Pep talk needed

For discussions about topics related to Period Property in the UK

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george2019
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon 18th Feb, 2019 4:25 pm

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by george2019 » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 10:09 am

Have to say, moving to a static caravan helped me massively. £5.5k well spent.

Now I'm back in, not sure what to do with it!

It's a long road. Take breaks.

The only way to eat an elephant is one mouthful at a time.

Cubist
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu 24th May, 2018 3:53 pm
Location: Shropshire/Herefordshire Border

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Cubist » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 10:10 am

I don't recall who first said it but Lou Gerstner used these words to describe how to take on and complete the biggest challenges - "When trying to eat an elephant its best to proceed one bite at a time".

I have sometimes thought/felt though that restoring and maintaining a Period Property can be more closely likened to trying to eat a herd of elephants whilst they are engaged in a musk fuelled rampage; the affects on a home can be rather similar to entropy and/or those of us who cannot work out which is the business end of a hammer.

Whilst our place was not the mammoth task of the kind that others have faced off to, it did require some fairly extensive repair, maintenance and enhancement. Nevertheless we decided to take the 'elephant' approach - not least because we knew that over time our ideas were likely to evolve and the end result may be considerably different to the original ideas. Some old Index Cards were pressed into service, one for each room in the place - plus a couple of extras for outdoors - to provide focus and aid that evolution by being prominently displayed on a cork-board. In the years since we have tracked our progress by crossing out the completed 'ToDo' items but never removing the card from the board. These serve as occasional reminders of just how much we've done with the place and will be, we hope, an interesting record to hand over to a future owner of the place.

Given the magnitude of the challenges that some of us take on its unsurprising that sometimes spirits will flag and a little encouragement is needed. In this regard I am minded of a line delivered by Robert DeNiro in the movie '15 Minutes'. I won't are you with details of the scene but the line went "...sometimes you have to go away so you can come back".

As others have suggested in their replies - take the time to sit back and bask in your achievements and/or go and do something completely different for a while.

Grab a beer or G&T and put your feet up - the house and its challenges will still be there when you get back - unless of course those rampaging pachyderms have paid a visit. :twisted:

DaisyDaisy
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon 4th Jan, 2021 2:40 pm
Location: Powys

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by DaisyDaisy » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 10:33 am

I’m now very much warming to the idea of breaks being an important part of the process......

Feltwell
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Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Feltwell » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 5:00 pm

DaisyDaisy wrote:
Mon 7th Jun, 2021 8:54 am
We’ve opted for the aluminium thermally broken powder coated - really narrow frame which was the clincher.
Ooo - do let me know which system and installer you went for.

As with all PP jobs, it's in a chain. Our totally knackered patio badly needs doing, but better to get all the building works on the back of the house done first. That means putting steels in and taking a section of (non-original) wall out to put 2 sets of French doors in. Which will mean replacing the knackered back door & frame at the same time to match. Which means taking big lumps of plaster out in the hallway and ruining the decoration, so more to do there. Whilst I'm taking large bits of brickwork out, right time to get rid of the horrible 1980's casement in the kitchen and put a sash back in, which means getting a new stone cill cut and lots of brickwork to get it in, and which will disturb the tiles in the kitchen. And whilst the patio is up the drains under it need sorting........... Arrggghhhh!

pip&mims
Posts: 494
Joined: Thu 22nd Sep, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stunning South West Wales

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by pip&mims » Mon 7th Jun, 2021 5:45 pm

Your new windows sound like they'll be fabulous :D I really miss the 20+ Crittall doors and windows we had at our last house.

I agree with everyone else that the occasional break definitely makes a difference - not that we've acted on that advice ourselves, lol!

We're three years into our downsize project (a small former mill in Carmarthenshire) and are still surrounded by boxes, although we took the last of our stuff out of storage towards the end of year one. We are also doing virtually everything ourselves which of course takes far longer, but saves some pennies! My DH (Pip) works full time too - in fact two years ago he started his own small renovations/project management business with landscape gardening as a sideline, lol - so often it's down to me to get the tedious bits done during the week.

Ours began with a borehole as amusingly for a mill, there was no longer a water supply to the property which was purchased as a repossession. Whilst we did concentrate on the obvious things first (borehole, new boiler, rewire, wall removal/insertion of steels, fitting wood burning stoves etc), we also made a point of creating a relaxing oasis in the garden so that during the first hard slog of a year we had somewhere pretty to sit/have BBQs when we had no cooking facilities indoors other than a microwave and two ring portable hob :wink:

Btw, I definitely think the idea most people have of leaving the outside space till last on a project - unless it is affected by adjacent building work - is a mistake. Far better to have a lovely, mature garden by the time the house is done than to have to wait to start on that at the end, imho!

In addition, we ensured that the first rooms tackled were not just the imperative kitchen, but a bedroom and a cosy snug so that by the time the shorter days came around we had a cosy place to sit inside and somewhere welcoming to sleep....

Our fairly extensive garden is now looking established - a far cry from the barren, weed-infested landscape we inherited that the estate agent described as "magical" :lol: I suppose that for us, spending time out there is a break of sorts :wink:

I'm another inveterate list maker and love ticking off jobs completed, although have to admit that's a rarity! We do try to set ourselves projects for each year - inside and out, so this year's have been 1) finish reconfiguring the upstairs layout and 2) create a Sissinghurst inspired white bed in the garden with 3) to be knocking the snug through into an existing extension. Most year's projects run over though.

Hopefully for us 2022 will see majority of the house finished (although that involves two "extensions" and repointing the exterior in lime so might not all get done), but the gardens will never be complete as we consider working on these to be an ongoing, enjoyable pastime :D

Enjoy your break and come back refreshed!

Mims x

plasticpigeon
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed 4th Jan, 2012 1:30 am
Location: Birmingham

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by plasticpigeon » Tue 8th Jun, 2021 12:02 pm

I think bursts of activity are a good idea, and as Mims said, one nice room to relax in is important. Trying to do everything at once can be very stressful, but it works for some people. Another thing I have witnessed and may well be the case for me too, is that people often get 80% of the way there, enjoy their home in an almost finished state and then finish it off when moving is on the cards. Don't know why, must be some nearly universal human characteristic.

Feltwell
Posts: 5810
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Feltwell » Tue 8th Jun, 2021 4:35 pm

plasticpigeon wrote:
Tue 8th Jun, 2021 12:02 pm
Another thing I have witnessed and may well be the case for me too, is that people often get 80% of the way there, enjoy their home in an almost finished state and then finish it off when moving is on the cards. Don't know why, must be some nearly universal human characteristic.
Yep, been there, done that. My last house, the artex ceilings got skimmed over and the rooms re-decorated *after* we'd moved out into a rental (200 miles away!). At the same time my middle child was born - we moved when he was 5 days old. Nothing like doing it the easy way eh? :lol:

plasticpigeon
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed 4th Jan, 2012 1:30 am
Location: Birmingham

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by plasticpigeon » Tue 8th Jun, 2021 10:51 pm

Feltwell wrote:
Tue 8th Jun, 2021 4:35 pm

Yep, been there, done that. My last house, the artex ceilings got skimmed over and the rooms re-decorated *after* we'd moved out into a rental (200 miles away!). At the same time my middle child was born - we moved when he was 5 days old. Nothing like doing it the easy way eh? :lol:
I'm certain that brick and plaster dust are the most potent fertility drugs know to humankind.

Lacan07
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 15th Apr, 2021 5:11 pm

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Lacan07 » Fri 11th Jun, 2021 7:51 am

I can relate to much of whats been said here, and I'm doing my renovation on my own which I knew was going to be extra tricky when I purchased the house.

Last Friday the sewer drain got blocked somewhere over the road and it backed up, its a combined sewer taking rain from my back roof and it rained all day. Last January I installed a new soil pipe at the back of the house so I'd had the man hole off, a very hefty chunk of York stone, which probably meant there was no 'seal' of dirt built up over time so the sewer material spewed out the new gaps and into the gully I'd dug against the house to take the pressure of the flint damp course. It then went through my brand new air bricks and under the house.

I must admit that broke me a little bit.

DaisyDaisy
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon 4th Jan, 2021 2:40 pm
Location: Powys

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by DaisyDaisy » Fri 11th Jun, 2021 10:29 pm

Oh Lacan, that must have felt just too much. I’m sorry. On a technical front I’ve no idea what to say, but just as a person and fellow renovator I’m sending you all the strength you need to cope.

Daisy

Lacan07
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu 15th Apr, 2021 5:11 pm

Re: Pep talk needed

Post by Lacan07 » Sat 12th Jun, 2021 9:37 pm

DaisyDaisy wrote:
Fri 11th Jun, 2021 10:29 pm
Oh Lacan, that must have felt just too much. I’m sorry. On a technical front I’ve no idea what to say, but just as a person and fellow renovator I’m sending you all the strength you need to cope.

Daisy
Thanks Daisy, it helps to share with people who know what its like to renovate an old house. None of my friends or family could really understand the disappointment.

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