Thursday, 20 December 2007

So far

Unwanted costs: 45euros broken camera battery
Welcome profit: 65euros scrap metal left in house cha-ching!

Koen borrowed some chimney brushes from a friend (thanks Kris!) because how hard can it be to sweep a chimney right? Well I guess it's not but this chimney had not been swept since 1958! So yours truly got to put her skinny arms to use and had the job of scooping the soot into the bucket, 15 buckets, one house brick and one dead bird. We still couldn't get the brushes to the very top so had to call in the pro's. Their brushes had a spring on the top for going around the top of the chimney where it leans slightly. Cost: 56euros including insurance certificate. Cost of being toasty warm: priceless! The original stove from this chimney went off with the scrap metal. This is the wood/coal stove left in the utility building. This is exactly the stove that we went to buy, saving 1500euros!! The waterboard has also been to install a new meter and connect the supply: 45euros so stove+water=coffee!!!

Where the stove began...

We demolished the kitchen, cupboards went to recycling centre, cooker and extractor fan went with the scrap metal. Smelly drain scale, probably a 8.5 yeuch.

The remaining bathroom elements in the utility room have also been removed.

I have spent 3 afternoons this week removing the 'deli' tiles in the dining room and demolishing the chunky built out section of the fireplace, my poor bleeding knuckles! Saturdays job will be tracing and removing un-necessary plumbing in the utility room. The eletric company FINALLY rang to make the appointment for the meter to be re-opened. So from 3 January we can put on the lights, use power tools and work late!!

Also spent 1 1/2 hours today filling in paperwork and drawing plans just for the planning permission to make one window smaller! Anybody else probably wouldn't bother but when your only neighbour sits on the council board, maybe it's better safe than sorry.

One thing I forgot to mention was the free cat that came with the house. I leave him/her dry and wet food every day but does he/she dain to show up, nope. I guess he prefers to eat and run, that or i'm probably feeding about 3 families of mice :)

View towards the front door. The little cupboard on the left holds the electricity metre. Big cupboard for a small meter :) The door will hopefully be sunk into the wall and painted to match the walls.

This will be replacing the front door after it has been painted in a glossy pastel greyish colour and the glass has been replaced by safety milk glass.

This is the front room (4m x 4m) which will 'probably' become the living room. Although it's
north facing the large windows (2,1m wide) keep it fairly light, fireplace will be staying, lovely wooden chandelier will definetly be going! The fireplace used to house an oil fire.

The front room leads back into the hall and then into this room which will be the dining room (4m x 3.5m). The full-on tiling around the room makes me wonder if previous owner wasn't a butcher/deli owner! the walls either side of the fireplace will be knocked through into the next room which will be the kitchen. The chimney breast will stay in place for the woodburner.

This old kitchen (4m x 2.3m) will be...surprise...the kitchen! The window has to be raised slightly to make room for the work top and with the walls being knocked through to the dining room there should be plenty of room for lots and lots of cupboards ;)

The smallest room in the house, downstairs wc. Whats not to obvious on the pic is the notch carved out of the door in the shape of the lid, otherwise you can't get the door open!

This odd room (3.6m x 3.1m) is the single story building with the pitched roof seen at the back of the house. It was the only bathroom. This room will probably be the utility/laundry/dogs room.

Our great big bedroom (5.8m x 4m)

hmm must buy some more clothes for all those wardrobes...

Guest bedroom (3.5m x 3.5m) not much to be seen on this pic...

Future bathroom (4m x 2,26m) There was a sink which we have already removed ... window should probably be frosted as well!

More outside pics...

The left aspect of the house where eventually the driveway and garage will be.
The right side of the house.

View looking towards the back of the house, note the shacks that stretch out waaaaay beyond this picture! These shackswill be the scene of a large demolish derby someday soon...

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

The beginnng...

This is us on our wedding day 6 years ago in 2001...

After meeting on holiday in Tenerife (ldr!) and dating for 1 1/2 years we decided to tie the knot in Brentwood Registry Office ( and a reception followed at The Reid Rooms (

Since then we have been living above Koens' parents René & Marie-Louise in their house in Heusden-Zolder, a small town/village in Limburg, East Belgium.

After years of saving, deciding to build a house, buying a plot of land, deciding not to build a house, selling a plot of land we have finally completed the sale on this 1958 detached house! It's in a quiet street with a SW facing garden of approx 1100m2 with several mature trees but it is a serious renovation project! You name it it's getting changed, windows, doors, roof, floors, ceilings, electrics, plumbing, heating, bathroom, kitchen, knocking down walls and adding rooms. Hmm, does getting all this finished in a year seem a little optimistic, probably! Here you can follow our adventure, problems and hopefully succeses here!


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