondering what's happened with our kitchen renovation. My last proper post on the renovation was some months back now, talking about removing the load bearing wall. We waited for what felt like an eternity for that to happen - so you'd have thought I would have updated you with heaps of progress and already have a kitchen by now. Truth is, whilst we have done heaps. we're still far far from a finished room. After spending days on end - no, make that weeks on end working on the job - the last thing I wanted to do was go and write about it. My motivation and inspiration for home renovating really does come and go - it's hard work keeping at it, spending all our free time on it and often feeling like we're not really getting anywhere. It's always good to take a break and I've done so by distracting myself with a few smaller DIYs which I've been sharing lately on here. But, now it's time to get back into the game - get these posts written and push the renovation through to the end!

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{DIY} Table with a Feature Tiled Base & Concrete Top

DIY Feature Tiled Table with Concrete Top

Tiles. We use them in bathrooms and we use them on floors. But have you ever used them as part of a piece of furniture? Nope, me neither. But when you think about it, it's perfect! They're so hardwearing, they can make a real feature or statement in a room and many are even waterproof too. They're the perfect material for building a table base with! You'll never have to worry about kids kicking the table again and those mud marks will wipe straight off. You'll have a real bespoke and unique piece of furniture that's not quite like anything in a catalogue, and what's even better - the investment on tiles can be transferred with you when you move!
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What's New in the Garden?

garden purchases 2016

The garden was the first space we began renovating in this house just over two years ago. Originally it was one giant flower bed that had been unkept for some time and had become completely wild. It resembled something of a jungle with weeds taller than me. The dogs would get well and truly lost within it and I was desperate to turn it into a haven of peacefulness. I knew I wanted grass, a proper garden for the dogs, but still with plenty of plants and greenery. Within a couple of months the garden looked completely different, there was plenty of grass starting to grow, but many the flowers we had removed and relocated didn't survive in their new homes.
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Getting the Chimney Log Burner Ready!


How to get a fireplace ready for a wood stove

If you've been following the blog for a while, you'll know we've been making progress in the dining room towards fitting a log burner! I'm beyond excited, not just because log burners are damn cool, but because this will be the first time we'll have a proper way of making heat in this house. So far we've already removed the old back boiler, installed a lintel and we're finally down to the finishes with the next job on the to do list being all the internal works. This means boarding the opening to make it fireproof and fitting a hearth.

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Insulating Walls With... Cake?

how to insulate walls internally

OK, so it's not quite cake - but it certainly looks like it, right? When we were planning the walls to be knocked through into the kitchen, a number of tradespeople suggested to us that we spent a little extra cash insulating some of our walls. Houses are typically built with two-brick thick walls and nowadays new houses also have a cavity between these bricks filled with insulation. This keeps you nice and toasty in winter. But in our house, some of our walls are just one brick thick which means they transfer the cold from the outside into the house very very easily. Our solution? Cake.

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Summer Blues + A Giveaway!


Have you got the 'Summer is Ending!' blues? Because I totally have. The nights are getting darker earlier, the temperatures are dropping and we're just weeks away from welcoming a new month that we associate with the beginning of leaves falling off the trees. Where the heck did summer go? It was over so fast!

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{DIY} Oriental Inspired Garden Bed with Built-In Seat

DIY Raised bed with seat

One of the reasons I love our garden so much is that I can trial ideas and DIYs without the fear of it going wrong (who cares, it's outdoors!) and I can literally put my skills to the test, which is exactly what I've done with this little DIY tutorial.
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Fitting a Lintel in a Chimney

fitting a chimney lintel

On our mission to get the dining room chimney log-burner ready, I recently shared how we removed the old back boiler and uncovered a slightly questionable chimney opening. The original victorian supporting arch had been removed (I'm so damn angry at the 70s!) and instead some brick 'pillars' had been erected either side of the opening to "support" the chimney. Worse than this though, was that these pillars seemed to have either been built out of plaster or the worst crumbly mortar ever. Needless to say, some seriously dodgy building work had occurred inside this chimney at some point and as a result, the chimney had not been supported properly supported for the last 40-odd years and we now had to fix it.
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5 Great Brands for Log Burners on a Budget

5 Brands for Log Burners on a Budget

If there's one thing we know lots about, it's about being on a budget. We've spent the last five years renovating on a budget and the last five years without any central heating because of it. The cost of fitting a whole new gas central heating system just doesn't fit into our budgets. We've become pro's at living in a colder-than-normal home, finding ways to keep the heat in and create heat without a boiler. It's less than ideal and whilst we can't afford gas central heating, we can afford other options out there.
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Removing an Old Back Boiler

what are back boilers

One of the things we were most excited about when we purchased this house was having central heating! We'd spent three years living with single glazed windows and terrible electric storage heaters (which we simply couldn't afford to run!). When we had seen 'Part Central Heated' and 'Double Glazed' listed on the specs for this house, we couldn't believe it. We could easily add a few extra radiators and make it fully central heated! We were finally going up in the world of luxuries!
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A Rather Large Lighting Haul

lights4fun haul

My name's Kerry and I have an obsession with fairy lights. Ever since purchasing some net fairy lights for the garden of our last house, I can't help but want twinkling gorgeous fairy lights everywhere. Indoors, outdoors, if I had it my way it would constantly look like Christmas in this house.
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Our New Skip (On Wheels!)

Our New Skip on Wheels

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know we're all about money saving. We do almost every aspect of our home renovation ourselves and we find new and inventive ways to renovate our home on the cheap. We don't have huge incomes and we do have to manage money on an almost daily basis (literally).
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Home Renovation: Two Years On

Home Renovation after Two Years

July 2014, we moved in. The house was so retro it was unreal, there were floral carpets, shiny wallpaper, polystyrene ceiling, and an old back boiler; the list goes on. We couldn't believe we owned this house, it was almost everything I had ever wanted from a house and it felt like such an achievement to be able to call it our own.
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Firing Up the Cooker

Firing up the cooker

After almost four months living off microwave meals, we can finally eat real food again and oh boy am I beyond excited about it! It all started some months ago when we ripped out the kitchen leaving no where to cook or prepare food. I had been searching eBay for several weeks waiting for the right cooker, listed in the right way and at the right time to bag myself a serious bargain. And I struck gold when I managed to win a bid on this Toledo Rangemaster at just £350. It had even barely been used, as the previous owner said she didn't even like cooking and had just bought it for show!

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A New Window Treatment

orderblinds.co.uk review

Back in the winter of last year we began renovating our smallest bedroom, turning it into a home office. Although we finished all the major work and moved everything in, many of the finishing touches laid completely unfinished. We're still yet to fit the Victorian fireplace I recently restored, the door needs rehanging, the built-in cupboards need updating and the window too, needed a new lease of life and was still rocking the 1950s style sun-bleached blind. 

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5 Years of Home Ownership

Five years and 1 month ago, Grant and I purchased our very first home together. It wasn't the romantic buyers dream you might envision of a young couple buying a home. We had possibly the worlds smallest buyers funds and we didn't the opportunity to be picky in any way at all. In fact we could only afford two houses in our entire town. Yes, just two.

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The Life of a DIYer


Renovating a home DIY style means endless amounts of dust, cleaning the house religiously, showering about twelve times a day (slight exaggeration, but seriously sometimes twice is completely necessary!) and hours upon hours just working right into the late of night until our eyeballs have turned red. It's not a glamorous life in the slightest. 

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Quirky Interiors: A Colour Changing Vase?!

Our home isn't the most colourful place - I have a strangely large obsession with the colour grey and it's turning up everywhere. I love it so much that I think the colour is becoming a little dull looking in our house. Too much grey can become really very dreary, like a terrible dark dull winters day, but accompanied with pops of colour, it looks incredible. I love a dark grey against copper or burnt orange, and I love a lighter grey against a bit of yellow. I'll always love grey, but I'm beginning to realise I really need more colour in my life and more importantly, in my home.

I've been trying to collect a few items with bright pops of colour in them for the smallest bedroom which is currently used as an office. Whilst the cool grey look in here is nice, I really want to add some more fun to the room to make it more interesting whilst I'm in there doing some not-so-interesting work. And this vase certainly has the colour and the fun!

colour changing vase

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Bringing the Walls Down

Removing a Load Bearing Wall

This post is ridiculously overdue; I don't know why I haven't shared it with you sooner, but it's what we had been waiting for, for SUCH a long time and yes, it has finally happened! If you remember my post back in April you'll remember the woes we were having with our builder whom we had booked months in advance, but was being rubbish with contact, rubbish with keeping to our booking date (and letting us know about it!) and rubbish in providing a whole costed figure for some additional work we had requested. We decided to cancel and find a new builder with some desperate urgency for this job to go ahead, which was now weeks behind. Just a couple of weeks later I had a very unexpected phone call from our new builder Rob, saying "are you busy tomorrow? do you want your walls down?". And that was that.

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A Little Catch Up

a blog catch up with kezzabeth

Whilst the blog's been a little bit quiet lately, life has actually been really busy! The home renovations are really hectic at the moment and I'm ridiculously behind on posts! Doing pretty much all the work ourselves is really draining, we desperately want things to move faster, but of course we don't want to compromise on quality either. And quality = time.

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Restoring a Victorian Fireplace

DIY Victorian Fireplace Restoration

Last year I went on a search for some Victorian Fireplaces to re-instate in the two bedrooms which would have originally housed fireplaces and have sadly been taken out. I searched both Gumtree and eBay for some time and ended up finding and buying two. One was a reproduction and was clearly quite newish (a slightly regretful purchase that I think I'll re-sell!) and the other was a true Victorian beauty. It had been saved from a house by a builder in Leicester whom popped it on eBay and sold it to me. I paid just £70 for the fireplace, complete with an insert, soot hatch and grill. It's just stunning!

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DIY Rustic Wooden Tray

DIY Rustic Wooden Tray

With the kitchen looking a little kitchen-less, we've been forced to eat microwave meals for the last couple of months on account of not having an oven or anywhere to wash pots. It's been a little awkward to say the very least and I realised one thing we really needed to make our lives a little easier, was a tray to eat from.
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Keeping Your Home Secure Whilst You're Away


how to keep your home secure

By the time you will be reading this, I shall be travelling overseas and seeing the Cambodian sights. It's a trip we've been planning for a long time - I absolutely adore Asia and can't wait to experience another beautiful country over that side of the world. But leaving our home and all our worldly possessions for a long period of time can be quite daunting. We've been very fortunate that (touch wood!) we've never experienced a burglary, but that definitely doesn't make us any less worried about the security of our home. After all, it's taken years to build up our home, both in renovating it and just in the things we own.

Here's a few things we do to keep our home secure whilst we're away, as well as some ideas we'd also like to incorporate in the future too!

1. Tell Your Neighbours

Asking your neighbours to keep an eye on the house is the best way to ensure no suspicious activity goes un-noticed. It can be all too easy for neighbours to turn a blind eye to weird goings-on, thinking perhaps someone dodgy lurking around the house is just someone you know. You could also ask your neighbour to put the bins out on bin-day to make it seem like someone is home and ask them if they mind keeping the lawn cut during summer too. One thing we realised after our trip to Thailand last year was that a sudden overgrown lawn was a really obvious clue that nobody was home.

overgrown grass during vacation

2. Upgrade Locks

Certain locks on doors are not very good at all, namely older wooden doors with standard locks. Add additional locks for extra security on older wooden doors, or if you have the space, you could even add a secondary door, (as we have) which will be sure to come at an unpleasant surprise to any intruder. Multi-locking mechanisms are the most secure types of locks, usually found on uPVC doors - so it may be worth looking into having a whole new door altogether. It's not the cheapest option, but it will be the most secure. We've recently had a new french door fitted to add some security to the back of our home, you can see the new door and read about its installation here.

keeping your home secure whilst you're away

3. Add Security Lights

Supposedly, one of the biggest things to deter burglars is security lights. No one wants to be lit up like a Christmas tree during their break-in hour, so making sure you have sensor-operating security light is a great way to deter burgulars from entering your premises. We have a high-quality solar security light (this one) in the back garden (review coming soon) which should help with this one. It's solar powered, so no need to worry about power cuts, but it even works during winter too!

Evo SMD security light

4. CCTV

Adding CCTV to your home is becoming increasingly popular and it's pretty obvious why! It's a really obvious deterrent, as no burglar wants their image captured and shared throughout police stations in the country! But should anything ever happen to your home, you have the evidence to help convict a criminal and stop this kind of crime happening again. CCTV cameras like these smart IP cameras from Umix have a static IP which comes with a hosted package to store footage and data via the cloud. This also means you can view, access and control the camera and its data anywhere in the world, it will always be connected and nothing will get lost. It'll even alert you via phone during detected activity and you can be sure your data is safe and secure, all managed for you. There are different sized cameras and packages, dependant on usage but we'd opt for something like this camera for personal usage. For the more tech savvy, you can of course, buy the camera without hosting and manage everything yourself too.

5. Store Garden Items Indoors

Burglaries don't just happen inside the home - outdoor burglaries happen to! Make sure you store any expensive garden furniture and bikes indoors or in a locked shed whilst away. Some home insurances wont cover objects in the garden, so it's definitely not worth the risk leaving outdoors if you know you're not covered. It's also really important to make sure you don't leave any ladders outdoors either which could help assist any burgular in their objectives. 

small yard with gravel

6. Use Timers

Timers are quite an old-fashioned method of keeping your home secure, but they're a really cheap way to simulate the appearance of someone being home. In the past, timers would only come on at the same time every day and over time anyone watching your house would easily cotton on - but nowadays timers are vastly improved! Many have different settings for every day of the week, (like this one) so you'll be sure to confuse anyone who might be keeping an eye on the house. They can be used on almost any electronic, from lights the TV!


7. Fit a Burgular Alarm

New technology burglar alarms aren't all about sending off sirens when activity is detected indoors, nowadays they're much smarter and can send you instant notifications right to your phone, giving you the option to quickly call a neighbour to check in and you can even de-activate the alarm away from home. This kind of system would work really well paired together with CCTV. It allows you to maintain some control over your house whilst being miles away. And of course gives you that peace of mind too. Yale have a whole variety of different alarm sets, some even incorporate a smoke detector too!


Do you have any extra tips for keeping your home secure whilst you're away?


*Collaborative Post
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French Door Installation with Homebase & Evander

Homebase Window and Doors Review

After nine weeks of waiting, the day finally arrived for the new French doors to be installed! You can read in my last post about the different options we looked at, why we're not doing this job ourselves and why we decided to go with Homebase here.

In short, we picked Homebase Window and Doors as they were the cheapest, however there weren't any online reviews regarding their service or quality on windows and doors, and it was all a bit of a gamble in truth. After having placed the order we learnt Homebase sub-contract a company called Evander for the job and the windows and doors they offer aren't actually made by Homebase as such. We kind of wished we had known this before, just so we could have done a bit more research on the whole thing. As a quick reminder, here's how the old window looked before with the poorly-fitted frosted window..

Turning a Window into a Door
Old Window Turned into French Door

Things I loved about Homebase Windows and Doors was that their quotes are truly no-pressure and not sales-heavy at all. The surveyor turned up, gave us all the information there was to know in paper form without the heavy 20-minute long sales pitch and just left us to make up our own minds in time. We never received a follow-up call (despite how polite these are, I still hate them!) and we weren't pestered by never-ending phone calls like certain other companies. The negatives however was that placing an order was less fuss-free than it needed to be. You have to call into a store to make an actual order, but on arrival we learnt that there were very few staff members who could put through this order. We came back another day only to find the person who could put the order through had never done it before so we had to leave him with our details hoping he could put it through the next day after speaking with another member. We ended up returning to the store three times, the third time to then rectify an error he had then made on the order whilst we weren't there. The error on the order then cost me my nectar points which quickly vanished from my account (I know this shouldn't be a big deal - but c'mon 1000 nectar points!) as he had forgot to re-add the card whilst cancelling and re-making the order. I did try to speak with customer services afterwards twice, but they were less than helpful and pretty much shrugged me off both times, telling me to take it up with Nectar. (Which made no sense as it was their mistake, not Nectar!) So I admitted defeat at my lost nectar points, which yes - I was a little gutted about. In fact, the whole thing left me feeling very unconfident about what I had just bought and I did have some initial buyers regret.

With the order booked, we'll fast forward nine weeks to the day of installation. Since we were turning a window into a door, the installation took place over two parts throughout the day. Firstly, we had builders arrive early in the morning (again, sub-contracted, but paid for as part of the whole order) to knock out the brickwork below the existing window and also to install a lintel above the existing window. They were a lovely pair of guys actually and did a really great job. The cut was really smoothly done and the lintel had been installed seamlessly too. I really hadn't appreciated just how messy this job was going to be and as a result some of our outdoor items got a little bit layered in wet brick dust - I probably should have moved those, oops! (notice the very confused dogs!)

Cutting out brickwork below a window
new opening for french door below window
cutting out brickwork
wet brick dust

After having knocked through the brickwork, the builders left and the window fitters arrived. I didn't really speak much with the fitters, they liaised with the builders initially and then they were very much straight onto the job. Having read lots of reviews from other window and door companies, I expected the job to be over in barely an hour in some kind of speed-fit. (Many reviews for other companies said they had as many as NINE windows fitted in just one day!) But I was really very relieved to see that they were taking their time on the job and they certainly didn't seem rushed in any way. I definitely felt like they were taking the time and care to get the job done to a high standard and it certainly looked amazing when they were done! The door we chose was the 'timeless' version (ideal for period properties) which has an extra little beading on the frame and I absolutely love it!

Homebase and Evander French Doors
Chrome handles on french doors

We did have a little issue after installation a few days in, with the doors 'swelling' in the heat and not closing properly. Evander arrived the very next day to fix the problem and the frame just needed a few extra screws to push it up in the middle to accommodate the heat swelling. Heat swelling by the way, is perfectly normal but of course the door should be fitted to accommodate this and shouldn't cause you any problems with opening and closing. It was a quick 10-minute fix and we've had absolutely no problems since! When both doors are open, I love how it creates a kind of picture-window into the garden.

Picture Window in French Doors
Homebase French Door Installation

The total cost for the door, installation and building work was a touch over £1350 which we took out through a Homebase finance plan (another reason we picked Homebase!). It's definitely not a small figure and it's probably the most we've ever spent on one thing in the house, but it was definitely worth it and of course, the finance plan means it's not such a huge figure to shell out all at once. Having someone come and do the job themselves was ridiculously relaxing. Usually we'd be stressing out, clock-watching, manically trying to work faster to get the job done before sunset and then not finishing the job on time and worrying about security issues throughout the night. Having paid a company to do this for us, was so unbelievably stress-free. It was beautifully fitted, with no dodgy cuts, imperfections or otherwise make-shift solutions that a DIY door might cause. And of course, as it was made to measure, it fits snug as a bug and we can rest assured it's a properly secured door with all those guarantee extras. We still have the walls left to remove, but I can already see the impact this new french door will have on the new to-be room.

Installing French Doors
French Doors by Homebase

Visually, it's much better and has a much greater impact that I had imagined. It looks so new and white - it really puts to shame our otherwise yellowing uPVC windows! I love the chrome handles and I love how its really updated the exterior at the back of the house too. It's looks really high quality and modern and I'm thrilled to bits with it. We've already had the doors open fully during some beautiful spring weather recently and just having a view in this room is amazing!

What do you think to the new doors? Have you ever had french doors installed?

Total Cost:

Installation & Materials: £1350

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