Thursday, 16 May 2013

making our new house a home

In December of last year we finally moved to a bigger home.  After being squashed into a first floor two bed flat for almost four years we had certainly outgrown it and were fed up of being told we weren't able to be re-housed as not in need.  I had come to the conclusion that we were set to draw our pension while still in the flat, and then a miracle happened!!!! a mutual exchange with a friend of the family, who was in a three bed terrace next door but one to my husbands mum :D 

To say we were ecstatic would be an understatement, we got the ball rolling and hoped to move in by Christmas so we could spend it in our new forever home.  Now we knew that the new house needed a lot of decoration as it had been mostly been done years if not decades before.  We also new that every room apart from the kitchen, bathroom and toilet had polystyrene ceiling tiles.  Not a problem we thought "we can whip them down  - no problem!" famous last words.

What followed was Christmas in our new home with no carpets, boxes everywhere and no idea where to begin making our new house into our forever home.  But we had a great Christmas and after a bout of norovirus over new year we started to unveil the work that lay ahead of us.

My amazing husband spent almost two months working full time and then working every spare hour stripping the house and re-decorating it.  Sadly most of the prep involved scraping tiles off the ceiling which was a one man job, so my role was Chief coffee and snack maker while offering words of encouragement to Sean.

Now today all the rubbish rooms are pretty much finished and our beautiful forever home has emerged and we have never been happier, our children have a room each and a huge garden to play in whenever they like.  Next on my to do list is the kitchen and toilet then lastly the bathroom which is a slightly bigger job but will have to wait until we have saved some more pennies.

here are a few pics of before and during and will update as soon as possible with completed after pics.

those pesky tiles were everywhere!

Sean showing me how it's done

stripping off ceiling tiles is a very messy job and we are still finding bits of polystyrene around the house!
our lounge after being stripped
after coving had gone up

ceiling filled sanded and painted - see how it shines :)

here is a step by step guide on removing polystyrene ceiling tiles yourself so you can save money

  • strip the tiles off the ceiling - this is a messy job and can take a while depending on how big your room is and how well the tiles are stuck on.  We used a regular paper stripper knife the more flexible the better, as you don't want to damage the ceiling underneath.  If the tiles are very well stuck on like ours were in the lounge you may have a lot of adhesive left under the tiles.  While this can look impossible to remove it is fairly easy.
  • remove any adhesive left behind - we found the most effective way to do this was with a wallpaper stripper the steam softens the adhesive and  allows it to be removed with a scraper.  Again this can only really be done by one person as you need to use the stripper and scrape straight away, it is another messy job but it fairly quick to do.
  • sand the ceiling for a smooth finish - you may not need to do this if the adhesive mainly came away with the tiles, if however like us you have a lot of adhesive to remove then you will need to sand the area to give a nice smooth finish (remember all this will save you a lot of money on having to have the ceiling re-plastered or artexed so is worth it).  We used a normal sander and managed to get a fairly good finish.
  • fill any large crack or gouges in ceiling - normal wall filler will do the trick
  • re-sand - give the ceiling a quick sand to smooth any bumps where filler has been used
       and finally ......

  • paint the ceiling - this is by far the best part, we used a paint that smooths over cracks and was a great product.  As you can see by the last picture above the ceiling looks fab, I am glad that we did it ourselves and also that we chose silk paint as it really looks clean and new.