Looking back on last year I feel that we did a lot of small rather than big projects around the house, such as fitting the new wood burner and giving the pool room a face-lift. We did a lot of painting last year—and I mean a lot of painting. We did have to put a brand new roof on when we found out that there was an extensive amount of damp and rotten beams, but this wasn’t a planned project that we had much of a hand in.
This year we’re getting a little bit ambitious! We’ve got FIVE big projects that we’re doing around the house:
1) Brand new windows and doors in certain parts of the house
Some of our windows and doors have seen much better days! It’s not obvious from the photos at all as they look OK from afar but once you get closer you can see that the panels have come away from the door itself and some of the doors don’t close very well. This not only poses a security risk but it means that on those cold, wet and windy days, which are very common during the winter, the inside of the house has very little protection from the outside.
The same goes for some of the windows. They’re single-glazed and on some the wood has started to separate from the glass. The ones that we’re replacing them with are very similar but made from a more robust material and will help to make the house more energy efficient.
This is the first project that we have planned. We have already had the doors and windows measured and had orders put in, so they are supposed to arrive any day now. I’ll take photos of the new doors and windows when they’re fitted.
We have a bamboo bush in the garden that is absolutely relentless. It grows and grows and grows. On one hand it’s very useful because bamboo is used in vegetable gardens and has countless other uses, but on the other it is very invasive and hard to maintain. Our bamboo bush is constantly pushing through the flags, as you can see from the photo below.
We’d like to replace the bamboo bush with a fish pond and fountain but we’re still umming and erring over it. It would be a real shame to kill off the bamboo bush so this project may not even happen. UPDATE: the fish pond is now finished, click here!
3) A car port
At the bottom of the garden we’re hoping to build a car port reusing the roof tiles from the old roof.
The plan is still in the very early stages but we’re looking for a way to protect the car from UV rays and keep it cool. It would be nice to build it completely by ourselves. The next stage of this plan is to draw up some sketches and work out what materials we’d like to use.
4) Solar panels for the pool and apartment
This project has been on the cards since we bought the place. We’d like to put panels up both to heat the pool and to power the pump. One of our neighbours is an architect and he can help us with this protect and source the right panels. The panels would be raised on top of the pool room here.
The observant among you would’ve noticed that I wrote ‘Solar panels for the pool and apartment‘. YES! This is the biggest project that we are undertaking this year and it started TODAY on the 20th April 2015!
We came up with the idea last year of renovating the old part of the house and turning it into a self-enclosed apartment. We’d like to put in a new bathroom and kitchen but there is absolutely no drainage to that side of the house, so that will be the first task. We’re also going to put in brand new doors and windows, which links back to the first project at the top of the page. I’m going to do a huge post on the apartment but here is just a taster for now.
This is the outside of the apartment. I spent hours last year painting the railings on the Juliet balcony. Dad and I had to take shifts because it was so mind numbing. The walls have also been repainted white.
The photo below is where the new kitchen will be. Some new doors will let more light into the room and we’re thinking of having glass opening in the ceiling to allow more light in. The future cooker will provide heating and hot water for the whole apartment.
There is a lot more to the apartment and I don’t want to get too carried away writing about it now! I’m going to write a dedicated post for it later, so watch out for that!
So it looks like it’s going to be quite a busy year with these five big projects. I’ll keep you all up to date throughout the year on their progress. But in the meantime, the current news is that Jon and I are catching a plane to Portugal tomorrow and we can’t wait!