The work has finally started! You have no idea how long I have wanted to say those words! Over the past few weeks, we had expected work to start on different occasions, but due between one thing and another it was put off until last Wednesday.
Since we went sale agreed on this house back on the 13th April (it was a Friday, but that date has always been lucky for us for some reason), we have spent hours upon hours trying to visualise what the house would look like when the work starts and last weekend we finally got to experience it. It is amazing what 3 days, 2 men and a lump hammer can do! The hall has been stripped out, the old carpet removed and the floorboards underneath revealed. Unfortunately they are not in great condition. We may need to start thinking about alternative options here, as we had originally hoped to salvage the old boards. Some of them might be ok. It will need closer inspection.
The front room now looks like this. It is the only room in the house that hasn’t been stripped of anything except the carpet. Already the damp smell in the house has gone. It’s been replaced by a dust smell but it’s all progress.
The lounge area at the back has become a storage area for the old bathroom and kitchen that has now been stripped down completely. Seeing this gave us a really good idea of how the old extension was built. Not very well was my inexperienced assessment of the work!!
When the old bathroom was removed it let in so much light into the space at the back of the house. This is one thing that both myself and Eoin really noticed the minute we walked into the house on Sunday. It was a gorgeous, bright, crisp Autumn day and light was flooding into the house from every direction. Our plan is to turn the back of the house into a large open plan kitchen / sitting / dining area and seeing the current rooms opened up and the light flowing ignited a real excitement in us both.
This room is next to the lounge area which I call the back room. It is probably the most depressing room in the entire house. Even under the stairs is more appealing. This room hadn’t changed much, but there was this interesting linolium on the ground, reminiscent of the 70’s, or possibly the 60’s. An interesting choice for what was probably either a parlour room at some point and then converted into a bedroom during the Celtic Tiger years to maximise rental potential. It is difficult to see in the photo below, but the entire window frame around the window is rotten. Most of what was taken off the walls was in this condition.
The steps back up to the hall are very worn and will need to be replaced. I suppose the house is almost 126 years old, so it has seen its fair share of footsteps up and down these stairs!
Below is the photo of upstairs. This will be the master bedroom but was originally two very small cramped bedrooms. We will also put an en suite bathroom here and a small walk-in wardrobe. Upstairs was always so dark and gloomy. I cannot believe the amount of light pouring in the windows now. It looks totally different. The builder told me that the partition wall between the two rooms, which is made of brick, totally crumbled and was so easy to knock down. While all of this is messy and lengthily process, it is totally necessary.
The old bedroom fireplace opening was found. The brick in this is gorgeous. It might be something we could keep, depending on space.
This is the view from the corner of the bedroom. It looks huge in comparison to having two separate rooms. The ladder leads up into the attic where our 2nd bedroom and en suite will be.
Some of the panelling that was on the stairs was removed to reveal the original banister spindles. This was a great find and we are going to hopefully replicate this same design when the new stairs goes in. We may even be able to keep some of the ones in good condition and reuse them. Lastly, this was the linoleum or floor covering in the front room. It has kept its colour very well considering how old it is. Over the course of our year house hunting, I came across so many houses with floors like this still in use. It made me feel a bit nostalgic and it reminded me that this house has so much history and so many stories to tell. It seems only fair to put some love back into it and give it a new life.
Thanks for reading.