In which we show you our DIY jobs
Our 16th Century home is in need of quite a bit of work to make it slightly more homely than it currently is. This film is a virtual tour of the work we need to do both in the house and the garden.
We rent part of this 16th century grade 2 star listed farmhouse.
Manor call it what you will in the Welsh countryside. It’s a whacking great big house the majority of which is in such a poor state of repair that it’s uninhabitable. The upside for us is that it makes it affordable to rent.
We don’t have access to all of it however and with good reason. Until they were recently repaired there have been holes in the roof for at least the last twenty years. As you can imagine, that’s had a devastating effect on that part of the building.
The bit we live in
It has luckily faired better and being the only part of the building with a sound ish roof and central heating, its floors and ceilings are intact. It does have gaps around the doors and windows. In fact the kitchen door has such a big gap under it that we have known small birds to come in through it.
There are a fair number of rotten windowsills and a lot of paintwork in need of work, as well a number of other jobs. So we thought we would take you on a tour of the house and the jobs that we will be doing over the coming months both in the house and the garden.
As we undertake the herculean task of sorting out all these imperfections we will be filming our progress and regularly uploading films for you to watch.
We will start our tour with the front door. This has a big gap at the top that for the time being is covered with this piece of wood I found in one of the sheds. The plan here is to plane and sand this, then strip the old paint off the door and repaint it. We believe that it was originally painted a different colour, which we may go back to. The interior of the porch here could do with a bit of TLC so that will get a coat or two of paint as well.
Fortunately the hallway doesn’t need any major restoration. We just need to pull out the nails used to hang pictures, make good the holes they left behind and give it all a nice coat of paint. The nails in the walls are going to become a bit of a theme.
Coming off the hallway to our right is the living room. This door could certainly do with a bit of attention. The frame needs stripping and repainting while the door is not too bad but could do with a little work to cover up these scuff marks.
The walls certainly need painting. It’s surprising how you can ignore quite large imperfections when walls are this big. Up close you tend to notice the big black marks, the cracks and the staining from when the house got damp while it was unoccupied.
Oh yes, before we moved in, the house stood empty for what we think is at least a year, maybe two. That has taken its toll as it obviously got quite damp.
The window frames are definitely in need of stripping, filling and repainting, both inside and out.
This enormous fireplace is crying out to have something done to it. The paint around the wood burner is blackened and flaking while the paintwork around the chimneybreast is going to need redoing when all the nails and screws protruding from it have been removed.
The skirting boards need painting in some places, replacing in others where they are rotten, and are completely missing in other areas.
The ceiling has a number of quite big cracks, which will need filling. Then the whole ceiling can be painted. We also need to do something about lampshades, as in, get some.
The kitchen is another huge room that needs repainting. The wall behind the cooker is stained. The cupboard doors don’t quite match and the drawer fronts have a tendency of falling off from time to time. This large window needs repainting and as for the door going outside, that needs quite a bit of attention. Firstly there is the big gap at the bottom. Then there are the rising butt hinges that have become so worn that they no longer rise. This is why the door catches on the floor and knocks bits off, creating the gap. So it’s probably a case of replacing the hinges.
This is the downstairs WC and as you can probably see the walls have been stained, partly I would imagine as a result of dampness, and then quite high up there are these brown streaks. I have no idea what caused that and at this point in my life I think I could do without knowing. There are again the obligatory nails in the walls, a number of cracks, these screw holes where the waste pipe and water pipes from above are boxed in, and then there is the sink, which is coming away from the wall. All these things could do with sorting. The other thing is that it’s painted this ghastly yellow colour. Jo likes it. I don’t.
This again is in need of repainting. Some of the stair spindles need refitting and we need to find replacements for the missing ones. This downstairs window needs a lot of work as does the one on the landing above. Quite possibly dismantling and reassembling.
On the first floor we have the bathroom, which as you can see is a very good size. It really needs painting as it has dark staining on the ceiling, which I’m going to guess is due to mildew or mould. Then there are the walls. Yet again we have a really horrible yellow colour. It’s just not nice. The airing cupboard needs painting because it wasn’t done overly well originally and there are some unpleasant looking stains on it. The window is in need of stripping down and repainting and hopefully we will be able to do something about these bath panels.
This is the landing. Again a lick of paint on the walls, ceiling, doors and window should have this looking lovely. There are also a few places where the floorboards need looking at as there are terrible creaks and there appears to be a hole under the carpet.
This is the bedroom, which is mostly fine. We need to sort out the holes in the wall around the window where the old curtain rail fell down. We also need to have a good look at this window. Some of it needs quite a bit of work as it has suffered a fair amount of rot. It’s also going to need to be stripped and repainted as does the door.
This room was once a bedroom but we use it as an office come edit suite. This is where all the magic happens that goes in to making our films. At the moment however it is largely purple. That’s not ideal. Again the floorboards creak like crazy and the window has a big gap around it.
This is another room that is mostly OK. I’m sure we could smarten it up a bit. We use this room as a studio when we need to film inside. I’m not sure if you can see this, but the floor dips quite dramatically in the middle. It really is quite something. Part of the fun of living in a really old house.
As you can see the garden varies from being OK to being practically a field. We have already started dealing with the field area as you can see in some of our previous films. As to the rest of the garden, the aim is to get it under control. We plan to weed the flowerbeds, get rid of the brambles up on the bank here, and strim this area, get rid of the raised ants nests and turn it into a lawn. It’s a lot of work but we will get there.
The house comes with three sheds. These also need a bit of work. Currently this one is, sort of the workshop. Only because it has a workbench. It does however have the worst roof of the three. What I plan on doing is emptying the second shed of the rubble that it’s currently storing, who knows why, and moving our canoes from the third shed into the second and then turning the third shed, which has a partially decked floor into the workshop.
We just need to do something to stop the bats from pooping on everything. We will of course take some expert advice as to what we can do, but I suspect that they will suggest either stopping their access through the gable ends of the shed or putting up a ceiling to catch the poop. The problem with bats is that some species are protected meaning that you can’t disturb them. Fortunately this shed is only used as a maternity roost during the summer so whatever we do can be done over the winter without disturbing any bats. There is also a small leak in the roof that could do with repairing.
On top of all this
We plan on doing some interesting restoration jobs on some pieces of furniture as well as an old sailing dinghy, so there will be plenty for us to make films of for your enjoyment.
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