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15 things I wish I’d known before I renovated my house

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the right location; we calculated that building into the side return and extending at the back meant we could make it big enough for our needs (we have three children); and, crucially, it was within budget, so we took the plunge, and embarked on a hefty renovation project.We had to do everything; and I mean everything.

Rewire, replumb, build, lay floors, add walls and doors, work out exactly where we wanted all the light switches to go. Also, we were on a budget – as much as I would have loved to call in a top-end architect and interior designer to oversee the whole thing, sadly that wasn’t an option.A year and a half later, and we’re finally in – marriage surprisingly intact, finances gradually recovering.

Would I do it again? Ask me in 10 years. In the meantime, here’s what I learnt.Right at the outset of the process, I signed up an architect friend, who has exquisite taste (Olivia Gordon) to do me a set of drawings for the house, with the idea that we’d then employ a builder to execute the work.

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