Down to business, what have we done so far? Had lots of quotes from lots of people. Like a whole month of quote gathering and site visits for those first jobs. Annoying but necessary and worth it in the long run to find both good value, and a tradesperson for each task whom you’re happy to work with. You're going to be spending a lot of time together!
Pretty much the whole of nine acres was just open space with perimeter fencing. We chose to divide into approximately ten paddocks, fenced with wooden posts and thick white electric tape. We paid a local farmer to bring his tractor and bang in the fence posts whilst we drilled in the insulators and fed through the tape. In hindsight if I did it again I might choose electric rope because it doesn’t take much to make it stretch and then sag, but I chose tape as it would break under pressure rather than break a horse, so swings and roundabouts really. We also bought water troughs and pipe, and had them put into each field so we have ten good sized paddocks, fenced and troughed.
We had to work around a footpath which runs through the land; we got in touch with the local ranger who showed us a map of where the footpath ran and he advised us we needed to leave a 2m wide walkway for the path which we have done, and will be adding stock fencing to ensure people’s dogs don’t get in with the horses. Sorted.
Back inside, we are in full on building site mode. I’m delighted to say that we now have heating and hot water, courtesy of a brand new central heating installation. This is a big bonus for me especially. #GrumpyWhenCold.
A big job but well worth it and Andover Gas & Water were brilliant – credit where it’s due.
The electrics are also being completely overhauled and rewired, and we’re part way through having the roof done by CH Roofing (also brilliant) including all the guttering, soffits and fascias and rebuilding the dormers which were poorly built, and not just pi**ed but frankly blind drunk. See exhibit A on the left!
Upstairs we currently have a nice sheet of plastic covering one window which is a particularly nice touch, I think! We have ordered new windows and doors from KJM for the whole property however, so they should be coming soon. Very excited to replace these old, ugly crittal windows which do nothing to keep heat in and are a complete eyesore. We’re having a bit of building work done too, just for good measure, to improve the look of the windows and the old tiled window sills – very 60s and not a good look. Once the roofing, building and windows are complete this should give the whole house a complete facelift – very much looking forward to seeing the end result.
My other half Wayne has been taking the mick because I’ve insisted on hanging new pictures and buying new rugs which admittedly do look a tad out of place in the current context of the house, but it’s helping me to see the bigger picture and see through the chaos to the end result. So I stand by my decision, even if it looks slightly ludicrous! Pinterest has also been my saviour, helping me to choose colour schemes, looks and styles and generally not lose the will to live. Check out my boards to see the look we'll be going for...eventually!
We’ve had a few quotes for replacing the stables and installing an arena with some more to come, but the arena will be for next year after we’ve (hopefully!) been granted planning permission, with the stables more of a priority for winter. The jobs in progress are all a bit boring at the moment, but I’ll fill you on the good stuff as and when it happens – like when it stops being complete destruction and starts to become construction! Meanwhile, a few pics below of the story so far.