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    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 3rd Oct 17, 7:50 AM
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    "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it."
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 7:50 AM
    "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it." 3rd Oct 17 at 7:50 AM
    So after lurking on other people's diaries for the last few years it's time to start my own.

    I'd almost paid off my mortgage 4 years ago when I decided to move to somewhere a lot bigger and a lot more expensive. It was also a project. So for the last few years there have been no overpayments as everything has gone into savings for the next bit of work on the house.

    I remortgaged in August, reducing my payments by 200/month.

    I'm now preparing for the final (I hope!) phase of the renovation work, so while avoiding getting up and ready for work this morning I thought I'd check the overpayment calculator. If I increase my payments to what they were previously this will knock over 8 years off my mortgage.

    I'm not ready to start overpaying yet. I need to finish the essential work and build up some savings, but I hope that early next year I'll be in a position to start reducing my liabilities.

    So I thought I'd start a diary now, while I'm motivated, to record my progress in getting to the point of overpaying...
Page 2
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 26th Oct 17, 10:40 AM
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    Builder came round this morning. He's free from the middle of next week. I pointed out that it would take me longer than that to clear the rest of the stuff from downstairs as I'm away for a few days. Which is why I'd asked for dates and a schedule.

    Second chimney quote was about half the price of the first one. I just need to choose a stove, but it makes sense to leave that until after the fireplace is out and we know how much space there is.

    We're just deciding whether to go away for Christmas. If we do, then I think I might just keep the work going until they're done. It would be good to have it all finished by the end of January and not to have to see the builders again for a while
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 30th Oct 17, 9:48 PM
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    We're not going away for Christmas a my brother and SIL have decided that the kids have too much on. So I've told them they'll have to do Christmas as I won't have a kitchen and may not have much of the rest of the house... we may need to stay with them...

    In better news, the tree surgeon can also turn up at the end of this week, so hopefully he'll get everything done and out of the way before the builders get too busy.

    I've also accepted a new job offer and resigned from the current one. Now I just need to negotiate to reduce my notice period. And ideally get all the work on the house (and anything else I need to get done) out of the way before the new job starts. My cleaner is going to do some extra hours tomorrow and Wednesday to help me pack up.

    The new job pays quite a bit more than the current one, so I'm taking a risk and getting as much of the house done as I can. It'll make my savings scarily low, but hopefully I can rebuild them in the first 6 months and then throw money at the mortgage. I could potentially take another 2 years off (in addition to the 8 years already worked out) without really noticing, and still build up some additional savings.

    I'm also really looking forward to the new job as it's going to be a real challenge - I have so many ideas already!

    Tomorrow morning I need to do a charity shop run as my mum has cleared out a whole lot of my dad's clothes, plus I've been through the kids' toys and there are a few things they don't use which I can get rid of. It all makes more space to pack away the stuff from downstairs!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 7th Nov 17, 9:32 PM
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    Making progress.

    Cleaner is taking the sofabed which I meant to get rid of a couple of years ago. It means I don't have to store it for the next couple of months and I'm forced to do something about replacing it... eventually.

    I'm currently working in the kids' bedroom, which is full of boxes. The spare room is inaccessible. The bed is accessible in the room my mum uses, but it's also full of wine and laundry. I thought about drinking the wine instead of moving it, but the challenge was too great...

    Downstairs the sitting room, hall, and office are empty (apart from the sofabed waiting for collection and plastic wrapped carpet and underlay...). The dining room has double doors from the dining room to sitting room are sealed up with gaffer tape and plastic and have a bookcase in front of them. So to get from the habitable bit of downstairs to upstairs means going outside. Which will be fine when it isn't raining...

    Electrics are all chased in for the dining room, sitting room, hall and office (actually, I need to check about the switches in the hall), fire surround and jetmaster have been removed (and the soot, twigs and jackdaw skeleton). Sitting room skirtings are off and the ceiling and windowsills have been sanded.

    Electrician is finishing off tomorrow/Thursday and builders are back Friday. Most of downstairs should be done before Christmas. We'll leave the kitchen and utility till the new year. So fingers crossed we don't find any issues.
    • Betterthanever
    • By Betterthanever 8th Nov 17, 8:58 AM
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    Congrats on the new job - how are you getting on with negotiating the notice period etc?

    It all sounds like its going really well, one way or another, for you!

    Current balance 219,990.00. Offset 0. 219,990.00 needed to be mortgage neutral!
    End date - 12/28 but aiming for 12/23 - 2019 Overpay & Offset 0
    Former DFW Nerd 230. Determined to be MF. Bring it on!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 8th Nov 17, 12:07 PM
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    Notice period sorted... I've got another week and a half of 'work' and then I'm on gardening leave till mid-Jan. Didn't bother to try to reduce the time in the end as they tried to convince me I had a shorter notice period that I do and I ended up having to email a photograph of the relevant clause in my contract. Not letting them out of paying me... and I have holiday owing, which will be a nice contribution to the building fund. Plus I think I could do with the break to be honest.

    Tree surgeon is on his way over, then the electrician will be turning of the power so I'll have to go for a run. The other thing on today's list is to sign and return my new contract now I have all the correct dates on it.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 13th Nov 17, 7:00 PM
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    Tree surgeon diagnosed honey fungus (blindingly obvious now...) so the tree will need to have the stump ground out and chippings removed. Booked in for January but if they have time before they'll try to fit it in earlier.

    Builders have started and are making good progress - lots of filling and sanding done, hall ceiling is down and fireplace is being opened up. Tomorrow the electrician is back an should be finishing off. The fireplace and sanding should be done tomorrow and the plasterboarding in the hall (including under the stairs and blocking up the kitchen door) should be done this week. They're hoping to be ready to latex the floors while I'm away next week. Floor tiles for the loo have arrived and we're just finalising the decision on the rest of the flooring. I must remember to mention the need for a well for the doormat and get the size worked out!

    So it's all going well - I'm trying not to think about how much it is all costing, just about getting it done before I start work again... only 4 more days till gardening leave!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 15th Nov 17, 5:43 PM
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    Lots of progress being made - Hall ceiling is up (apart from under the stairs), pipes are boxed in, gullies in floors (from old heating pipework) have been concreted.

    Not only are they hoping to latex the floors at the front while I'm away, but also fill the dining room and possibly latex that too. And paint all the ceilings. They'll then be able to put the flooring down when I'm away the next time (three days later). So it should all be done well before Christmas.

    Tomorrow I need to go and choose a multi-fuel stove and a hearth (at least the back half). I also need to measure for curtain poles and remember to go and look at them at the weekend as it will be good to have curtains back up again as soon as possible. We're going to put up batten as the blocks are so soft that poles tend to come out - they'll be more secure on a batten. Or I could use rails.

    I've started digging up the patch of 'lawn' that I want to fill with bulbs, as I need to get that done in the next few days. As it's where three tree stumps were ground out, it seems to be relatively easy to dig. I've got 25kgs of narcissi and daffs plus some alliums and other things to go in there, so need to dig out to 20cm and then layer them in with soil. I also had a rose delivered yesterday which needs planting, and there are a couple of flowerbeds that need weeding and the rest of the tulip bulbs to plant (they may go in pots as the last flowerbed needs extending).

    I've also had my work exit interview and am busy wrapping up the last few bits and pieces.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 27th Nov 17, 9:28 AM
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    I've been away for nearly a week and the builders have made the most of it. Coving is up, floors are latexed, all the ceilings and most of the walls painted. One door is off and sanded, and the flooring has been delivered.

    I need to change the woodwork colour in the dining room as it just doesn't work with the light in there, but other than that it all of it is looking great. Curtain poles and light fittings are next on the decision-making list. So I may have to go shopping...
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Dec 17, 12:26 PM
    • 68,467 Posts
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    AQll sounding good.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 14 months to mortgage freedom.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
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    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
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    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 4th Dec 17, 5:24 PM
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    I've been away for nearly another week and its even closer to being finished! Back part of hearth is in, woodwork paint corrected in dining room, satinwood done on stairs, doors painted and filled and latches changed ready for doorknobs to replace door handles. Piles of cut and painted architrave and skirting ready to go on when floor goes down. Radiators have been taken off the wall and painted behind.

    Tomorrow they have a bit of painting left to do in the dining room and then they'll start putting the floor down. The electrician is coming back to change the face plates on sockets and switches now that the painting is done. It all looks unbelievably different - and should all be finished by the end of next week. I can then take ages to decide where to put all the furniture and pictures!

    So while the floor is being done tomorrow I need to go for a run, do some gardening and sort out the stove. On Wednesday I need to get curtain poles and blinds organised and ideally some light fittings as well.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 6th Dec 17, 7:19 PM
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    Went out today - builders have finished the dining room in my absence and have got most of the skirting on in the sitting room. It needs filling and the doors need painting (I would have preferred them to do that before putting them back, but hopefully they'll manage to do it tidily) and then I can move stuff back in there too. Although they are currently storing the flooring in there, so I won't be able to move furniture back until they've done enough of the hall for me to kick them out.

    I bought a curtain pole, so need to nag them about the batten they were supposed to put up so I can put curtains up in the dining room. And I need to order another curtain pole for the sitting room. I also ordered the stove, but I'm not sure they took the date requirement on board - I've had an invoice but no confirmation that it will arrive in time for fitting.

    I have completely failed to go for a run or do any gardening. But I have looked at lights...
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 11th Dec 17, 9:09 AM
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    My office should be done today, which means I'll be able to start unpacking the stuff to go back in there and get on with sorting out my paperwork.

    Apparently the sitting room and hall should also be finished (but I'm sceptical). No builders tomorrow, so will have a lie-in.

    Second curtain pole is due to arrive today, so I should be able to put curtains up too...

    The house is finally warm, and as it is trying to snow I'm hoping door-opening will be kept to a minimum. The new flooring has definitely helped. So curtains, furniture and rugs will all be an improvement.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 25th Dec 17, 11:53 PM
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    So apart from the dining room (which needed a few bits doing at the end) everything ended up being finished at the same time (i.e. there was something unfinished in each room which prevented it being back in use) but they finished on time and I'm delighted with the results.

    Getting things straight was slightly daunting, but my lovely cleaner has been incredibly flexible in helping minimise the dirt spreading to the rest of the house, and in the last couple of weeks has been in frequently to help me clean up as I move things round. Some bits of the floor still need hand washing as the manufacturing/storage/installation dirt doesn't come off with a mop, but can't be seen unless you're on your hands and knees inspecting it! It does feel odd though.

    So the stove was installed on the builders' last day, and as I had a new chimney pot put on, I had to wait until the following monday to start using it. As I was busy it took a few days to do as it needed 3 burns (gradually increasing the amount of fuel/time/temperature) to clear the fumes. It's now running pretty well - it kept warm overnight and kept going while we were out during the day today. I'm going to see whether I can keep it going tonight (I guess it depends on when I get up).

    My mum arrived on Tuesday and has been a huge help in getting me straight. We have moved furniture (some of it not things I would have thought of, but they've worked...), unpacked books, packed up kitchen stuff as we've been looking for stuff while cooking, put up christmas decorations, cooked lots of bits of Christmas dinner (we took them with us) and for boxing day and done a certain amount of cleaning. We've also bought a couple of things (new sofa, upholstered footstool, lamp) that are needed. And had ideas (I have a lot of old oriental rugs. I also have eight dining chairs that need reseating... I'm going to see whether the two could be put together!). So the house is looking pretty good at the moment...

    Builders will be back after NY to make a start on the kitchen & utility. So I need to make quite a few decisions - new front & back doors and floor tiles are the most urgent. Plus I want to get blinds delivered while they are still here so they can put them up as I know I won't do such a good job. I have a very long list of things to get done before they are back, and a lot of decisions to make but I finally feel like the house is coming together as a proper grown-up house rather than being chaotic and hopeless.

    The office and my bedroom are both complete tips. I'm hoping to get some of my bedroom furniture rearranged in the next couple of days as I will have people here. The office requires organisational skills and filing. It may also need to involve alcohol.
    • smallholdingsister
    • By smallholdingsister 26th Dec 17, 7:25 AM
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    Hello. What stove did you choose? Did you manage Christmas at home in the end? Happy Christmas!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 26th Dec 17, 7:33 AM
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    Happy Christmas to you too...

    I ended up with an Arada Ecoburn Plus 5 with a multifuel grate (I have yet to try the solid fuel, but as I forgot to bring anymore logs into the garage and have used all the dry ones, I might do this today). Several people recommended it, it has a good efficiency rating and I like the look - neither traditional nor contemporary, but with a large window. I didn't want the stove to be the most interesting looking thing in the room!

    My mum stayed for Christmas, but we went over to my brother's for the meal as my kitchen (and oven) aren't up to cooking the whole meal. Plus my brother is MUCH better at roast potatoes than I am Maybe next year (or the year after if we can get away with going to my mum's next year....)
    • juliejim
    • By juliejim 29th Dec 17, 9:41 AM
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    Sounds like it's all coming together greenbee. Will the builders be finished for when you start your new job?
    NST #10 Steps 7K 2/30 10K 2/12 5 a day 3/30 NSD 0/20
    MBNA 5500
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Dec 17, 11:12 AM
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    I hope so Julie! That's the deadline they are being given (I must make decisions on doors and floor tiles and email them so they can order them for when they start).

    My aunt has been here for a few days, and I've just dropped her at the station. I was planning on driving my mum home today (originally she was going by train, but there are some things I want to go back to hers - old CD player which she would like, shelves that I've had on loan for 4 years, Christmas presents she was given that won't fit in her suitcase despite everyone knowing she was travelling by train... - and some things I want to pick up like the log splitter to deal with the vast pile of bits of tree on the patio) but I've got a filthy cold and am definitely not fit to drive. So she's staying today and we'll have to decide whether she gets the train tomorrow or I'm well enough to drive her there and come back on Sunday.

    In the meantime we're making a start on packing up the kitchen now we don't need so much stuff as there are no visitors. And we might make some decisions on where some of the pictures go (must order decent picture pins and maybe get the builders to put them up while the electrician is doing stuff in the kitchen).

    I have ordered privacy blinds, and sent off for some fabric samples so I can get a couple more blinds made up. I have lots of fabric here, but realistically am not going to have much time to make blinds, so thought that for the ones I don't have the right fabric for I'd take advantage of the sales...
    Last edited by greenbee; 29-12-2017 at 11:26 AM.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Dec 17, 5:01 PM
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    Fabric samples arrived today, and I found two that work, so blinds for the ensuite and downstairs loo are now on order. Fingers crossed my measurements/maths are correct!

    I've also ordered a small log holder, some picture pins and some heavy duty picture hooks.

    I'm slightly overwhelmed by how much stuff is going to have to go into the garage - fridge, freezer, cooker, WM, TD and all the furniture/units. I think some bits of furniture will have to go into the dining room. As will most of the food, as that can't really go in the garage. I just hope they can stick to the two week timeline for getting things out, done and back in again. Two weeks with no laundry or cooking facilities is going to be a long two weeks..
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 2nd Jan 18, 10:46 AM
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    Happy New Year!

    I'm off to a good start and need to keep up momentum. I stayed with friends over NYE/NYD and have been sent home with some lights that should work in the main bathroom and the dining room. The dining room lights have also given me ideas for the ensuite.

    I have 3 weeks until I'm back at work, so need to make the most of this time to get the house organised and my financial paperwork sorted out. And get back to running. Clearly eating properly won't be happening until the builders have gone again! I managed to sit down on NYE and make a list of what needs to get done each week. So the plan is to use daylight hours to do the things that need doing out of the house (e.g. going to choose tiles, clearing the garage, gardening) and when it's dark sort out inside stuff (putting up pictures, sorting out the offices, working on my finances). I'm going to take advantage of the no kitchen situation to spend time with friends for meals - I normally try to avoid social situations revolving around food, but this is a good time to make an exception!

    Plan for today:

    Spend an hour tidying the garage
    Tidy the freezer
    Select tiles & doors
    Email builder re. tiles & doors
    Measure & plan utility room
    Email re. kitchen units (these are second hand)
    Get work laptop up and running
    Go for a walk (bottle bank/friends in village)
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 2nd Jan 18, 9:07 PM
    • 13,544 Posts
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    • I tidied the garage... Not sure there's room for everything that needs to be in there, so I need to see what more I can do.
    • I tidied the freezer
    • I went to look at tiles (not inspired, so need to think some more about it)
    • Looked at washing machines, dryers and fridge/freezers in preparation for deciding on models
    • Cleared half the stream and raked up the rest of it into piles in the middle ready to fish out tomorrow.
    • Logged into some online accounts and now need to call some of them to find out why I can't see what I need to, as well as having a think about where my investments should be. I may combine two pensions, and I also need to find out how to make manual payments into my pension while I'm not getting company pension contributions during my probationary period.

    I now need to think about setting up some savings accounts and a cash ISA so I can build up a new emergency fund once the building work has drained current savings (and work out how big it should be) and then hopefully start overpaying the mortgage. I want to start overpaying now, but I know I need to do all the other stuff first.
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