Renovations fast forward

Friday, 12 February 2016

I admire how some bloggers buy a fixer upper and then spend an amazing amount of time and energy doing all the renovations themselves. Learning how to tile, do electrical, rebuild whole parts of their houses via youtube. All the while, holding down a full time job and being generally super stylish all over the interweb…

Let me spare you the suspense. I am clearly not one those super humans ! Nor do I want to put undue pressure on myself in becoming one. I have exactly zero interest (or patience) in acquiring certain skills. Calling in the pros and having the job done in a minimum amount of time and a maximum amount of quality and perfectionism - that is my preferred way of tackling a building job.

So if you’re looking for blog content about grueling house renovations - move along ! The best I can offer you is this post, because, as mentioned in my previous missive, when I bought my new home it was pretty much in tip top condition. And that is just fine by me.

As you can see, the previous owner had already spared no expense doing a really good quality renovation. All the electricity had been redone and was up to code. The walls had been newly plastered and painted. The bathroom is brand new. She installed double glazing in the original front windows. She even hired a specialist to restore the “art nouveau” glass insets. And she paid special attention to maintaining all the original 19th century features that give this apartment it’s special charm (floors, doors, mouldings and mantles are all original).

I mean look at these pictures. It was all pretty much move in ready…

Remember these are only the “before” pics, right ? Right !

So what did I really have to change here, you’re probably wondering ?! Well. Some things had to go for purely esthetical reasons. Blue and beige wall colours ? Not my thing. The bathroom and kitchen sinks ? Not my taste either…Having a surround build around the circuit breaker panel in the bedroom ? That goes without saying.

Other jobs - like extra insulation on the exterior bathroom walls - were however a real necessity. So was having the wooden floors sealed - with an extra mat finish (!). Because you know, when you live with an unruly cat herd who loves to wee, puke and occasionally poo where they’re not supposed to… you enjoy having floors that are easy to clean and do not stain… New gas and water line in the kitchen ? Also a must have.

Removing the double doors from the front room (the ones going out to the building hall) and rebuilding the wall ? That was partly done for practical reasons (less noise and more energy efficiency) and aesthetics as well. Otherwise I wouldn’t have had a large wall in that room against which to place furniture, decor and plants.

For documentation sake, here's a few pics of the whole process.

I’m proud to announce : none of the above I did myself ! Yes, I hired a building company to do all the heavy lifting for me. And like I said, that is just fine by me. I’m very pleased with the job they’ve done. If you’re in the Brussels region and in need of a serious builder, do contact BBCS sprl. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Now that the boring (renovation) stuff is out of the way, let’s move on to the fun bits, shall we ?


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