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Learn How to DIY Renovate

Learn How to DIY Renovate
Learn How to DIY Renovate

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DIY Tutorials

Another House, Another Reno - A Few Updates...

kitchen dining room knockthrough

No, I haven't won the lottery and bagged myself a holiday home by the sea (although I wish I had!), I'm of course referring to Grants parents house, where we've been working and DIYing recently.

If you haven't been keeping up with progress over on Instagram, do come and join me! I'm much quicker at Instagramin' than I am blogging, so you'll see live-updates on there. I'm a little behind with blogging, so I thought it was about time I updated you all with the progress...


As you know, over the last 12 months we've done a little bit of work in their house already. We've transformed two cupboard - one, we turned into a pantry. The other, into a laundry space. This was all in preparation for one thing - a new kitchen!

small l-shape kitchen renovation

Their kitchen is currently very small. Like, small small. And whilst we can't make it any bigger, we can make the space work a bit better. That meant moving food into a dedicated pantry and moving the washing machine into a cupboard. This was the last time I blogged about their house, but we're now at Phase 6 of the original kitchen plan (don't know what I'm talking about? Read this post) which means things are getting seriously underway. 

Before Christmas, we made massive progress, so I wanted to fill you in on what exactly we've been up to:

Mission 1: Find Secondhand Range Cooker

One of the 'must have' pieces of Grants parents new kitchen was a range cooker. I know I said the kitchen was small (and it is!), but it was an essential they wanted, so happy to oblige, I went on a secondhand hunt.

The problem was, they wanted a gas cooker. Full gas. Like, ovens and all. These are a dying breed and quite hard to come across secondhand. Typically they're quite old and usually have the looks to match. Eventually, though, I found one! I quizzed the owner on all the details, paid £250 and used Shiply to get it delivered.

FYI, Shiply is amazing! If you haven't used it before - it's basically the most affordable way to transport large items from private sellers. The idea is that the website matches your delivery request to couriers already driving along the same route. This oven was transported over a 2-hour driving distance and cost just £80, which included a two-man team and shrink wrapping. Can you get better, or more professional than that? The delivery team even left me a wrapped Christmas gift (it was a candle) as it was so close to the big day.

If you want to try Shiply using my referral code (I get £5 for each sign-up!) then click here.

shrink wrapping a range cooker

ANYWHO, it arrived. But (yes, there's a but!), it turned out the oven was not full-gas, it was in fact, gas hobs and two electric ovens. Yes, even though I had specifically asked, GRR. The seller was very apologetic and kind about the whole thing though (a genuine mistake, it seemed) so he agreed to refund £100 to go towards wiring it up. Because if you don't know, you can't simply plug a dual-fuel cooker of this size in. And nor can you just hardwire it to a socket. It needs its own special cable straight from the fusebox, which obviously, the kitchen didn't have.

secondhand rangemaster cooker
rangemaster professional +
rangemaster professional + photo

For £150 (plus delivery) though, this is still a massive bargain, especially considering the RRP for this particular Rangemaster model in four-figures. Quality-wise, it's a little rough around the edges in places (we purchased some replacement buttons) and it needed a good scrub down. BUT, it still looks amazeballs, no?

For anyone interested, this cooker is the Rangemaster Professional + (90cm)


Mission 2: Knock Down a Wall

This was totally unplanned and a bit random with how it came about (very spontaneously) - but, we decided to knock open the wall between the kitchen and dining room. You may remember it had some ugly archway and an old window in the world's orange-est room:

the worlds most orange room
kitchen renovation knock through

Well, about a week before Christmas, we got a builder in and bish-bash-bosh, the wall was gone.

builders removing a wall
builders removing door and window to make big opening
removing a load bearing wall
fitting a steel beam to support load bearing wall
boxing over a steel beam
removing a wall between kitchen and dining room

The wall was load-bearing (the kitchen is an extension) so we needed a steel-beam added, which you can see above. We paid builders for this job for obvious reasons, and we were really pleased with the work they carried out. They also covered the beam in fire-resistant plasterboard (for appropriate regulations) and then plastered over it and patched-up any necessary work. The total cost was around £1300 for this whole job.

kitchen diner renovation
renovation blog kitchen

Mission 3: Install an Alternative Radiator

If you have keen eyes, you'll notice there was originally two radiators on the wall that has just been removed. Both of these were fairly new actually and had been fitted alongside the boiler last year. However, they were clearly in the way. So, the morning before the builders arrived, we were up at 5am to drain the heating system and remove the radiators (nothing like a last-minute dash!).

After the wall had been removed, we then fitted a new single radiator which is both bigger and better in terms of heat output, so should hopefully make the room even warmer. The radiator I pocked was a Milano Windsor radiator from BestHeating.com (cost £160) It weighed a BLOODY TON, and we fitted ourselves, plumbing and all.

attaching a cast iron radiator
milano windsor radiador
plumbing a radiator around a corner
milano windsor vertical radiator

Mission 4: New Electrics

A new fusebox was always on the cards for this renovation journey. We had several electricians come to quote for this job and they all reckoned the old fuse box was between 40-50 years old. Way past its sell date basically. I mean, look at it!

50 year old fuse box

So that definitely needed to go. Also, with the new range oven being electric, we required an additional cable for that as well. We then had a couple of extra odd-jobs done, like hardwiring an outdoor light and fitting a socket in the new laundry room.

The electrician we picked had a great price (£350 for the whole job) but a bloody terrible attitude, which proves you should always listen to your gut!! He phoned me up the week prior to starting work asking "how am I going to get the cable from the fusebox to the cooker?" ERRRR, hang on, whose the electrician here?!

Well, it only got worse from there. On the day, he was grumpy from the start and was soon swearing at every part of the project. "Fucking Cables!" "Fucking Wall" "Fucking Light" and I don't mean just under-his-breath swearing. I mean SWEARING.

We left the house for a bit (I was partway through building the DIY dining table at this point) and I think he thought he was alone - he wasn't. He basically flipped out. To which I think he was somehow mad at us for having hired him. It was an absolute joke, so unprofessional and his work wasn't that great either. It was sloppy, he had forgotten to bring parts, he somehow managed to put a hole through the wall (he fell off a step-ladder), and generally he was just lousy.

Despite all that, he did get the job done (just about) which meant they had a cooker in time for Christmas - hurrah! Here's evidence of his very sloppy wonky wiring on the back wall:

chaos in a kitchen renovation

So with the good and the bad, this is where we're currently at. The next big job is drilling out a hole to vent the new cooker hood (which has now arrived, yay!), patch all the plasterwork in the kitchen (Grants fave type of DIY!), lay a new floor, and then fit the kitchen! It sounds so simple, doesn't it?!

Our deadline is Easter, so as soon as January is out the way (we've both been CRAZY busy this month!), it will be the top priority for the foreseeable future. I'm not going to lie, I'm quite excited to get stuck back into DIY - I think it's been five whole weeks since I last picked up a tool, can you believe?!

So that's everything that's happened over the last couple of months and what's to come. Stick with me, I'm catching up on posts and will have much more coming soon!

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