Creating a Comfy (and Kid-Proof) Family Home

Doing up your house? Record all the important details about your space in one spot. Grab our free room measurement worksheets now!

Framing a Closet to Fit the Ikea Algot System

Carl and I have spent a while thinking about the best way to get more storage space into the bedrooms upstairs. Like a typical English house, there aren’t any closets (save the linen closet in the hallway). Since we left our Ikea Pax wardrobes at our previous house, we have next to no storage and are starting from scratch. We’ve toyed with the idea of getting Pax wardrobes again. We liked their functionality and their height tall. They really use space effectively.…

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How We Spent our Money in October

November is halfway through and I have to confess I’ve been procrastinating on our monthly budget update. The jobs are starting to blur together, and we have family coming to visit in a week, so we’ve got noses to the grindstone in an attempt to get the boys moved into their new room before our guests arrive! Still, we are determined to stay accountable, so here is what we did in October. Jobs Done As the weather turned colder, we…

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Are you up for flipping a house?

When Carl and I bought our Victorian Terrace to do up, we really didn’t know what we were getting into. Before taking on another project, we asked ourselves several questions to make sure we were really up for it. Here are the questions you will want to answer before you commit to a major house renovation. 1. Can you live in it and, if not, can you afford to live elsewhere, even if work takes twice as long? Our first…

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How to Save Time on your House Renovation: Taking Proper Room Measurements

So you’ve bought a house. Maybe it’s something of a dump, or maybe it’s just not decorated to your taste. You’re ready to start turning it into a place to call home. You’re itching to pull up the carpet, take down the wallpaper, pick new tile for the bathroom. It all needs to be done and you want it done soon. Where do you start? In our opinion, the answer to that question is rather anticlimactic. But this step could…

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The Ultimate Guide to Removing Wallpaper with a Paper Tiger

Our house is covered in wallpaper: standard, textured, vinyl, wood chip. All the rooms. All the walls. All the ceilings, too, in fact. Since wallpaper removal was a bit hit or miss in our last house, we’ve been asking ourselves: what is the best way to remove wallpaper? The two most obvious choices are to use an adhesive remover or to steam the wallpaper off. We discussed buying a steamer, but ultimately decided to try out the adhesive remover first.…

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What You Should NOT Do When You Renovate an Old House

Four years or so ago, when Carl and I were young, innocent, and newly married, we decided it was the right time to buy a house. ‘Let’s look at this one,’ I said. It was a two-bedroom, Victorian terraced house. There were two pictures in the listing: one of the front of the house, and one of the view out of an upstairs window. That should have been a warning sign, However, it was listed at £35k below where a…

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How We Spent our Money in September

September went by so fast. While we’re anxious to start the more exciting jobs, we still had a lot of settling in to do. Long story short, our house is more functional, but still not very pretty. Jobs Done This month Carl fitted our microchip cat flap (£54.99 for the cat flap) as well as our tumble dryer (£11.99 for a vent kit). We also removed the electric fireplace and boarded it over – although that job won’t be totally finished…

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How to Find the Best Deals on eBay

I love eBay. I hate the idea of paying full-price for something when a slightly used, just-as-good option exists. Carl and I have found no end of deals on eBay. We’ve purchased furniture, my sewing machine, clothes, electronics and more. As the chief shopper of the family, I’ve honed my technique for finding deals on eBay, and I’m going to let you in on how I approach it. Go ahead, save yourself some money. 1. Search sold prices to get…

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How We Spent Our Money in August

Between moving and and all four of us coming down with an awful tummy bug, there isn’t much to report this month. Jobs Done We decided before we moved that the first priority was to board the loft. We had to create more storage space. The materials to board the loft cost £180.06 and didn’t require any new tools. Before Carl boarded the loft he spent quite a while extracting wires from underneath the insulation so they would remain accessible once…

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Fitting an Externally Vented Tumble Dryer

It is disturbing how casually Carl drills holes through external walls. He did this in our last house – to the point I was vaguely concerned the structural integrity was compromised. The house is still standing, thankfully. I’m not surprised, therefore, that Carl drilled a hole in our garage wall within a week of moving in. The hole is extremely useful, though, since we are venting our tumble dryer through it. Here’s how we went about the job. Drilling a…

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