Thursday, February 4, 2010

Our House

When Colm and I got married we were 'of no fixed abode'. We didn't own a house, we lived in a mobile home for bit and stayed with his mother for another while. We were both farming separately, about 20miles (32km) apart. We each had a herd of cows which was calving and needed tending to and I often stayed the night near mine and him near his. I was also pregnant with Maeve, our honeymoon baby!
When we were married a few months, when friends of ours approached us, saying that they were selling their house and land , and would we know of anyone interested. No long after, ( about a day) we decided to buy it! We sat at their kitchen table and made the deal. While we were there another man rang to say he wanted it!
We moved in about a month before M was born.
It was originally a cottage, but was hugely extended in the late 1970's. The last family had 8 children in family at one time, (not all their own) but they all lived here and needed beds! So this house was built by their father to suit them.
Wait for has 9 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a kitchen, 2 livingrooms, an office, laundry/boot room. I think that's it!
Needless to say, that is way too big for most families, including ours. We never used upstairs in the first 6 years we lived here, It had never really been finished in the 80's, and we hadn't touched it in our time here.
Over time the ceilings upstairs had deteriorated due to leaking chimney flashings, and poor heating was only adding to the problem. So the time had come to tackle the issue....

We demolished all the internal stud walls that were there, and started afresh. we changed nearly the whole layout. We insulated all the walls and ceilings as well as we could. Many's a night we sweated and swore while we cut up and put in place, rolls and rolls of insulation. We got new roof windows in, got new stud walls put up, new plumbing, new electrics and got the whole lot replastered. Then I got to paint it all, with the help of my freind Lisa.
It was a huge undertaking, but with the big slow down in the building trade here, we got lots of great work done at great prices and we did lots of the work ourselves.

Just before Christmas we all moved upstairs to our new rooms.

This is what the kids rooms look like now......

The girls are asleep in their cots in the last photo, btw.

There is still a lot left to be done, our bedroom was only given a lick of paint, it wasn't included in the main renovation, it's upstairs but kind of seperate. The bathroom is being used but is far from finished! And guess what, the cows are calving again, seeing as it's spring, so I'll have to wait another while until that slows down, in about May, maybe!

If you'd like to look at the whole process... all the photos are here

Of course now the problem now is we're not using the downstairs bedrooms at all..... We may in time turn it into separate guest accomodation or a granny-flat for one of our mothers, should one of them need it. It would lend itself to this kind of thing because they're all in the single storey part of the house.

PS.I meant to mention that Astrid's blog was a huge source of inspiration, and she was a answered many mundane questions about insulation and roof windows! She photographed every step of their renovations, which I pored over, often!

Take care, where-ever you are reading this from.


Joy said...

That must be a fascinating house. Maybe some day you'll fill up all those bedrooms (:

Millie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Millie said...

Thank you Joy, but I'm not so sure it fascinates me anymore! It is a wonderful house to raise kids in, though. No chance we'll fill it! No plans to anyway! :o)

Nicole said...

I wish I had so much space! It must be a really great house. If I was a bit closer, I would come and visit you!

Millie said...

You'd be more than welcome Nicole!It has loads of space, but we really bought tha land, the house was secondary.... We never thought back then that we'd have 4 kids though. Give me a shout if you decide to call over, I'll put the kettle on.


Oh dear! You have put a lot of work into your house and the upper bedrooms look great and cozy!

I know what you mean you kind of have enough of it, the dust, dirt and all but it is worth it, as one can see on the photos.

We also moved in an old house, the floor we live in was done before we moved in but the upper floor and the cellar were made after we moved in, though we had them to be made it was still a lot of dirt, noise.

Millie said...

Thanks Nina. I quite enjoy the start of it all, when it's still exciting. I understand that it will get finished one day, but nearly all the rest is to be done by us, and we're both busy in the spring. We're quite happy to have as much done as we have, and it's live-able for now. The kids rooms are the most important, and we're very happy with them.

Cee said...

Hi MIllie

Just popped in to say Hi after I noticed that Nina had awarded you - congratulations! I have very much enjoyed wandering around your corner of the world and will have to come back again.

My husband and I visited Ireland nearly 10 years ago and loved every minute of it we toured the whole country over a month.

Your children's rooms look lovely - homely, peaceful and light.

Greetings from South Australia

Millie said...

Hi Cee, how nice of you to call by and comment. I am chuffed to have got the award from Nina, very kind of her. Your blog is beautiful, you seem to be living a lovely life. I'll call back and look around for longer, soon.
I'm sure you've seen much more of Ireland than i have! I have been to Australia, but only to Sydney for a week on the way home from 5 months in New Zealand. Maybe one day I'll get back.
Call by anytime, Millie

Dina said...

Hi, oh my this is all going to happen to us now as we are about to start renovating the house we bought. However we will not move in until most of the work will be done. I don't think I can live with too much dust around me ;) But boy I am so much looking forward to having more room and space. Our current living arrangement is pretty small !!

Astrid said...

What a sweet story, Millie! I knew the last bit, but beginning was new to me - and thanks for the mention. ;o) I think it all turned out wonderful - I know how much you must be enjoying it!

Millie said...

Dina- I saw the pictures of your new house, it looks beautiful, so spacious. Definitely having the work done before you move in would be great, especially with children.

Astrid- Thank you for the kind words. You wouldn't believe how many times we examined your photos for ideas.I'd call Colm over and say 'look how they did it'. Even though the finished products are different, You gave me loads of ideas along the way. So thanks for that too.

Ria said...

Hi Millie, you must have tons of energy, with the kids, the farm, the renovation, the sewing, the blogging. Do you sleep?
I loved to watch the pictures of Astrid. How thorougly everything is done by her Mats! My husband can do nothing of the sort. (But I love him anyway).
Thanks for the award! Feels like I'm entering the real bloggingworld.

Millie said...

Ria, thank you for all the inspiration you've given me, especially with boys clothes, you make Pelle such wonderful things.
As for sleep, I love to sleep and I do too much of it!
My husband can fix or make just about anything but he is not at all romantic, He's only given me flowers twice in over 10 years together! But I love him anyway!


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