But as the walls started to go up we could get a much clearer idea of the size of the rooms!
As is the way with house builders, they were inevitably running behind and we didn't actually get the keys until November 2009!
One of the upsides of purchasing a new build was being able to pick finishes such as the kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles. We could also choose exactly where we wanted electrical sockets, light switches and telephone points which was really useful! As I design kitchens for a living I did try to convince them to sell us the house without a kitchen but unfortunately it is illegal to sell a new house without one!
As house builders like to charge crazy amounts for any extras (£20 for a toilet roll holder anyone?!) we decided to go for the bare basics. Luckily due to the industry I work in I was able to call in flooring contractors, plasterers, plumbers and electricians to do any works we needed, at a lot cheaper than the house builder would charge us! After all our solicitors fee's and deposit we only had a few thousand pounds left to do any works, so ended up doing the majority of the work ourselves.
Despite purchasing a new home, we knew that there was a lot we wanted to do to make the space work better for us. As soon as we moved in the Mr took 2 weeks off work to get a big chunk of the 'messy' work done before we properly moved in. One of the first jobs was taking down part of the stud wall between the kitchen and hallway to make a narrow room a lot wider. We also got a plumber to take the toilet out from under the stairs (we definitely did not need 4 toilets in a 3 bedroom house!) and install the washing machine to turn it into a small utility room.
The Mr had to build out the wall so we could get a plumber to install the shower.
Whilst building out the wall we decided to take the opportunity to build in a little cubby hole. We managed to save money by using a fairly cheap limestone effect tile for the majority of the walls and just purchasing 3 'special' large tiles as a focal point. As the ceilings we so out of level (thank you house builder!) we had to finish it all off with a wooden trim. We tiled all the bathroom floors ourselves, I definitely discovered that tiling was not my strong point, but I'm not too bad at grouting!
In the lounge we decided to mount the TV on the wall, which as the wall had no substance to it the Mr had to take down the centre of the wall and build a wooden frame to support the TV. We then decided to wallpaper a feature wall (oh how I hate wallpapering) and we have finally found a light that we like (£25 in the B&Q sale!).