Renovations

The Flat List

There is so much still to be done in my flat that I can’t even remember all of it, so I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself about all the things I need to do.

I’m about to take a week off to try to get some of it done (although by the time you read this it’ll already be the week after that) so hopefully this list will get a bit shorter. We’ll see. 

Things I Need To Do To My House

When I first moved in, the place was a wreck. There were these strange little foamy things growing through the bathroom floor:

At the time I didn’t know they were poo mushrooms. I found that out when the bathroom floor fell into my downstairs neighbour’s bedroom, and we discovered that the toilet hadn’t been connected properly when it’d been changed nine years earlier, and there was almost a decade’s worth of human waste lying under the floor, which had now cascaded onto her bed.

The smell was indescribable. Men in hazmat suits came out and cleared the poo away and sprayed bleach everywhere, and rebuilt my bathroom from scratch (including the walls, because human waste seepage gets everywhere apparently).

I hope you weren’t eating dinner when you started reading this.

Happily, the bathroom is now much nicer, and although I do have more plans for it eventually, at the moment I’m happy with it the way it is. But the other rooms need some work.

The Living Room

This is the one I’m tackling next. At the moment the to-do list goes:

  • Finish stripping the wallpaper.
  • Pull up the floor.
  • Get the walls plastered or rendered or plastered and rendered or whatever the right term is.
  • Decide what I’m doing about heating and do it (current options: keep the single radiator I have; add another three small ones under the bay window; get a wood burning stove; a combination of the above).
  • Get the windows reframed because the frames are rotting. At the moment if you put your hand to the bottom of the window you can feel the glass sticking out. It’s just waiting for a nice big rattly storm before it all falls out.
  • Take off the final remains of the manky secondary glazing that looks like it was installed in the 70s and never cleaned.
  • Work out what I’m doing about lighting and install any fixtures that need to be put in.
  • Paint the ceiling and walls.
  • Clean the mantlepiece, which has brown gunk caked in its crevices. I’ve already tried to get it off with white spirit. God knows what it’s going to take to shift it.
  • Lay the new floor.
It will be nice. One day.
I now know from experience that chandeliers with actual candles are pretty, but not very practical and prone to dripping wax over guests.

Once the living room’s done it’ll be time to move on to the hallway. Well actually, I’m planning on doing them both at the same time, because the flooring stretches from one to another so it makes sense to rip it all up in one satisfying day.

The Hallway

The hallway had saris lining it for a while, until the cat peed all over them and I had to take them down. I’m now planning on painting it like a normal person, although the saris will still have a place in the final house. Just not lining the hallway.

Hallway to-do list:

  • Rip up the floor.
  • Fill the holes in the walls.
  • Paint the ceiling and walls.

Until recently, “Fix the plug that blows stuff up” was on there too, but I have actually done that already! YAY.

The Weird Little Staircase From The Hallway Into The Bedroom

Because my house can’t possibly be normal, the bedroom is downstairs. Not downstairs enough to constitute another floor, just a little bit downstairs. Originally these stairs were carpeted with a dirty horrible carpet. Then I ripped all the carpet off them. It was very satisfying.

There’s not a lot to do in this area (it’s not a big area after all), but there are a couple of bits:

  • Paint the walls.
  • Finish the stairs. This will involve painting them, and possibly also some decorative tiles, depending on how energetic I’m feeling.

The Bedroom

This is almost completely finished except for the arrangement of the furniture and some sarifying. It was the first room I worked on when I moved here in 2014: I stripped the woodchip off the walls (then the builders rebuilt the wall that adjoined the bathroom because of the aforementioned poo problem), painted them, ripped up the floor, got a new one put down, and bought a bed and several bookcases. There was a wonderful moment when the floor was finally down and I stood there looking at my beautiful new room.

Then I filled it with books and a sofabed, which was eventually replaced by an actual bed.

Ultimately it’s going to have some sari drapage and also it’s going to be split into two rooms. The bookcases will create the divide: half of it will become an office, and the other half will remain a bedroom. The bedroom will look a little like this:

I don’t have a photo of what the office will look like, because so far it only exists in my mind and technology hasn’t advanced that far yet.

The Kitchen

This is another room that’s almost finished; I had a new kitchen put in a couple of years ago, so I don’t want to replace anything but I do want to change the colour scheme. Originally the kitchen looked like this (with a cat in it *sob*):

Then the builders stripped it back to its bare bones and for a while it looked like this instead:

Then the units arrived, which was very exciting:

And then I stopped taking pictures of it. Things I need to do to the kitchen include:

  • Take up the manky grey lino I put down in 2016 as a temporary option.
  • Paint all the units black and replace the handles with prettier ones.
  • Make the white tiles black (rather than the hassle of replacing them, I’m probably going to buy some of that stick-on tile stuff and hope no one notices).
  • Get a new light fixture that doesn’t make me feel like I’m cooking in a supermarket.
  • Paint the ceiling and walls.
  • Install underfloor heating.
  • Put down some pretty black floor tiles.

Outside

There are a few things I want to do outside as well, a couple of which I may even do this weekend:

  • Remove all the stuff people have dumped behind the little wall outside my house. (It’s tiny – it comes up to mid-calf on me and I’m 5’2″ – and it serves no obvious purpose. There’s just a sort of vaguely triangular shaped hole behind it which currently is full of people’s discarded cans and bin bags and bits of wood.)
  • Paint the little wall so it doesn’t look as shabby.
  • Plant some plants there to make it look cheerier.
  • Set up a neighbourhood book swap scheme by placing a small bookshelf behind the wall for people to take from and contribute to.
  • Get the fire escape stairs fixed.
  • Hang some plant pots over the fire escape balcony bit.
  • Clean the weird moss stuff off the courtyard.
  • Fix the holes in the courtyard wall.
  • Paint the courtyard wall so it doesn’t look as shabby.
  • Buy a couple of picnic tables and a BBQ and put them in the courtyard. (What I’m loftily referring to as ‘the courtyard’ is a small patch of… well, courtyardy bit?… that’s shared between me and an unknown number of neighbours. At least two, but possibly more. At the moment no one takes care of it. I want to change that.)
  • Plant some plants in the courtyard to make it look cheerier.

I foresee more trips to the garden centre in my future.

Once all of the above is done (the indoor bits, anyway), I will finally be able to move aaaalll my stuff out of my bedroom and feel like I’m not living in a building site anymore.

The current state of my room.

Bring. It. On.

2 thoughts on “The Flat List”

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