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Roots and Wings

Raising a kid, creating a home

Hello, blogging world

Just in case you’re wondering (and you didn’t make it to the ‘About’ tab up there!) I’m Amy, a 30-something mum of a totally adorable, cheeky, funny and crazy two-year-old boy called Ted. Me and my husband Paul have just bought a beautiful – but totally dilapidated – Victorian school cottage and this is the story of our journey to create our dream family home, all while navigating the choppy waters of parenthood. Why not take a nosey around to see what we’ve been up to?

“Give them roots so they always know where home is;

Give them wings so they can soar.”

Featured post

Rapid progress…

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Freshly concreted floors and freshly plastered walls.

After the setback of ‘damp-gate’, it actually feels like we’ve made some serious progress in the past three weeks with major tasks. The first of these being the damp proof course, which Paul measured, drilled and injected himself, and which fulfilled the second part of our obligation to the mortgage company (the first being the woodworm treatment) needed to get back the money they’d retained from the initial purchase. Continue reading “Rapid progress…”

It never rains, but it pours…

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The chimney breast wall showing signs of damp damage.

Quite literally, in our case! And a bout of heavy rain showed up a few problems which needed immediate attention, and which looked to scupper some of the hard work we’d put in up until this point.

We’d been making great progress upstairs, as I’ve discussed in my previous update, and started mist coating all of the walls. Well, after a few days’ worth of heavy rain those freshly painted walls were covered in unsightly yellowing damp patches, showing up a leak in the roof and some porous brickwork which needed dealing with before we could go any further. Continue reading “It never rains, but it pours…”

Upstairs, downstairs…

The first coat of paint goes on.
The first coat of paint goes on.

It almost feels like the house has two very different identities at the moment. Upstairs is really back on the road to recovery; fully plastered, adorned with skirting boards and picture rails and – my god! – there’s actual paint on the walls! Two bedrooms have had a good walloping (technical term don’tcha know!) with Brilliant White trade emulsion – 20 litres of paint and counting – and we’re just starting on the master bedroom, which should be painted over the weekend. So there’s just the small matter of deciding on final paint colours, fitting the radiators, carpeting and sanding the master bedroom floor, and then upstairs will be ready to move into. Continue reading “Upstairs, downstairs…”

And then there were walls…

Freshly insulated and plastered walls in the main bedroom.
Freshly insulated and plastered walls in the main bedroom.

In my head one of the major milestones, and the point I thought it would feel like we were actually getting there with the renovations, was the plastering. Since we’ve had to remove pretty much all of the plasterwork downstairs, as well as several walls’ worth upstairs, stripping it back to bare brick, I figured that plastering would make the house feel, well, like a house again rather than the barn/outbuilding feel it’s been rocking in recent weeks. Continue reading “And then there were walls…”

A happy new year…

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Rebuilding the chimney – it’s hard work!

And as 2017 sets it, it means that this is the year we’ll actually move into out forever home! The last couple of weeks of 2016 saw more progress both inside and out: the main addition is that we’ve had the new boiler and central heating pipework fitted, removing the old gas fire, back boiler and hot water tank in the process, and our lovely radiators have been delivered and are just waiting in their boxes until the walls are plastered and painted ready for them to be fitted. Continue reading “A happy new year…”

Getting stuck in…

We’ve now had the keys for two-and-a-half weeks, and it’s been a busy time, let me tell you! After finally completing on the Monday, we gave ourselves a day to breathe after the hectic moving weekend then got stuck straight in on the Tuesday – I say we, I mean the hubby, his dad and his friend. Between them, they managed to completely strip all the walls, floors and ceilings of the decades of wallpaper, carpet and lino, plus those glorious polystyrene tiles. Continue reading “Getting stuck in…”

Making the most of a tiny kitchen…

The dream cooker... the Rangemaster Elan in Royal Pearl.
The dream cooker… the Rangemaster Elan in Royal Pearl.

We’re lucky insomuch that our previous kitchen was really nothing to write home about. It’s the only room we didn’t ever touch – bar a lick of paint in preparation for selling – and it was on our to-do list for years. It’s wasn’t huge and the units were about 20 years old so had definitely seen better days, plus I’d been been living with a cooker where only two hob rings out of four work and a far-too-small integrated fridge which is prone to puddling water in the bottom. Continue reading “Making the most of a tiny kitchen…”

And we’re off…

Finally... the keys to our forever home!
Finally… the keys to our forever home!

They say moving house is one of the most stressful life experiences there is, and if the past few weeks are anything to go by, I concur. Our sale has gone pretty much without a hitch, but we’ve been hit time and time again with problems with the cottage – so much so that we really thought we’d have to drop out not once, but twice. Continue reading “And we’re off…”

The first steps…

So now this crazy idea of a house project is creeping closer to becoming a reality, the enormity of what we’ve taken on is starting to sink in. As far as I’m concerned, the house is definitely not habitable in its current state. No way, no how, no chance.

Which means we won’t be able to move in straight away. Not least of all because it needs a full rewire and central heating system installed first. Those are the very first jobs, and the plan is to get the electrician and the gas fitters in as soon as we have the keys.  Continue reading “The first steps…”

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