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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...

'Finishing' the Home Office

12 months ago the home office was a total renovation zone. It was yet to be painted, the fireplace was awaiting restoration and it had no purpose as a room. Now, it's a complete 360 turn and looks beautiful. We've painted walls, sanded floors, restored the fireplace, fixed the cracked ceiling and moved in! It's not totally complete yet, but what we've done so far has made this room a wonderful place to sit and chill out in. Or in my case, write endless blog posts. There's still a little left to do, but it looks totally different to how it looked a year ago!

Home office before and after renovation

Replaced the Leaky Conservatory Roof

This was so overdue it's unreal. The conservatory roof had been leaking for a year and half (basically, since the day we moved in!) and we'd been putting it off ever since. As soon as Spring hit, we made this our priority. The new roof is much thicker, has better insulating properties, is cleaner and looks so much smarter. But of course, best of all - it doesn't leak!

replacing the conservatory roof

Swapped a Window for a French Door

This was the first major change of the year. We now have proper outdoor access and a view! No longer do we have to walk through three rooms to reach, or even see the garden. It's right there, in our to-be kitchen! It was one of the most expensive changes this year as we didn't fit it ourselves (you can read about the installation & costs here) but it was so so worth it.

installing french doors

Knocked down two walls

This is probably THE biggest change of the year. It's what we had always hoped to do when we first bought this house and now it's finally a reality, I couldn't be more chuffed. The downstairs shower room is now gone as well as the wall that separated it from the kitchen, and then another wall that separated the kitchen from the dining room (as well as a random cupboard too). Basically, a lot of walls and a lot of bricks! It was chaotic and oh so dusty, but beyond exciting as this was the start of our kitchen renovation coming into vision. You can see the process and more photos of what it looked like before right here.

knocking down a load bearing wall
removing a dividing wall

Added a Roof Window

After knocking down two walls and installing the french doors, we could really begin to see how this space would look. With the french doors being the only external window in such a big room, we realised the space was still much darker than we had hoped for. Our solution? A roof window. We sourced a bargain VELUX online and saved money by doing all the internal work ourselves. It's brightened this space up SO much I cannot tell you.

installing a roof window

Installed a Log Burner

Out of all the renovations we've made this year, this one is definitely my favourite. We have HEAT for the first time in five years!! Sure, it's not quite central heating, but it's fricken damn good non-the-less! It's really improved our winter living conditions and I no longer have to walk around in a bazillion layers shivering my ass off. It kicks out some serious heat and I already can't imagine a time before we had it. Check out the reveal for full costs and the installation process.

fitting a log burner

Learnt to Plaster

At the start of the year we invested in sending Grant off on a plastering course to save ourselves some cash when it came to needing to plaster. It's already been very very useful and we've began much plastering in both the kitchen and conservatory. His technique and overall finish isn't quite perfect yet - as with all DIY things, skills improve over time. But it was certainly an achievement.. He even got a BTEC to add to his CV! Watch this space for further posts ;)

learning to plaster

Built a Fire Pit

Last year I built some pallet seating at the back of the garden but it was left looking a little lonely and unfinished. So this year, I decided to add a fire pit which doubles up as a BBQ. I freaking LOVE it and created a full tutorial for you if you fancy making something similar too :) Just looking at these photos makes me excited for summer again!

building a fire pit with seating

Garden Screening and LOTS of Bamboo!

With our garden lacking privacy, I was desperate to add some screening this year. I created two different ideas - one was a planter with built-in seat and the other a rustic trellis. I bought £100 worth of Bamboo (EEK!) to use with both, which has also added a bit of an oriental touch too. Asian gardens are THE BEST, after all. The garden is now much more private and these little spots have added much needed extra interest in the garden too.

ideas for garden screening

Tiling, Underfloor Heating, Doing-it-Ourselves and Life without a Kitchen

Since my last kitchen renovation update, we've also tiled, laid electric underfloor heating, moved all the electrics, re-routed the plumbing and so so much more. I have lots to update you on in the new year, so I'll save the photos for then. ;) I know our renovations aren't exactly fast-progressing by any means, but we're DIYers with limited funds and time. We've kept out commitment and we're still going, which I think is a pretty darn good achievement in itself. We've also lived without a kitchen for over 9 months now, and that is certainly something to remember the year by!

kitchen renovation progress

So, I think that's a pretty good round-up of what we've been up to over the last year. I know we haven't achieved a finished kitchen by any means, but we ain't that far off either and with some January Sales (C'mon DIY-Kitchens, I'm looking at you!) we can hopefully finish the project and finally have a kitchen again!

If you'd like to see what we achieved in our first year of renovations in 2015, check out this post!

What have you achieved in your home over the last 12 months?

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