Not too long ago, we traded our hectic city lives for a peaceful rural cottage. It’s the best decision we’ve ever made, and we’re certainly not looking back! However, it came with its fair share of challenges. Not least, a handful of repairs and improvements that we’ve had to take on. We’ve loved taking this fixer-upper and turning it into a cosy home, but it wasn’t easy. This morning I found myself thinking back to those first few months in the house. The stress of repairs came flooding back! Here are some of the trickiest jobs we had to take on.

Foundation repairs

Living in the country comes with the difficult job of working with nature! Living in the country meant that our home was built on less-than-suitable ground. The house itself had a little problem with subsidence. In layman’s terms, it was sinking! We’re only talking about a few cm a year, but we didn’t want it getting any worse. We hired the experts to do a full slab foundation repair before we moved in. We’re happy to say the house has been steady ever since!

Chimney repair

One of the best things about living in the country is access to a real fire. In our tiny city apartment, we were lucky if we could keep a candle burning. Now we have a huge fireplace with a roaring log-burner. Despite our initial excitement, we had to fix the chimney first! It’s an old house, and the brickwork and cement had begun to crumble near the apex of the roof. We didn’t trust ourselves to DIY this essential repair, so this was another one for the experts.

Double glazing

We love living in an older property. It has so much more character and personality than a city apartment. There’s a sense of history in the walls and there’s a warmer ambience. Of course, there are compromises with an older house. For starters, the cottage didn’t have double glazing. We put this near the top of our list so we could keep the house warm and energy efficient. Since putting in double glazing, the energy bills have come down significantly!

Installing solar panels

Despite the country lifestyle, there’s still a little hint of city thinking in our brains! We’re still keen to keep costs down and make technological additions. We wanted to find the perfect balance of rural living and modern technology. There’s no reason they can’t work together. So, we decided to install solar panels. After all, we’ve got acres of space and it doesn’t hurt to be a little more self-sufficient. The installation cost is quite high, but we anticipate making the money back through energy savings.

Renewing the damp proof course

Lastly, we had to tackle a rising damp problem in the kitchen. It’s quite a common repair for an older rural property. It’s a fairly simple process of injecting preventative chemicals into the wall. It didn’t take long (but it did make a mess of the kitchen!)

Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking back to it! But I’m glad we took the time and got the problems ironed out. Now, we can sit back and enjoy our wonderful new house.

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