Last week I wrote about our experiences with renovating this house and how I felt like ‘renovation fatigue’ had set in. This week I’ve been able to have an honest chat with Catherine Beaumont-Ridge of @creatingcopperbeech and find out more about how they have felt during their renovation. This is part of a blog series on the subject – An Honest Chat About Renovation Fatigue. My aim is to bring you a different story each Friday and hope that by doing this we can recognise how far we’ve come, but also share the reality of taking on a house renovation. If you would like to be involved then please contact me either through this link or via Instagram. That’s enough from me – over to Catherine!
- Catherine Beaumont-Ridge, South Manchester. I live with my husband Peter, little boy Ronnie (who’s 15 months) and 2 cats Millie & Roux.
- This is our second (and probably last!) house renovation. We also renovated a Victorian two-bed terrace a few years ago.
- We bought the house in January 2016, appointed an architect in April and spent about a year planning before we started on site in March 2017.
Hi Catherine! Tell us a little more about your project – how much work has been needed?
Our house is a 1920s semi-detached property, which needed everything doing! A family had lived here for many years but hadn’t really kept on top of the upkeep it needed, so it was a big project. It was a four-bed when we bought it but two of the bedrooms were tiny, so we moved the bathroom and knocked the old bathroom and a boxroom into one bigger bedroom. So now it’s a three-bed, with the opportunity to convert the loft into another bedroom and en-suite.
We undertook a full re-wire, new heating system, rear/side one-storey extension with new utility room and kitchen, downstairs WC, new layout upstairs and various replastering/making good etc. The building work finished in August 2017 and then we had the kitchen and flooring installed and decorated a number of rooms.
We lived there throughout apart from the final six weeks when the rewire and upstairs knock-through was taking place – it was absolute chaos. When we undertook the main building work we were both working full time – I work in PR for an urban regeneration company and my husband is an electrical engineer. Since Ronnie was born I changed to part-time and now work three days a week.
We still have a few bits to do like the garden, the flooring in the hallway and a few rooms need decorating, but we’re getting there.
Wow! Sounds like a big project. What have been the highs?
The sheer quantity of stuff we’ve achieved since we moved in and the space we’ve created with the extension. I don’t think we’d have been able to buy anything similar, so our house is truly unique.
We have a brilliant open plan kitchen/dining/living space which is ideal for a family as we can all spend time together and have friends and family round.
It looks fantastic, you must be so pleased. Have there been any lows?
Ha ha where do I start!
I have to say, one of the main lows is the pressure on your finances. Once you’ve started the project, you’ve got no choice but to continue and spend whatever it takes to get it finished. We budgeted thoroughly and had a healthy contingency, but STILL went over budget, which led to us borrowing more than we wanted and that stresses me out sometimes.
Because of that we didn’t have a lot left for finishes, furniture etc which has been frustrating for me because everything has felt so unfinished for years!
Catherine’s Top Tip: budget enough for finishes as well as the main building work and gardens cost far more than you think!
There have been extremely stressful times and although I would say it has put pressure on our relationship, our careers and family life, I wouldn’t say there have been any lasting negative effects of that. I get frustrated now and then about the speed things now go with less money and a baby, but generally I’m very grateful for what we have and proud of what we’ve achieved.
Thank you to Catherine for sharing her renovation story and having an honest chat about renovation fatigue. I’m sure you would agree that they have created a beautiful home and how amazing is their kitchen?! Head over to Catherine’s Instagram page to see more pictures.