Complete Victorian Terrace Refurb - sonos - 5.1


Well-known Member
Having spent the last 13.5 months completely renovating our first house I thought I would post it up for you all to see.

I'm sure I'll get a fair bit of grief for the TV set-up as its a 5 year old 32" and the speakers are not correctly matched etc etc. But its all using equipment I already had (apart from the ceiling speakers) and bits may be upgraded but at the moment the only thing I'd prefer is a bigger TV but not having money to throw around it shall be staying as is for the foreseeable.

As I said this is our first house and I've always been keen on a do-er-upper. We looked at a number of different types of properties most of them in a reasonable state of repair and nothing we particularly liked cropped up until this one came onto the market. It had damp, mould, wiring that didn't work, a boiler we were afraid to touch and everything in the entire house was stained orange with nicotine. But the layout, location, size and 'feel' of the property we loved and we could imagine it once it had been done up as being a really nice, bright, practical and homely house for us. And being in the state it was with everything needing done to it we could put light/sockets/radiators/switches everything basically where we wanted it and with what we wanted.

We couldn't live here for the first 5 months due to lack of electricity, plumbing and light so we spent most evenings and every weekend trying to get it to a state where we could move in and stop paying rent on our flat.

We've tried to do everything we can do ourselves but have had trades in for the electricity, central heating, plastering, kitchen fit and the new concrete floor in the kitchen. To be honest the worst bit of the job has been the tradesmen with the plasters pulling out of the job on the morning they were meant to come putting us 5 weeks behind before anyone else was able to come, the plumber has been a hassle and kitchen fitter tried to double his written quote so they haven't made the process particularly easy. I'm glad we were able to do so much ourselves and at least then you can rely on the job being done and the work being good. The building industry seems to us to be a case of trust nobody and if you want it done do it yourself!

So moving on and I'll start with the last job which was the Kitchen. This was by far the most habitable room in the house but there was a massive lack of units the ceiling was soggy with a leak there had been in the bathroom and although we used it for 10months once we had done the rest of the house it was obvious it need completely ripping out and starting again.

The kitchen was the only "nightmare" we had in terms of having to do work we weren't expecting to. The plaster at the base of the walls was very mouldy and covered in effervescence which we initially had assumed being due to the house being locked up for a number of months. However when I began to take up the appallingly laid floor tiles and chipping off the adhesive underneath I discover that they had been laid straight onto the original Victorian quarry tiles which were in place laid straight onto bare earth with no damp proof membrane. Because the new floor tiles were not porous like the quarry tiles they were trapping moisture in the floor and forcing it up the walls. The new tiles had also raised the floor to such an extent that the damp proof course in the walls had been bridged. So if was off with all the plaster below 1m in the room and up with the floor and soil so that a new concrete floor with DPM and insulation could be laid before it put down some new travertine tiles.

The Kitchen as it was

We had the ceiling plastered, recessed downlights fitted and I put in 2 monitor audio CPC radius ceiling speakers hooked up to a Sonos ZP100 in the control centre under the stairs. Then about 7 months later we ripped the kitchen out meaning it looked like this

Digging the floor out

Hardcore and 100mm insulation down, render chipped off the walls

Concrete freshly poured

concrete curing

Walls plastered, floor tiled, everything painted and kitchen in

We don't have a utility so all appliances (except for fridge/freezer which is under a bulkhead) are integrated



Next up living and dining rooms
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Looking superb!

It sounds like you had a rough ride with the trades...


Active Member
Great work i love the finish of the kitchen and if its anything to go by then the rest of the house will be amazing. Sorry to hear about your troubles with tradesmen, its a real shame when things like that happen because they give everyone a bad name. I know phil's in the trade and i am too and i'm sure he will agree with me that there really are some great, talented and trustworthy tradesmen out there it seems to be a case of them being over shaddowed by the bad ones! Part of the reason why i started my own business was because i didnt like the way some building firms/tradesmen dealt with their clients being unreliable etc and the way they did things to keep costs down. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the house.



Well-known Member
Hallway appeared to have been fairly recently redecorated in the worst possible taste with textured wallpaper, woodchip ceiling, yellow painted woodwork and pink skirting and carpet. Nice!

So that all had to go, our electrician liked my idea of stairlighting (so much infact that he offered to throw the labour for them in for free) and who am I to resist!

Hall as it was

Wallpaper off, flooring up, ceiling overboarded and all walls and ceiling skimmed. (I forgot to take a pic before we had it skimmed)

Everything painted, hall floor tiled, ready for the carpet fitter



Well-known Member
Dining room as it was. Marvel if you will at the nicotine staining to all walls and ceilings, messy bodged skirting, radiator pipes on the wall, horrible 70's doors, rubbish shelving and peeling wallpaper

Everything stripped back, wiring chased in, radiator pipes chased in, holes in the ceiling for speakers (run off B channel from my amp in lounge)

Plastered, painted, carpeted, skirting boards on, new doors hung, ceiling speakers in, port decanted

New bookshelf made and a sneak peak through to the lounge...

The lounge as it was, loooovely 70's gas fire and brickwork, the worlds longest radiator, and a nice damp corner where the gutter had been leaking

Again everything ripped back, gutter was fixed (1st thing we did) old fire capped and removed along with brickwork, lots of holes in the lathe and plaster ceiling for downlights and ceiling speakers. You can just see to the bottom right cabling for the home cinema - Cat 5e, Coaxial for TV, 4x power sockets, cabling for B speakers in dining, cabling for surround sound ceiling speakers and 2x subwoofer cable runs under the floor so that it can be sighted to the left of the chimney breast or in the left hand corner out of shot. We did want to put in a fire of some sorts, either a log burner or a highly efficient gas fire but the cost of having the chimney lined or flu'd was quoted at over £2000 alone which wasn't something we could justify really

This room all finished (apart from something to go on the wall on the left). Shelves for AV alcove I made by cutting up the ikea rack we had in our old flat and making 'floating' brackets for them. Ceiling speakers are downlight sized Kef Ci50R's which perform pretty well as rears. Obviously the provide almost no lower frequencies but that all handled by the sub just out of shot in the bottom left hand corner. Also got a Sonos ZP90 connected into my amp here.

Before from the other side of the room

and after...


Well-known Member
Next up and probably our favourite room or at least our favourite transformation.

For a 2 bed house this is a massive bathroom but the space had been utilised appallingly without even a shower.

As we had a combi boiler fitted we were able to knock out the hot water tank, meaning we had loads of space for a bath across the back wall

Ceiling overboarded and room skimmed, wiring for mirror put it plumbing sorted and sink unity fitted. The boards are 20mm Marmox waterproof insulation boards and a preformed shower tray as we didn't want an actual shower tray and we wanted to put down UFH

Bath boxed in and shower area walls and floor boarded out and UFH mat laid ready for tiling.




Well-known Member
Bedrooms aren't particularly exciting but they were all re-plastered re-wired etc. Still a little bit of finishing off to do but hey ho.




In here I've got a pair of Monitor Audi CPC BR's hooked up to another ZP100 under the bed. The TV has an audio out running into the sonos which plays automatically when they TV is turned on. We really need a new bed and bedside table as they look a bit naff but we may just paint them. Wardrobes are on the right out of shot.

The TV also has an HDMI running from the AV position in the lounge so that we can watch a blu-ray up here if we want to (the controller still works as this room is directly above the lounge)

Overall its been alot of hard work and we haven't had a life for the past year or so as we both work full time aswell. The end result we're pretty happy with though and we're looking forward to now getting to enjoy it.

Thanks for looking
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Active Member
That is an amazing transformation, you might have spent a lot of time on doing it up but in the end its worth it and you can now enjoy it :thumbsup:

Deleted member 92943

What colour paint have you used on your 2nd bedroom? It's like a very pale chocolate?

Awesome transformation

Richard Fenn

Active Member
Very nice! Gorgeous bathroom! Now is the time to enjoy your new home as it's obvious you've worked really hard. Sorry to hear about the tradesmen :-( but you're there now so enjoy :)


Active Member
What a transformation... you must be so proud!


Distinguished Member
Spectacular. An amazing transformation and right up there with the best make-overs on here, regardless of the hifi/av kit.


Novice Member
What a transformation, very nicely done. realy incredible, i think it looks great :clap:.

Greetz Richie


Active Member
Absolutely top quality re-furb every room looks great!

Can I ask what material the worktop in your kitchen is and have you any links to where it came from?

Regards nexus04


Distinguished Member
Love what you've done mate. Could you please list all the colours you have used and also where did you get the carpet from?



Distinguished Member

Its funny, iv always said when I could afford my own house Id love a project like this, but whilst id be happy to do the work, frankly I dont think I have the creativity to get such a clean finish.

How did you go about seemingly getting the rooms looking just so "right" first time around?!?

Really impressive work, congrats :)


Distinguished Member
Looks like a show home. Absolutely amazing.


Well-known Member
What colour paint have you used on your 2nd bedroom? It's like a very pale chocolate?

Awesome transformation

Pale chocolate indeed, its quite good at picking up the purple we have in that room too so although I don't think its got a hint of purple in it, it looks like it does...

Its Malt Chocolate by Dulux

Looks great Ally.

Where abouts is it? Lincoln / Scotland or somewhere inbetween?

Inbetween is right; York

Absolutely top quality re-furb every room looks great!

Can I ask what material the worktop in your kitchen is and have you any links to where it came from?

Regards nexus04

Thanks. The kitchen is from Wren Kitchens as is the worktop which was ordered through them. They subcontracted to our local worktop makers J.Rotherham and this is the worktop (I think) Blanco Zeus Silestone Worktops | Blanco Zeus Kitchen Worktops | Blanco Zeus | blanco zeus

Silestone (quartz) Blanco Zeus. Its got a very faint sort of spotting effect to it so it looks much more natural than just plain white.

Love what you've done mate. Could you please list all the colours you have used and also where did you get the carpet from?


Master Bedroom: Dulux - Watercolour Green (I'm only 80% sure on this as the label on the tub is covered in paint)
2nd Bedroom: Dulux - Malt Chocolate
Lounge/Dining: Wickes Chalkly Flat Matt : Wild Woods

Rest is just white or magnolia

We got our carpets from a local independent carpet shop. Half the price of the big chains, infinitely better service and they're local. Style Flooring of York


Its funny, iv always said when I could afford my own house Id love a project like this, but whilst id be happy to do the work, frankly I dont think I have the creativity to get such a clean finish.

How did you go about seemingly getting the rooms looking just so "right" first time around?!?

Really impressive work, congrats :)

Thanks, I'm a professional property photographer so I visit 3/4/5 different houses 5 days a week from million pound mansions to 100k repossesions. I suppose thats given me a fair bit of inspiration and also quite an insight into what materials and finishes work for more than a couple of weeks. I rarely see an entire look that I like but occasionaly I come across certain aspects that I think work well. Plus my missus has somewhat classic taste so she reigns in my wild ideas into something a bit in the middle.

I did a furniture making degree though so learnt alot about materials and finishes. I was also quite heavily influenced during the degree by the arts and crafts ethos of honesty to materials so most things are either natural materials or painted.

Thanks for all the comments folks. Really appreciated.

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