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ASI home renovation: an interesting start. Chapter one.

"..I turn the key in the lock, we both step in to our new home and through the dated 70s glass porch.. little did we know.."

It's April 2022 and it's completion day. The day you wait a long time for. We'd actually only waited 7.5 weeks from offer to moving in which is pretty unheard of these days, BUT we had been searching, offering, and being let down for at least 18 months prior. Anyone else loose out to multiple properties during Covid because someone offered £70k over asking price?.

Let's skip that sorrowful, stressful time and jump straight to keys day. We were so excited to get out of our north facing rental with no windows, (ok one and a door), no garden, and no ability for sun to find it's way through our tiny front window into our living room. Gone we're the last 6 months of lacking in Vitamin D, and gone we're the days of searching right move because today there is no going back, the house is officially ours and the keys are READY!

I head off into town to meet with the estate agent, and get our welcome pack. My phone has buzzed 1000 times from George asking me if I've got the goods and how long until I'll be at the house. Our excitement levels are building, we're both driving separately pedal to the metal through the country lanes making the most out of the national speed limit...

At this point we've driven over to the new area a few times so I kinda' know where i'm going, eager not to miss the signs as I whizz past in my Audi Passat G Wagon (more on that concoction later). I pull into the road and the house is within breaking distance.

I'm greeted by George who is eagerly waiting at the front door. Out I jump, keys in hand and our adrenaline is about to burst out our ears. A quick welcome home kiss on the doorstep (of course) and I turn the key in the lock. We both step in to our new home and through the dated 70s glass porch.. little did we know..

What, the f***k.

We turn to each other at the exact same time, you honestly couldn't write it (well I can). As our eyes meet, our mouths fill up and we burst out laughing in harmony.

"What the HELL have we let ourselves in for!" (Oh boy, were we about to find out).

The stench was undeniable. A perfect concoction of wet dog, stale smoke, and a number of other things that will get your gag reflex exercising.

We laugh, 'ok first things first, let's get those windows open'. We take a slow walk around the house, hands over our nose and mouth as we try not to inhale whatever was living inside the carpets and walls, opening every window possible.

When we first viewed the house (we actually only viewed it once and made an offer that day - it was perfect for us in it's old, traditional 70s style which needed bringing into the 21st century), it was cluttered to say the least. Left by an elderly man who's belongings of his entire life we're piled up in every nook and corner you could find. Walls covered with family memories of the last 90 years, and little trinkets on tables with ornaments that had been collected over their lifetime. It was really bittersweet to see everything from someones life over I think, nine decades! But, it meant that the one and only time we viewed the house, we had to take it with a pinch of salt. Luckily I can see through 'things' and was able to picture the potential...I just wasn't able to see the state of the house that was underneath.

Luckily we had around four weeks left before we needed to hand back the keys to our rental. We had initially planned to spend one-two days doing a deep clean and a food shop and move in pretty swiftly, but I think we ended up moving in almost a week later. I spent every night after work driving over to the new place to clean like I have never cleaned before, and George and I are both clean freaks (George moreso than me!) We had help from our friends and family too which was very, very, very welcomed. I'm literally shuddering at the thick grime that we had to scrape of floors and walls.

The thing we we're most grateful for though was the extremely furry, mouldy, lasagne and (not so mouldy) garlic bread that was left in the oven for us. If you didn't sense my sarcasm then, that would be just as concerning. I'm now horrified at whatever preservatives go into garlic bread to make it not naturally decay..

But despite it all, in all honesty I just couldn't get over how perfect the place was. I honestly cannot believe this is our home. Everyone tells me we're mad for taking on another project, but something feels different about this one. Maybe it's because we waited such a long time for it, and maybe it's because we've moved to a whole new area in the Suffolk countryside that I even feel like a different person in myself. This project will be a totally different ball-game to our last.

My entire life I have lived either with parents, or in areas that I grew up in or family have lived in, and it's so lovely to have found somewhere that we can make our own, bring our family and friends to and spend the next few years exploring from our new base. Whilst we've only hopped across the border (and the river) we're about 40 minutes or so from our old spot along the River Stour, and we're very excited to explore new places in Constable Country and around the Suffolk countryside.

One of my favourite feelings is heading out on a walk in the evenings, not knowing where the footpath will take me and figuring out my route. I feel like i'm constantly on holiday! (We've actually just come home from a walk on a new route and it was lovely!) I'm now sat in my living room and I know the garden bats will be flying around in no time as the sun is setting. Let me know in the comments what it is that you love!

I'm going to wrap this intro up along with a few photos of our home. We've started demolishing walls already, so make sure you follow me on Instagram if you want live updates! I'm also going to be blogging and recording the whole process as we go. I'm starting a newsletter too where I'll share lots of action steps in info for anyone else looking to renovate or embarking on the same journey, so definitely sign up to that if you're after renovation tips and behind the scenes!


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