Life Update: House, Weddings, Cars

So much has been going on recently, so I thought I’d do a brief (ahem…) life update.

Time is going far too quickly at the moment. I can’t believe it’s already November which means that my wedding is five months away (172 days to be precise…wow, I wish I hadn’t worked that out).

We’re still trying to continue to update our house, but funds are tight with the wedding, so we’re not getting quite as much done as we’d like. And now we have a cat too!

 

The House

I’ll start with a quick house update. We’ve finally used some money to invest in well needed accessories, such as rugs, mirrors and lighting. Our dining room mirror (pictured) is doubling up as our wedding table plan.

My dining room with rug, pendant light and mirror

It wasn’t hugely expensive, but it seems a shame to use it just on one day. That space in the dining room looked so empty, and the mirror fills it perfectly.

The next big job is to box up the stairs. I’ve, of course, been using Pinterest to plan this one. Currently all our fuse boxes and wiring is on show under the stairs. Jay will use leftover kitchen units to build something like this,

We're building our stairs so they have more storage space in like this. Stairs with cupboard and shelves built in

Credit: http://www.jamesmayor.co.uk

 

It’ll help to keep things looking tidy and is ideal for storing extra wires, or anything else we can think to fill it with.

The only difference is ours will have a hidden door so we can still access the fuse box easily.

 

My Car

I loved my little car. It was a present from Jay (for absolutely no reason). He just brought it home one day for me, complete with a bow!

 

Life Update: My Ford StreetKA died this week

 

We spent £120 on parts and many hours of labour (on Jay’s behalf) trying to get it working. It overheated one day when I let the coolant get too low. Turns out the head gasket had gone which we were quoted £900 to fix. The car only cost £700 so it just wasn’t worth it.

I needed something more reliable to get me to and from work anyway, so I’ve used this as an excuse to treat myself to an Audi A1. I’m justifying it because my insurance has come down by £200, and the tax has reduced by 65%. It also does more miles per gallon, so petrol consumption is much less.

I’m still sad to see my car go. Jay’s going to fix the gasket himself, for much cheaper than a garage, and sell it for money towards our wedding.

 

Wedding

Talking of weddings….

I’ve found that stress comes in waves. I’ll have a couple of months where I don’t really think about the wedding, or don’t have any supplier meetings. Then suddenly they come all in one go.

I’ve already had my hairdresser cancel, and my florist sell her business. These issues have now been sorted.

I’ve also bought my bridesmaid’s dresses which are currently being made, and chosen the groomsmen’s suits.

 

Life Update - I bought these Ebony Rose Kimberly bridesmaids dresses

Credit: Dresses from Ebony Rose http://www.ebonyrosedesigns.co.uk/

 

I also splashed out (accidentally) on some stunning blossom trees as our centrepieces which will suit the venue.

Now that I need to get a new car, I’m not able to save as much for the wedding as I’d like. I’m still getting editing work from my business, Sarah Macklin Editing, which is helping.

We’re trying to save wherever we can, and every little bit goes into the savings account. Even the odd couple of pounds. I’m hoping this will all add up quite quickly.

 

So there’s a quick life update of everything going on with me! Things never slow down. We’ve got three weddings this month (of which I was bridesmaid at one), and Jay’s birthday. January will be nice and calm only for February to be full of supplier appointments and final decisions (and table plans, urgh).

How to fund a home renovation

Financing a home renovation or extension can be a challenge.

Most people save up for weeks or even months to get enough money for a single renovation. So you may be wondering how you could realistically fund your project. In this article, we’re going to describe a couple of acceptable ways to fund a home renovation.

 

Use your savings

Once you start putting money into your savings, it can add up quickly. Instead of letting your money just sit in a bank account ‘for a rainy day’, use it.

Renovations can be expensive which is why people tend to save up a lot of money just to pay for them.

To help remedy this, your savings account could pay for the entire job. Or you could put some funds towards the renovation to offset the costs that you have to pay from your own ages and salary.

The point of a savings account is to have money for when you need it. If your renovation counts as a needed improvement, there’s no shame in breaking out the piggy bank.

 

Take out a loan

There aren’t many situations where it’s acceptable to take out a loan for the sake of a renovation.

However, if you require an urgent renovation then it does warrant the need for emergency funds. In this case, it’s perfectly acceptable to take out a loan (assuming you can pay for it before the interest piles on) for the sake of a home renovation.

If you’re dealing with bad credit history, you can take out adverse credit loans to help you pay for the renovation. In short, only consider taking out a loan if you need to fix something urgently.

Don’t rely on loans as a means to pay for a renovation that you want for the sake of luxury.

 

Doing it yourself

Although this isn’t a way to fund a home renovation, it’s a much cheaper way to get the job done. You don’t need to spend money on professional services all the time. Occasionally, you require someone with experience. It’s absolutely recommended to use a professional for some aspects like wiring or electric. But you can save a lot of money if done correctly.

If you want to save money and learn how to repair and maintain different parts of your home, then DIY training is perhaps the easiest way to do so.

You learn from your mistakes more than a book, so hands-on experience is always appreciated. As long as you have someone supervising or at least monitoring what you’re doing, you’ll find that it’s incredibly easy to get DIY work done as long as you put your mind to it.

 

Out of all the methods you might have to fund a home renovation, these three are arguably the most common and should be used when possible.

3 Common Home Problems that require immediate attention

There are so many common home problems that can occur at any time, but some of them will need immediate attention if you are to keep your home in the best possible state of repair.

There are lots of small problems that you can fix yourself with the right tools. However, with bigger problems, you’ll need to get an expert in to assess the seriousness of the situation. Many of the worst circumstances are hard to ignore, but sometimes they can happen subtly and slowly. This can spell disaster for the future of your home.

In this article, we are going to take a look at just three of the most common home problems which generally need immediate fixing. As long as you attend to these three as quickly as possible, you should be able to keep your home in a good state for as long as you like. 

Foundation Problems

common home problems include dodgy foundations

This first one is something that a surprising amount of people don’t know how to spot, even though it is fairly easy to see once you know the signs. A foundation problem left alone could mean disaster for your home, so it’s a wise move to learn as much as you can about how to spot – and fix – foundation problems.

You will know there is an issue if your walls, doors or windows seem a little off-centre or they don’t quite fit in their respective places. If that happens, you’ll need to call in the professionals to get your foundation sorted as soon as possible. If you leave it alone for too long, you’ll end up with a worsening home, so make sure you get on top of it fast.

Damp

common home problems include mould and damp

Although at first damp might not seem like such a terrible thing, you absolutely don’t want to leave it unfixed for even a short period of time. Having damp in the home can soon lead to a variety of other problems, so you should identify and fix it as soon as you can.

Fortunately, it is one of the easiest things you can identify. You’ll know you have damp if you are developing mould on the walls and sometimes you can even smell it in the air.

One of the easiest and most economical solutions to get rid of damp is to get a dehumidifier. Take a look at www.dehumidifierreviewshq.co.uk for more on how to fix this common home problem. If it gets worse, you might need to call the professionals in as well, just to make sure you really get rid of it.

Broken Door/Window

wooden door in brick wall

Of course, it goes without saying that security is a major concern for most people in their homes. If at any point it becomes clear that your door or windows are broken or damaged, you will want to make sure you deal with this as soon as you can. Take a look at http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/repair/how-to-repair-windows1.htm for some advice on fixing a broken window.

If you leave it alone, you will be leaving yourself open to the possibility of being burgled, and that’s the last thing that anyone wants. If your door or window needs replacing, then do so as soon as you can. You’ll be glad that you did!

These common home problems occur regularly in households across the UK. Make sure you fix them before the winter arrives.

The Finished Kitchen: Final Results

My last house-related post shows our finished bathroom and now we have a finished kitchen too!

The bathroom looks exactly how I imagined it. It’s quite a small room, so we had to go for a joint bath-shower, which meant forgoing my walk-in shower *huge sad face*. There isn’t much light in the bathroom so we got glossy tiles to reflect the little light that there is. I’m also on the look out for a huge mirror to put across all of one wall.

The finished kitchen is also exactly how I pictured it. We purchased it on eBay second-hand for a bargain price. We couldn’t have afforded a brand new kitchen, and I was very wary of purchasing something so huge on eBay. But I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it.

I love my range cooker, made by Stoves. It has seven hobs, two ovens, a grill, and a warming/proving drawer.

Ignore the horrendous state of the surfaces and trailing wires. I love my tiles. They’re from Topps Tiles and come in about five different colours. They’re darker than I imagined, but we’ve gone with a light floor and kitchen so it’s a nice contrast.

Our floor is part of a new collection from Wickes of all places. We’re very impressed with it. It’s laminate but is very thick and has a texture so it feels and looks like solid wood.

Today, our skirting has been completed, and all our sockets have been screwed in and are working. We’ve chosen brushed steel sockets, which match the brushed steel tile trim and the handles of the kitchen units.

Our fridge and freezer is built-in, so you’d never know they’re there, and our washing machine is going in the garage. The only appliance we have on show is the cooker so everything looks neat and tidy.

Hopefully, we can have some truly fabulous parties here!

Before and After

 

Before, the kitchen was from the 70s, and was dark and grimy. The appliances seemed to be about as old as the kitchen.

 

 

During: A lot of the units practically fell away from the wall. It wasn’t a safe space. We had the strangest “outside doors” inside the house which have now been removed, and replaced with a modern archway.

 

After: the room is such much lighter now the tiles and the dark furniture is out. We’ve opened out the kitchen into a U-shape to make it feel bigger.

 

 

The paint colour is a grey/green which looks almost white. It goes perfectly with the tiles and seems to heighten the ceiling.

Hopefully, we’ll be ready to move in soon! The next big job is rebuilding the staircase, so stay updated!

 

Designing my Living Room Interior

I’m far too excited about designing my living room.

I posted a blog post earlier today about how we can’t live without technology. The post has a mood board to go with it, and now it’s got me thinking about designing my living room. So that’s what this post is about.

I didn’t think that I would be very good at interior design. I can be indecisive and fussy, and it takes me forever to reach a decision. However, with designing my house, I’ve been making good decisions, fast.

I love my bathroom tiles which were completed last week. I love my kitchen tiles, which are in the process of going up. The colour I have chosen for the living room is absolutely lovely (not that I’m bragging or anything…but I am).

Every decision I’ve made so far seems to be right (touch wood!). The only decision that wasn’t right was the carpet I picked for the living room, but I changed my mind in plenty of time.

I’ve really surprised myself, and I can ‘see’ how I want things to be. Even down to the position of the spotlights, and which way the wooden flooring should go.

Designing my living room

Moodboard for our living room theme

Sometimes, grey can feel a bit cold. The paint I chose is grey with a slight brown tinge to it, so it feels a lot warmer.

Like this:

 

The living room is very bright because it’s an open space with a large window at the front. However, I would like to add some colour somehow. Though I haven’t thought this far ahead.

Some green would be nice to go with the brown and give it a natural, earthy feel. We bought a brand new sofa and armchair to go in the living room. Though they’re currently sat in our garage whilst we wait for the carpet to be fitted.

If you were redecorating, what would your choice of colour be? I’d love to hear from you!