The Recycled Kitchen

Kitchen going in 1One of the great joys and surprises of The Secret Acre’s eco-makeover has been our bespoke recycled kitchen.

From the outset, Emma has been dead set against buying commercial kitchen units. You regularly hear of people spending tens of thousands of pounds on commercial kitchens which all tend to look frankly so cheap and nasty you wonder why they bother. The answer is of course because we are told having a bespoke kitchen made for you is astronomical. Continue reading

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Six Months In: Moving, Snagging & Landscaping

Six monthsIt seems hard to believe, but just over six months into the smallholding’s eco-makeover, the excellent builders had stuck to both the timetable and the budget and we were ready to move in.

So after lots of internal finishing in September, and a disappointing lack of readily available Triple A rated energy efficient appliances, we finally booked the removal van for the start of October, worried only by the alarming amount of stuff we had to pack up.

Now safely in, we are starting to work through the inevitably long list of snagging issues, top of which on day one was the alarmingly absent manhole for the bathroom sewer! Continue reading

M is for… Manhole

ManholeOur top tip for moving into a newly refurbished home would definitely be to make sure, preferably before you use your new bathroom, that you have remembered to connect it to the sewer!

So it was, 48 hours before we moved in, that we found ourselves at the smallholder’s hovel casually cleaning, snagging and dreaming where our furniture would go. As we gazed around outside the front door I idly remarked that I couldn’t remember when the trench had gone in to connect the new front bathroom to the original sewer running across the front of the property. Continue reading

M is for… Moving

Moving out 1Finally just over six months into the smallholding’s eco-makeover, the big day arrived for moving in all our unnecessarily large amount of stuff.

A week of unprofessional packing, cleaning up after the builders and writing out an unfeasibly long snagging list, led to a mere four hours of highly professional stuffing it all into the removal van, a near miraculously quick two hours of unloading and a highly commendable lack of any breakages. Continue reading

The Triple A Desert

A Triple PlusIt seemed a no-brainer that when buying new appliances for The Secret Acre’s eco-makeover we would of course only choose from the most energy efficient A+++ rated.

So we were genuinely surprised and disappointed to discover that there is a real lack of affordable A+++ appliances available in the UK. Continue reading

The Story of Stuff

Moving BoxesThe day of our big move into the smallholding is nigh. Just over a year since we bought The Secret Acre, and after six months of eco-makeover.

So this week we sit among ever increasing piles of packed moving boxes. An alarming reminder of just how much unnecessary stuff you accumulate. The uncomfortable feeling is particularly acute for Emma who moved into the house in Bristol with just a rucksack and no furniture. Now 15 years later we are going to need two large removal vans to shift it all! Continue reading

Five Months In: Inside Out

Radiators go inA mild panic is starting to set in. After getting watertight in July, August has seen the house suddenly starting to look like you could actually live in it again. So much so that in another few weeks we plan to move the rest of our stuff in. Have we even booked a van?!!

At least one thing has stayed the same, finishing as we started with our eco obsession with insulation. Our final lorry load of insulation in August was for the external solid wall insulation to be wrapped around the bungalow’s three remaining original white walls. Continue reading