Renovation Do's and Don'ts

Well here we are around 6 months into the Renovation and effectively 3 weeks behind schedule. I think it’s fair to say we have complied a nice list of Renovation Do’s and Don’ts in this time. Anyone that says a Renovation will run to budget and timeframe must be lying I’m telling you!

Over the last 6 months we have been on such a roller coaster of emotions and we have learnt so many lessons that can be applied going forward if we ever decide to undertake anything similar again, but most importantly they are valuable life skills we can use in the future and pass onto our Children. Here goes with our House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts list.

House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts

  1. One of the major things we have noticed along the way so far is don’t just trust and think highly of Tradesmen you employ. One of our downfalls initially was putting to much faith in tradesmen to do what was expected, on time, on budget and to our satisfaction. As much as it pains me to say it, sites like checkatrade and rated people being able to read 50+ reviews and knowing someone is genuine and not a cowboy goes a long way even if it means spending that little bit more on a quote
  2. If you don’t plan everything down to the minute, then expect things to go over timeframe. We initially started the renovation basically going with the flow of things. We have never taken anything on before renovation wise. Watching hundreds of hours of Homes under the Hammer or DIY: SOS can only prepare you for so much. Once you are thrown in the deep end and trying to project manage a full site with tradesmen its a whole new kettle of fish. The best piece of advice I can give, is draw up a Gantt chart to fully manage dates tradesmen are coming in and out. This leads straight onto the 3rd point relating to timings from Tradesmen.
  3. When obtaining a quote get everything in writing. Not only do you want a written quotation (ensure it says Quote and not Estimate) as it’ll give you a more legal foothold if anything does go wrong. Make sure you establish when they can start. Find out how long they expect the job to take. Also, one important thing we’ve came to realise now is find out will waste be removed. Apparently not all tradesmen tidy up after themselves
  4. Where possible I strongly advise not to live in the building whilst renovating. I know for quite a few people this may not be feasible, however you will not believe the amount of dust even the most simplest of tasks can produce. Anything involving bricks, plaster, wood can create an enormous mess in minutes and the last thing you want is your living quarters to be a big dust sheet. The advantage of living elsewhere is being able to lock up at night and go home to a nice clean, warm, well lit house and get a good nights sleep. I can’t even help but think if what we are currently doing would of been even possible had we moved in back when we got the keys last year. We went the whole hog of gutting the complete house to almost rebuilding it from scratch in theory. If we were living their we would of contracted numerous airborne dust related diseases thats for sure.
  5. Following on from point 4, if you aren’t living in the house whilst renovating then make sure you have at least one working plug socket and a large extension lead. A good set of heavy duty work lights for when the dark nights set in. The last thing you need is a kettle! Life is always good when you can make a nice dusty brew and sit back and plan the project with a hot cuppa nescafe.
  6. Enjoy yourself! As ironic as it seems, depending on the size of the Renovation its a once in a lifetime thing. I struggle to see us ever taking on something this big in our lifetime. Unless we stumble accross a pot of gold whilst finishing this renovation it’s going to be our forever home and we are making every last detail work exactly how we want it. Try to imagine yourself having parties, making memories in the house once its renovated. This will help get you through the dark days and keep you laughing rather than crying every week when tradesmen let you down.

We have been Weekly Vlogging our House Renovation. So we already have the best part of 6 months worth of stress and happiness spread over several videos. If you haven’t already feel free to catch up with us on YouTube below:

Even if one person stumbles across this list of House Renovation Do’s & Don’ts and it saves them either time or money then my job here is a success! One major piece of advice me and helen can give whilst doing a Renovation which may seem very cliche is basically Stay Positive. As hard as that phrase will seem when you’ve no electrics or heating and its the middle of winter, it’s for the best and the finish line is always in the distance. It will be hard trying to see light at the end of the tunnel, but stick at it and it’ll be perfect when its complete

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2016 Review

I don’t know about yourself, but for me, what a year its been!

Looking back it’s been one heck of a ride. We have been lucky enough to travel to Disneyland Paris more times than I can remember. Getting an Annual Pass for Disney certainly has rewarded itself with plenty of value. Another highlight of the year was our adventures around Europe. So many countries got ticked off the Bucket list and we got to stay in a whole host of amazing properties and hotels accross the continent. A special Birthday arranged by Helen in our very own Hot tub lodge. She really pulled  out all the stops to make me feel like a prince for the weekend!

Best of 2016

I really hope that everyone has an amazing 2017. If you don’t already be sure to catch up with all my daily ramblings on Twitter: @Northerncrumble and Instagram: Northerncrumble

Happy New Year!

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Disney Halloween Party

Our most recent visit to Disneyland Paris was a magical and memorable one that allowed us to meet up with some amazing Twitter friends and make memories that will last a lifetime!

It wouldn’t be a normal trip for us unless something strange was to happen. We don’t usually plan trips months in advance, usually they are hours before we leave. With this in mind, it meant that something had to go wrong right!? Well, we received delivery of our new car two days before we set off to Disneyland Paris. The lovely wife decided it’d be a good idea to reverse the new car into a Skip!? I know right, you’d think it had parking sensors. These things happen and thankfully nobody was injured, including the skip 🙂

This however meant our car had to go into the bodyshop and we were left with a replacement Corsa Van! Yes, you did hear that right, our replacement vehicle was none other than a 2 seater Van! This could only happen to the Crumbles. After all the drama we decided we would just set off the day we received the van, albeit a day earlier than we originally decided to set-off but we didn’t want to jinx the trip anymore.

The first day was magical and we met plenty of friends from Twitter including our favourite happy man Mr @MitchellDisney for his party. He had put together little party bags with sweets and a card, such a sweet touch and it meant a lot to both of us

MitchellDisney Party

We spent the rest of the night with Mitchell and his friends; @EleanorAbbey93 @beth961993 and the lovely wife @xxhrb – We watched some shows and met some characters. One of my favourite photos with this bunch was with Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts & Friends

Halloween Soiree Day

The event we had looked forward to for so long was eventually here. Considering we booked it months ago, it was actually quite surprising how fast it came around. One of the reasons we don’t tend to book holidays in advance is simply because we are impatient waiting for them to come around and just like to pack a suitcase and leave the next day. We pulled ourselves together and headed down to the Disney Village with @StephRosPhoto who I must say made an amazing Cinderella at the Party. We picked up our wristbands and headed back to our rooms (McDonalds in hand). Yes, we couldn’t resist a cheeky stop-off to pick up a burger or two! A few hours later and we were ready to hit the park all dressed up in costume.

The one day of the year where it is acceptable to Enter the Disneyland Paris park in full costume and boy did we enjoy it! Helen made the most beautiful Rapunzel and her Wig was just simply incredible. She had got her mum to stitch in some LEDs and Flowers and it was just out of this world! I didn’t make a bad Flynn Rider if i do say so. A huge shout-out to Disney’s answer to Peter Kay in the form of @seanyblive – Sean and Michael made our night so memorable and we can’t wait to meet back up again with Ralph and Fix-it Felix in the future

Rapunzel Wig

Disney Halloween Party

If you haven’t already you can watch all of our fun and frolics in our YouTube video below

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Beast in action

Has Mr Crumble Been Hiding? There’s nothing worse than when you are in full flow of writing blog posts on a regular basis and enjoying things and then you get a big stumbling block. Well, this stumbling block was a fairly positive one, and is finally slowly allowing me to get back to writing regular content again which makes me happy!

If you Subscribe to our YouTube channel you will know exactly whats kept me so busy the last 6 weeks! We finally got the keys to OUR DREAM HOME

You are probably thinking, okay right, but it doesn’t take that long to hire a van and move your furniture over where have you been hiding!? Its not as plain sailing as it sounds, for the last few weeks I’ve literally been at the new house daily gutting it, ripping down walls, stripping wallpaper. You name it, i’ve given it a go! We ripped the whole house back to basis, including the Bathroom and kitchen as you can see. We have a nice Bare house to work our magic on.

Demolished Kitchen

It seems as if every few hours we would be filling up rubble bags and driving to the local skip! One thing I must say, anyone looking at taking on a Renovation project the best thing you can do is Invest in a very large car. Also, these Rubble Bags from eBay have been an absolute god send! Our “Beast” as he is known, has served us so well over the last few weeks. It was going to cost us around £200 a skip and I honestly think we would of easily filled around 3 or 4 skips by now, so by the time we sell Beast in a few months we shouldn’t lose a penny!

One thing I will say, if you haven’t already, catch up on the Weekly Vlogs starting at Weekly Vlog #22

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Getting the Keys

So if you’re a regular reader you might be a little puzzled by this one. Well in a Nutshell, with three Months of pretty much no sleep, 110% effort daily and squeezing our savings we’ve found our Dream House and placed an offer. If you haven’t already read the previous posts catch up here and here then this post might make a little more sense.

With this said, I’ll throw out my apologies for the lack of blogging over the last few weeks. It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with writing, I feel like I’ve just been putting all my efforts into this dream and it’s slowly becoming more a reality by the day.

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