New (old) house renovation to have distributed AV!


Active Member
Welcome All,

Almost 2 years ago, myself and gemma (my wife) got married with the idea of owning our own home, After some saving and many house views & failures we stumbled upon Colegate the house we've now purchased.

Purchasing :-
We viewed this property on the 9th of January 2013, we immediately fell in love with the property and knew this was the one we had to have, the price was right & in a nicer area than other's we had viewed and could see us turning it around to be something we'd both enjoy living in.

We shortly after viewing put an offer in on the property which was quickly bettered so we put in what we thought the buyer would accept as we were told there was an equity release company involved which required the house to sell for a certain amount so that they would get back their money as well as the seller having money left over.

We waited for this offer to be accepted, the seller who had been admitted to a care home due to ill health had to accept the offer himself, the property was being sold by his daughter. this took a few weeks to accept, it was the 30th of January by this point.

After this we went back to the mortgage company who had previously authorised a mortgage for a more expensive house we had tried to purchase previously, because of the time passed between the first property purchase attempt and this one a new credit check was required, this for some unknown reason to ourselves and the mortgage advisor was declined! This was a big shock to us as the previous property which was more expensive the mortgage had been accepted.

After speaking at length with the mortgage provider we had to provide more evidence of our financial situation, we had to apply for credit reports and submit the reports to the mortgage company for manual review. These were reviewed by the head underwriter who determined that we were in fact able to have the mortgage and they couldn't understand why the credit check application had declined.

So by this time it was February 23rd and almost another 3 weeks had gone by. This was great news to us and the next step was instructing the survey, this was done almost straight away but the survey wasn't carried out until my Birthday, 8th March!

We didn't want to instruct the searches until this had come back as the previous house we tried to purchase we had done both at the same time and the survey came back with a non standard construction issue and we'd lost out almost £450 on survey and search costs.

We promptly instructed the searches after the survey came back fine, this was done and returned some weeks later. By this time it was the end of March, the next step was signing even more paperwork to do with mortgage deed's, land transfer forms, fixtures and fittings and contracts.

The sellers solicitor visited the seller in the care home to verify that he was in sound mind to sell the property and all paperwork was filled out during this meeting and we were contacted asking for payment of the deposit & for a completion date. We've requested the date as being the 22nd of April and hope that this is the date we finally get the keys, this is a total of 14 weeks after viewing, for an empty property & ourselves being a first time buyer!


Active Member
I'll start off with some pictures taken on the first visit to the property on the 9th of January. Some of the items have been removed, mainly the seating in the living room with assorted bags of rubbish.

The man who left the property was an elderly man as you can see from the decoration nothing much has been done to the property in some time!

Noted within the Survey was that the wiring would need re-done, which we knew when we viewed the property & we're happy to have this work carried out as we wanted to have the house fitted out with CAT6 Cable & Distributed HDMI to keep things looking clean.


Front View of Living Room


Rear view of Living Room (Plans for dining table here)


Front view to front door from kitchen showing Arch


Rear View of Kitchen


Stairs with Front door to right, Stairlift too!


Stairlift & Wrought Iron Rails


Separate Toilet


Separate Bath and Basin, Wall to be Removed


Bedroom 2 Ugly Wardrobes hiding a Combi Boiler


Combi Boiler, This will need hidden again, Possibly Sliding Wardrobes

So from the above you can see there is going to be a lot of work involved. We got the property at a good price, With my plans this from the inside will be a completely modern clean looking house and i plan to spend my time getting it right. On top of all the above there is space for a double drive at the front of the house which is on the last of the list of things to do but at least its available.

Thanks for Reading so far & I look forward to providing you with more Pictures as things progress!


Active Member
started out the day picking up my remote control light switched from the DPD depot (more on these later on). Went back to the house with the idea of dismantling things as neatly as possible so that there was clean flat straight pieces of wood etc for easy transport to the local tip.

I'll be taking as much to the tip as i can to avoid spend money on a skip just to remove some easy to move pieces of wood. I'll reserve the skip for the more dirty jobs of removing the bathroom wall, chasing for electrics and network.

I started with the kitchen and demolished the units that were left behind, along the way i removed and disposed of left over things from the previous occupier.


Here is my neat collection of wood from the previously dismantled units in the kitchen, ready to be packed up in a car and taken to the tip at petrol costs instead of insane skip hire costs.


Kitchen Sink
I've left the sink in place for cuppa's when needed, (cups of tea or coffe for the non northerners)


More Wood & Doors
Here you can see the ugly wrought iron railings which used to appear on the stairs and also the demolished sideboard (glue and dowel). Had to smash it to bits so wasn't as neat as i had hoped so a few loose edges and dowels sticking out of the ends. You can also see the old sliding wardrobe doors.


Scrap metal anyone?


Bedroom 1
This was the last order of business for today, ripped out all the sliding wardrobes, all of those screw holes to fill! The keen eye here will notice that there is damp in the left corner of this shot, This area was behind the sliding wardrobes, there doesn't seem to be too much of it and removing the paper underneath seems fine, im going to put this down to being a dark area and damp clothes being stored here.

So thanks for reading, a lot to take in and if you havent guessed i love taking pictures! Expect more of the same, i'll be back on it tomorrow, more stripping and taking down the remaining drawer units and wardrobes and possibly some paper stripping too!


Active Member
Hi all,

Today was a particularly tiring and slow progress day. I did have my dad helping me but i forgot to take pics of his progress, will get these next time i'm down. My dad proceeded with stripping the Living Room, after we tried a little piece we discovered that there is easily 20+ years of paint over the same piece of paper which made it rather difficult to remove needing steaming twice and possibly still needing a spraying of water to get off the backing paper.

I continued where i had left off with dismantling 2 sets of drawers in Bedroom 1, removed the cupboard door and many many shelves inside. This was my last demolition to be done in Bedroom 1, I went to Bedroom 2 and started with the removal of those hideous built wardrobes, they were an absolute nightmare to take down, built exactly to fit and fastened together with horrid flat head screws it took ages to get down.

Some more pics, will get the Living room pictures up tomorrow to show the progress of 5 hours worth of stripping, be warned its not a lot!


Finally coming down!


More wood to get rid of!

Im still playing round ideas in my head as to which was these rooms will be laid out. i think i will be installing modern sliding wardrobes back in the places where i have removed the previous owners as it gives maximum storage and would mean we wouldn't need any additional storage within the rooms leaving them looking really Clean.


Active Member
Combined update as the progress has now slowed, Stripping the Living room is still in progress, only a wall and a bit left to do but its taking ages, we're having to steam the paint off the paper, score the paper, steam and then soak to remove. this process is taking a lot longer than anticipated.

Here are some pictures of the progress, off camera we've had a bit of excitement today, while stripping Bedroom1 i removed all loose cables, this included the siren cable for the alarm, this then meant that the alarm siren and box were going mad at 9am on a sunday morning. I had to reach out the window and yank the alarm box off the wall and cut the power, remove the front of the alaram box and disconnect the battery!

I had been waiting for the local scrap men to come and pick up the metal i had stored up to save me having to take it to the tip, they turned up today and very nicely asked if they could take what i had placed outside, i then said they could take my wrought iron fence if they like, they couldn't remove it themselves not having any tools so i removed it while they waited and they promptly took it away.

Following from this the Police visited the house about 45 minutes later and said that they had been called due to a report of metal theft taking place on my property. I proceeded to tell them that it was my property and that i had given it away and was glad of the help. They took my details and left with the parting wisdom that i have "Neighbours that care."


Back view of Living Room
All of the long wall and most of this back wall has been done, just a bit above the window was left due to helping in Bedroom 1. On Day 5 we had a bit of drama in this room we were running 2 steamers on the same socket which as a result has disabled 4 sockets & the boiler for electric, its not the fuse so i assume there is some wiring somewhere which is original and not designed to take such loads. So this means we have only 1 working socket for the full downstairs and no heating or hot water till the electrics are fully re-done. This is on the list as the first thing to do once every wall has been stripped and all carpets removed.


Ceiling & Breast Wall
The Ceiling is amazing in this room, as are the walls, there is some writing which i've found which suggests that this paper has been on since 1970! 43 Years of painting and smoking has gone onto this paper which is starting to explain why its so damn hard to take off!

Bedroom 1 Stripped
My Mam and me stripped this room on day6, all the walls were stripped, this again was a bit of a pain to remove, there was on the exterior wall insulating paper which had polystyrene backing which had to be stripped off first with a blade, there was then another 2 layers of paper + paint below. Painstaking to remove but got there in the end.


2nd View of Bedroom 1
I think the room looks much bigger now it has been stripped of its awful colour. We found a vent on the chimney stack which is.. interesting, will be blocked up i think due to removal of the fire. You can see in this image the only SINGLE socket & light switch.


Vent & Insulation in the Toilet Room
I have removed most of the tiles from this room, the remainder will be removed once i've disposed of some of the other tiles i have stacked up waiting to be moved. The cavity wall insulation seems to have been done rather well to have made it all the way up to this part of the house.


Toilet View
You might be able to see the brickwork at the back above the toilet roll, some large portions of the browning have started to fall off the walls, i think as this room will be tiled 1/2 way up and then painted im going to either remove all the browning and start with battens and plasterboard or just chase out for battens and board over the top and then tile over that.


Active Member
Today i was at work but gemma was off and decided to pitch in, got a full room stripped in pretty much an hour! Must have picked the easiest room in the house, all other rooms have multiple layers of paper and are a nightmare to strip. Still havent finished the Living Room!


Stripped Bedroom 2


Boiler above the Paper.
Most of the paper came off easy Gemma said, few tough bits still on.


Active Member
wanted to get the bathroom wall down today to see what size room i have to play with when designing the bathroom. I started taking a bit of the browning off the wall to see where the blocks where to make a start.


Browning Removal
Came off easy on this side, was only a few mm thick.


Browning in the Bath
My Dad was helping me today and we decided we had to remove the bath first before we could do anything with the wall.


More Browning Removal
The bath was installed BEFORE the browning and tiles were installed, i thought the room didn't measure right. It was only just over 164cm wide with a 170cm bath installed. Yes there was that much browning and tiles thickness.


Chased Bath
Chased the Browning off and removed the bolts holding the bath in place. There was paper padding out the gaps between the bath and the wall, dates on the paper is 1985! Bath is older than me and this browning was only applied around this date.


Bath Removed
Here you can see the thing breeze block wall construction and you can just about get an idea of the thickness of the browning here.


Starting to come down
Started middle top as there was a small breeze piece there, from there we went left and right and then down the same way.


Wall Down
Here you can see most of the wall is down, i have made 4 trips to the tip to get rid of this while we went, im cheap and i dont want to pay for a skip when i have a perfectly good (crap) car that i can throw all this stuff in and drive 5 mins down the road and dispose of for free.

Before moving on, we found an issue when removing some of the bricks, they were built into the adjoining wall, we pulled out what we could and split the bricks where we could but it was moving the door frame, we soon realised that it was in fact the same wall continued round.


Removed the Wall
So i was going to batten and board this area anyway but this has made my life a bit easier, the wall came down in 20 minutes as it wasn't attached to anything, these walls were installed AFTER the ceiling, doorways and flooring had been installed, not supporting anything and so over the top when a few pieces of wood and some board would have done the same job.

The browning around the full room is going to be chased off and i'll either dot and dab or batten, board over and then apply my tiles 1/2 way up and paint the rest. Not sure what to do with the ceiling yet, each room has a different thickness of skim applied so might have to remove the board and re-do it.


Open Plan
You can start to see the size of the bathroom now and i'm quite pleased with the size and just need to figure out which way im going to have things, the door im going to keep is the one that is directly infront of the toilet, with the wall coming down i can really choose where i want the door so there is something to think about here.


Left over Rubble
My job tomorrow is to clear this lot, another 3 trips to the tip i think will be needed, its about a 20 minute round trip so its not that long to drive and its saving me the costs of a skip.

Not going to be doing much other than this tomorrow, might do a little more stripping as i have also removed all the radiators to allow access to untouched areas.
Last edited:


Active Member
My mam came round today and finished off what my nanna started yesterday with the Kitchen.


My Office Stripped
This previously known as "wasted space" is now going to be my office after a few suggestions of blocking in the archway and turning it into a useful room, i liked this idea and i've ran with it.


Office / Kitchen
Here you can see behind where the radiator was, pipes form the old back boiler are sticking out of the wall so these will have to be moved and plastered over.


The stairway used to have a ceiling here, it was Glossed!! i removed it to reveal the lovely floral paper, i'll just be re-boarding and painting.


Active Member
Hi All, i went to the house today just for a few hours with the idea of getting all the browning off in the bathroom, i got the majority of it off bar what if left behind the toilet and the sink. I then wanted to remove the old door frames to make way for the new stud wall / frame that will be going up next week.


Here you can see i have stripped all the browning off the walls and its looking good.


Big Window
Here is the area above the big window, in the survey on this house it mentioned that if the window will be replaced then lintels need to be added to re-enforce the openings, downstairs on the rear window in the sitting room there is a noticeable crack off the house dropping slightly under pressure.


Small Window
Im having thoughts about having all the windows replaced before we do any other work, its a pretty costly process but it seems pointless going ahead with all works and then having to re-do it all once the windows are re-done.

I removed the frames from the old doors for the bathroom and thought i was done for the day, i went into Bedroom 2 to find that where i had pulled the frame from the wall the wall had actually moved and cracked and taken off the browning on the other side as seen below.


Broken Wall
You could actually see through this crack, on the other side the builders had filled a gap with about 2x4" of plaster to hold this in place and fill the gap, once i had removed the door frame the wall lost all its strength.


Broken in 2 Points
I looked at this and there was also a crack in the middle of the wall too, i decided to give the wall a little push to see how stable it was, it Wasn't! it moved a good few mm just pushing on it softly.


Plaster & Wood
The only points this wall was actually tied to anything was with these pieces of wood slotted between the bricks, i decided that this was too un-safe to leave in place and i would have to take this wall down as well and re-build with a wooden frame as i was to do with the bathroom.


Wall Down
I had to do this quickly and carefully making sure that the wall didn't fall down and crash through the floor, i started at the top breaking a few bricks into pieces and then propped up both sides with the left over door frames i had from the bathroom and then removed the bricks as quickly as i could without having the wall fall down.

I confirmed that there were only 2 breeze blocks into the outside wall tying this wall in and the slotted pieces of wood between at the other side where the frames were nailed in. obviously when i removed the frame from the bathroom side it removed a lot of the support this wall had, im surprised that these walls were built this way in the first place as the ceilings were actually boarded Before the wall's were installed meaning that there not supporting anything and there not tied in at the top or bottom.

Anyway i've removed 3 walls all which were made from heavy breeze and will next week be replaced with a nice new wooden frame, i intend to board the bathroom side only and leave the rest open for access and for extra beams to be installed when the sink & towel rail are installed.

Tomorrow i have the gas guy coming to remove the fire and i'll be spending a fair amount of time cleaning up the mess from taking down that unexpected wall which is a bit of a set back. Watch this space to see what i can actually get done tomorrow.


Active Member
Today as i expected was mostly spent taking car of the rubble from the wall coming down yesterday. Thanks goes out to Ian who helped me move this to the tip with his land rover. This saved me multiple trips to the tip myself.

I stil made 3 trips to the tip to get rid of all of the remaining rubble, tiles, wall paper strippings etc, the only thing i have now to get rid of is the doors which i'll get cut up and taken the next time im at the house.

The gas man came today from Taylor Made and did a great job of removing the old fire, i had forgotten that i had a gas pipe that the council must have installed below the ceiling, it was ugly! I asked if he would also move this for me and he did, so he removed the gas to the fire at the source and re-did the whole pipe to the boiler upstairs for me. Top Job!


Old Back Boiler
Out came the old heating / boiler thing, it was covered with about 5" of sut and stuff before it was removed.


Nice Hole
Fire and Fire Place out, this is going to be blocked up as my AV unit will be placed here and my tv on the wall.


My open plan upstairs area, ready to be sectioned off, i have the wood on order, going to be left un-boarded so that the electricians can do their thing.


Pipe Moved
Here is the gas pipe in its new location, it used to sit about 10cm lower than it currently is as can be seen in the picture below, top left.


Pipe Top Left
At work again now till wednesday, not sure what the plans are for that day but i think the frame might go up for the bathroom and some stripping of the staircase or the old door frames which are staying in place.

I've had another 2 electricians visit the property and i eagerly await their quotes, i have had one so far but i didn't really get on with the guy and he wouldn't be doing everything i wanted. One guy came from a company that does specialist installs so im hoping that i can use him and come to some arrangement on the price as his knowledge was fantastic.

This is where i am up to currently, i'll now be posting updates as they happen, all of the above has been done on days off from work between the 19th of april till friday gone.

thanks for reading!


Nicely documented pal had a good read through

looking forward to some progress my house is going to have that treatment eventually however its not quite as bad as that with needing to knock it apart but I do have the same problem with the wall not tied to anything and being a bit shabby so that will come down and a stud wall in its place.

keep the updates coming!


Distinguished Member
nice read!



Active Member
Today was totally spent with stripping the stairs, another nightmare or paint, paper and more paper. Layers of it and such a pain to remove. The walls here are shocking so will need skimming which i did want to avoid if possible.


Nightmare Paper - This stuff was just overrun with paste and normal scrapers were just gliding over what was left, in the end i had to over steam the walls and scrape away the paint underneath with a bladed scraper.


Steamed and Steamed again, nice clean wall.


Holes? - There were numerous pictures, mirrors, coat hangers etc on this wall as can be seen in the image. this will need filled and/or skimmed.


Popped Plaster - Going to need skimmed here, more terrible plaster work / walls.


Bad Walls - This is the worst wall in the house made stripping paper that much more complicated as my bladed scraper kept digging into the raised parts of the wall and wouldn't lift the paper in the recessed areas.

Day 13 was spent removing an old wooden / glazed porch, its left some holes in the wall where an old canopy used to be before this porch was installed. im not going to post any pictures of the front of my house as i want to keep some privacy as later on i'll be showing more pictures of the tech to be installed.


If you put as much detail into the house as you do your posts it will look spectacular

When do you hope to be in/finished by?

Keep posting haven't had one of these for awhile or at least finished to completion before op falls off the earth ;)


Active Member
Being young and not making that much money means im going to be waiting on the funds to do most things so i plan to be in within a year, this may sound like along timescale but considering it needs wiring, windows need done as no lintels in currently and the brickwork is sagging so needs support.

Then onto the decorating and kitchen/bathroom fit. i'll keep up the updates throughout as i hate seing threads like this that just end half with through and some final pics thrown in at the end. Doesn't really tell the full story.

Thanks for all the positive comments.


Active Member
Another day at the house today and i finished the stripping of my FINAL wall of paper, Really happy about this. Stripped some of the gloss paint off the ceiling of the hall.

My wood was delivered to build up my stud walls so this was on the list of things to do today.


Layered Tiles - Lifted the lino from the toilet part of the bathroom and found a further 2 layers of tiles, self stuck and then glued to the floor boards.


Frame 1 - Frame going in, first stud wall I've built, had my dad helping me and already with just the parts you see here its stronger than the brick wall its replaced.


Boarded - Used baby board (they fit in my car, just) so used 2 full and 1 cut to fill this wall.


Rear of Boards - I'm only boarding the bathroom side for now so that all the wiring, noggings & all other fixing can be placed and braced before the boards are fitted on this side.


Frame and Door Frame - Here you can see the space for the door, wider than the previous door to match all other doors in the house.


Top Board - Top cut board going in, surprised at how quick this is going up and more surprised in the quality of the work me and my dad were able to achieve.


Reverse Boards - Got the full internal of the bathroom studs boarded only took about 4 1/2 hours to this stage.

I plan to block in the arch tomorrow and do some more ceiling paint stripping and if i get those things done i'll move onto paint stripping the existing door frames.


Standard Member

Always like these full on projects.

Just a couple of things i noticed, you may want to put in some noggins on your board joint possitions to carry the edge of the board. Also, im sure you're ok but check the size of architrave to the right side of the door frame as it may get a bit tricky with how close you are to that window sill.

Keep up the good work mate, I know what its like when you're trying to do a lot yourself.



great work, looking forward to seeing the progress


Active Member

Always like these full on projects.

Just a couple of things i noticed, you may want to put in some noggins on your board joint possitions to carry the edge of the board. Also, im sure you're ok but check the size of architrave to the right side of the door frame as it may get a bit tricky with how close you are to that window sill.

Keep up the good work mate, I know what its like when you're trying to do a lot yourself.

Noggins are going to be installed after and i'll be adding additional for support when i know where my sink / radiator etc are going.

Ive measured up and the architrave will fit perfect to the wall, possibly with a little cut out but i'll chase the wall so it fits.


Active Member
Just a brief update of what we got up to today, i had to cut the day short as i had a kitchen design appointment to finalise my design so that the electricians can do first fix.

Started and boarded one side again of the archway cover, our very straight walls just showed up how terrible this archway was finished off, we had to cut one piece of wood at a 10 degree angle to fit.


Base Going in - got the base set in place, measured the piece so it was hammered into place and only required a few screws just for security


Perfect Board? - We held the board up to the wall and traced the profile and cut with a jigsaw.


Finished - Wall done, took some time as the walls weren't flat or level.

Im back at work now for a few days so wont be any more updates till after the weekend. My plans go as far as over boarding the bathroom to cover up the join removing the wall has created, stripping some door frames and hopefully remove all the carpets.


Active Member
My dad and i decided that for the best finish we would board the ceiling in the bathroom to hide the joint where the old wall was removed and just improve the ceiling overall as it was at different heights anyway.


As the electric is going to be one of the first things done we just capped off the wiring and pushed up into the loft space to be removed when the sparkys arrived, this means we can put up boards without cutting holes and then the electrics can be fed through fresh holes once fitted.


Covering the old gap where the wall was removed, we staggered the boards to minmise on joint cracks. these will be taped and bonded.


Tape and bonding going on, this will be finished and then a 2nd coat applied, sanded and then painted.


Walls will be done the same way, in progress pics here.


Noggins are in, there will be additional noggins installed depending on where my towel rail/radiator goes and the sink etc to allow firm installation, this is why the back side is unboarded just now, also to allow the electricians access.


We bought a door and handle to test fit and see if i liked them, i do. they are solid stainless steel handles with a mortice lock for the bathroom. Nightmare to fit but worth it in the end as i think it looks fantastic.

Not a great deal going on, more time was spent getting things to fit well so that when painted etc it wont need to be messed with.

Off picture the gardens front and back have been started to remove plants, weeds, as with the back garden the trenches have started to come down. will try get some pics of this.

More paint stripping has been done on the door frames that are to remain, the staircase has been stripped ready to go when painting starts.

Thanks for all the positive comments, i'll keep this going as regular as possible. I have the 2 bathroom windows going in when the electrics are done, its being done in stages mainly due to cash flow, im trying not to borrow to do as much as possible with just my basic wage so it may be slow but id rather do it this way and keep the debt to a minimum.

Till next time!


Standard Member
great thread and a lot of hard work put into your new home.
well done.
may seem tough now but my god you'll look back at this with an immense sense of pride!!

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