Every year I write a list of projects we’d like to achieve within the next 12 months and at the end of the year I look back at how successful (or not!) we were in achieving them.

Last year we set ourselves four main projects (you can read the original blog post here), which included:

  • Fully renovating the basement
  • Finishing the garden path
  • Wiring a series of new sockets in the living room
  • Creating some DIY alcove units in the living room

This year I’m pleased to report we’ve managed to achieve 3 out of 4 ‘items’ from our list! Which I think is pretty good going considering 2020 was a strange year…


OK so, the basement isn’t actually fully renovated, but it is fully stripped back and pretty much all the prep-work has been achieved.

We spent months at the start of 2020 stripping paint, cement slurry and all kinds of other muck from the brickwork. There was literally bags and bags of the stuff!

We also installed a new basement window, sanded back some of the original wood panelling above the stairs, opened up a fireplace and generally spent hours cleaning and scrubbing the entire space down. It took FOREVER!

The rooms may not be finished down here, but the worst of the work is at least done, so I’ll celebrate that! We also now have electric installed to the basement – but I’ll talk more about that soon!

victorian cellar renovation


Say what now? Yes, this was not on the list for 2020, but it did actually tackle the bullet point for ‘finish garden path’. This was such an impulsive DIY that definitely wasn’t on the original garden plan! I dunno what happened really – one day I just decided a pond was a great idea and then spent around 4-weeks trying to decide whether or not I should go ahead with it. As you can see, we did indeed go ahead with it!!

This DIY isn’t something I’ve documented on the blog (yet) because it’s still not quite finished, but you’ll notice the garden path is now GONE, so that’s at least a job ticked off the list! Again – I’ll share more on the pond soon I promise!

Small rectangular pond at bottom of garden


Whilst we had the electrics in the basement put in, we also had an electrician wire in some new sockets in the lounge too. Grant did all the prep-work himself, chasing out the sockets and notching out the joists, so all the electrician had to do was wire everything in.

After years of extension leads, I can’t tell you how great it is to finally have sockets in the right locations! We even have a new (secondhand) electric radiator in the lounge too. It’s the best-looking electric radiator I’ve found to date and I’ll be reviewing very soon!

We still need to patch the walls in here, but it’s a step in the right direction and something we’ve waited years to be able to do!

chasing metal back boxes DIY


Technically not a renovation project, but I felt like it needed a mention anyway! 2020 was the year we got an allotment and spent hours clearing our new plot ready for winter.

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to grow a lot in 2020 (other than some lettuce and carrots) as we’d missed most of the growing season, but we have big plans for this space in 2021 and I can’t wait to share soon!

allotment cleared for winter

And that’s it for 2020! Unfortunately we didn’t get round to the DIY alcove units, but there’s always 2021 right?!

How did you get on with your renovation list this year?

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