Tag Archives: DIY

DIY – Knowing When to Call in the Professionals

DIY seems to sit neatly alongside the manly pursuit of BBQing; “No help required thank you.  Just stand back and let me show you how it’s done.”

It is hard to ignore the manly instinct that tells us DIY is good and we can do it without professional help.  Maybe we just want tools, or perhaps it’s some kind of homo sapiens nest-building urge, but we do need to recognise our limits.

 I recently went to do a bit of work in a friend’s house, and it took a lot of persuasion from his wife to convince him to call me in to help.  He is very handy himself and could have easily managed the jobs I did for him… if he had the time.  A new job and a second baby doesn’t leave much time for DIY sadly, and although it was a slight dent to his pride to get me in, I know it was a great relief.

 I was in the same position myself recently, confronted with a large DIY job at home which I just didn’t have time to do.  It is funny how a small job can slowly gain momentum and snowball into a huge one.  The light bulb blew in our landing light and we decided that we’d change the light fitting – we had been thinking of doing this for some time, and the bulb blowing was just the catalyst required to push us into John Lewis lighting department.  The only problem was, the light we bought looked rather good, and made the crack-filled, scuffed landing look even more unacceptable… now we needed to redecorate. 

 Changing a light bulb swiftly turned into a full redecoration job and all went well.  That is until, after stripping away the wallpaper, I realised that the entire hallway needed lining paper prior to painting.  At that point things ground to a halt.  We were by now quite accustomed to the walls in their rustic if rather unfinished state.  My mother-in-law said they looked quite ‘Provencal’ which was perhaps stretching the truth a touch, but at least she didn’t say they had character.  Suffice to say, I surrendered and the decorator was duly called to finish the job.

 There are lots of reasons why people need help with jobs in their properties, and it isn’t always a lack of know-how, but often simply a lack of time or a realisation that time could be better spent doing what we know best and letting other people take the pressure off.

 Joe White works full-time for Accommodation Windsor Limited as Maintenance Manager.  If you require help with maintenance, redecoration or design advice at your property, please do not hesitate to contact us at www.accommodation-windsor.co.uk on 01753 833747.

Before & After at the Courtyard, Windsor

Looking for a new property to add to our portfolio back in 2007, we were excited about viewing the Penthouse apartment at The Courtyard.  Set back from the High Street in a charming and secluded courtyard, yet just moments from the bustling shops, restaurants and Castle, it couldn’t be better located. 

Big too, with two bathrooms AND allocated parking.  There was only one problem… the hideous decor.

The apartment had been a bolt hole for the owners who lived in Dubai, and on viewing the property we surmised that the last time it had seen a paintbrush was circa 1988.  However, it was spacious, light and superbly located – with parking.  We never met the vendors, dealing solely with the agent; and the only sticking point was their insistence that all contents were included in the price, so our first job was to hire a man with a van… and it was out with the chintz.

Money was short and time precious, so we painted, replaced as much furniture as we could afford and rented it out  within a couple of weeks of completion.

  Our first tenant was a dream – he booked initially for a few weeks but ended up staying for over a year. 

Our tenant travelled regularly and was relaxed about us having access to the property whilst he was away.  During each of his extended trips, we nipped in and blitzed another room.  His only concern was raised when we told him about  plans to knock through from the lounge to the kitchen to create a breakfast bar.  He was worried that with the new open plan layout he would be disturbed by noise from the washing machine / tumble dryer when he was relaxing or working in the lounge.  Good point!  So with the help of our builders, Titan Construction, we sourced and installed a Miele super silent model. 

The photos featured below show the process from 80′s disaster zone to  stylish flagship property. 

We started with the main bathroom; clean but old-fashioned, It had to go.   With stylish new tiles and a funky white suite, it’s now a haven for relaxation.

 

  

 

We knocked through from the lounge to the kitchen opening up the space and creating a new breakfast bar.  The lounge was dreary and dated with dark grey carpets and lots of swags and tails at the windows.  We laid solid wood floor throughout the lounge and hallway and soft, neutral carpets in the hallway and bedrooms.  We ripped out the melamine units making the lounge appear instantly bigger.

 

Out with the old and in with the new fitted kitchen.  We fitted an  integrated silent washing machine / tumble dryer, dishwasher, fridge and freezer.  Granite worktops and black ceramic floor tiles add drama.

Peach walls, velour headboard and white melamine furniture.  It must have been stylish at some point.  We re-decorated, recarpeted, replaced the furniture and put in a new en-suite – that’s better!

 

This apartment has been awarded 4 GOLD stars in 2009 and 2010 by Enjoy England.  Modern and stylish but with a homely feel, the property is spacious with lots of natural light, and delightful views to both Bachelors Acre and Windsor Castle; just about as close to town as you can get.  We’ve installed flatscreen TVs and top spec SKY+ package, ensuring high occupancy and lots of happy tenants.  To find out more about pricing and availability at the Penthouse apartment please contact us on 01753 833747 or enquiries@almahouse.co.uk.