I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, I tend to find I set myself up to fail with them. I’m like, I’ll join a gym and yet by the second week of January I’ve already missed 3 sessions. Before I know it I’m beating myself up that I didn’t stick to my gins (should read guns but the one thing I can stick to is gin so I left it there) and never go to the gym again! The same goes for the year I decided to lose weight! I joined a well known slimming club and actually put weight on! How does that even happen? I did everything by the book and once again, failed in my resolution attempt. So now rather than set myself up to fail I have more of a wish list.
FERNLEIGH, FEELING A LITTLE UNLOVED AND FORLORN
I write down everything I’d like to achieve and I add to it and sometimes remove things too throughout the year. So with February’s arrival here’s my (mulled over, contemplated, procrastinated) 2019 DIY Wish List. Yes I have personal goals too but I’m sure you don’t want to hear about those. Ok, so I’m not greedy, this isn’t about how much I can spend on the house within 365 days. It’s a more a basis from which to start, a dream. And once you have the foundation of an idea it usually grows wings and flies with a bit of compromise here and there.
To be honest my house has stagnated somewhat for a few years now. What with trying to keep our business afloat, it failing (along with the mental trauma that entails) plus trying to keep 2 autistic teenagers mentally fit and well has taken it’s toll. I mean decorating the house isn’t your number one priority when you’re just trying to keep your head above water. So this year is all about getting back in touch with my creativity. Getting my interior mojo back on so to speak. And most of all being kind to myself.
OUR BEAUTIFUL AND YET CRUMBLING WALL
The problem with old houses as many of you know is that there is always something that needs doing. I never actually get to the end of my ‘to do’ list before I add new jobs to it. After living in this house for 22 years now, you can imagine just how many times the same jobs have been done over and over again. Obviously not the big things like re roofing thankfully! I really don’t want to go through that again! So I suppose part of my wish list isn’t actually wishful thinking. Part of the list is to take care of the bones of the house. After all there’s no point having a beautifully decorated rooms if parts of the house are falling to pieces. And that’s why this post is part 1 because it’s the necessities!
So firstly let’s get the boring bits out of the way, the bits that cannot wait any longer. The bits that I keep burying my head in sand about. The bits that are going to cost the money that you would rather buy a new sofa with or go on holiday. But I fear if I don’t get these DIY jobs done this year they are going to cost me so much more in the long run. Not only in terms of pennies but that of time too! And although none of them are particularly enjoyable jobs most will add to the house kerb appeal as quite a lot of work is outside. Phew, at least I can let myself off until the summer to crack on with them.
RE POINTING THE WALLED GARDEN – PART OF MY 2019 WISH LIST
One of the things I loved about our house when we first viewed it is the walled garden. The Victorian wall runs the whole way around the house. It’s a good old fashioned stone wall and it truly is stunning. Sadly though the last few winters have taken their toll on it. Water has got into the mortar and with each years frost more and more chunks have fallen out. I did manage to repoint one side of one wall last year but if you factor in that there are four walls and 2 sides for each wall I still have another 7 to go! The wall is held together with lime mortar which is breathable and more flexible than cement. I’m so looking forward to sharing a ‘how to’ on use it with you later this year. (Completed July 2019, here’s the ‘how to‘)
Once that’s out of the way I’m also going to have to do something with our driveway. The whole front of the house is block paved. It was one of the first things we did with the house when we moved in. We live on an A road with double yellow lines on both sides so off road parking was an absolute must. Yes, we lost our front garden. But it was a necessary evil because parking spaces around here are rarer than rocking horse shit! But it turns out that after being laid for around 20 years the blocks start to move around. With that in mind a few places need lifting and bedding down properly again. The whole things needs jet washing too. Mind you that is so not a chore, I love jet washing. It then needs the joints re sanding and sealing. Phew I’m exhausted just talking about it! (Update!! Operation save the drive – completed April 2019)
OMG!!! JUST LOOK AT THAT DRIVE! ZERO KERB APPEAL – ITS SO ON MY 2019 WISH LIST
Once those jobs are out of the way it time to crack on with the actual house. We have developed a leak in the dining room from the bay window. Its not huge but enough to have caused part of the plaster to blow. This one will be a job for a professional though as the lead flashing on the roof above the window I think is causing the issue. Another job for a professional is the chimney stacks! We are lucky enough to have all the original fireplaces in the house but with that comes 3 chimneys. All three are due a lick of paint and some minor repairs too. And I am sooo not good with heights and know my limitations!
Next on the list is fixing the flat roof. Our house was built in 1896 and was originally L shaped. The house was made square in the 1920’s though with a two story extension. Rather than create a whole new roof though the extension has a flat roof. We’ve already replaced this once but I noticed over the winter that the soffit board on one side has grown a rather large hole. Before the damage gets any worse it needs replacing. Yet another job for a professional. And another high up job, so it’s starting to look as though we’re going to need some scaffolding too.
We’ve also had a knock on the door from Western Power to say that the electricity cable that supplies our home is too low. The area we live in is all old properties and our electricity supply is above ground on telegraph poles. After 20 odd years some bureaucrat has decided that the minimum height of the cables across roads should be raised. So now one by one the whole street has to have our cables moved underground. Actually it will make our road more attractive without all the cables. And the house will look better without it attaching to our roof. But it’s another to do because that part of the house will then need repainting!
EVEN THE DOWNSTAIRS SASHES NEED A LICK OF PAINT LET ALONE THE ROT IN THE UPSTAIRS ONES
Which brings me to the next thing on the list. The outside of our house was last painted around 10 years ago. It’s looking forlorn to say the least. The decorative wooden eves are showing signs of damage in places and the upstairs sash windows are in dire need of attention. The downstairs windows I thankfully repaired last year. Along with the upstairs loo window, don’t ask!. But that still leaves another 8 requiring some TLC. So the whole exterior of the house is up for a repaint. And it’s rendered too so it’s not just the woodwork, we’re talking the whole damn thing!
Oh god, I really should not have started to write this! Other jobs are springing to mind too. The whole back garden needs a revamp. Believe me when I say you will never, ever see my garden on my Instagram feed! Or here for that matter in its current state. It looks like the Clampits meets Stig Of The Dump! And then the outhouses are in dire need of reroofing too. Our house was owned by a vet in the 20’s who built consulting rooms at the back of the house. They really are a bit spit and sawdust and it’s about time they were tidied up. I dream that one day they will become my kitchen complete with island and a sofa. Though I’m not holding my breath. After 22 years I’d be quite blue in the face by now!!
So there you have it! Part 1 of my wish list for 2019. I may have bitten off more than I can chew so I’m going to have to prioritise a tad. How about you? Have you got big plans or some necessary evils like me on your 2019 wish list? I’d love to hear your plans. Why not leave me a comment below, I always love receiving them. And is you enjoyed this post try reading Part 2 all about my decorating goals for 2019.