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The House that YouTube Built

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The House that Youtube built

This story begins 3 years ago (it feels like 10 years to me now) when my partner and I decided to buy a bigger house; like most young couples we had moved into a first time buyers house together and had outgrown it so needed more space. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford a “finished” big house, so that left us with one option, buy something which we could do up! After a long search we found something, it was out of our budget, but after some cheeky offers we managed to get it for the right price, the only problem was that it needed rather a lot of work.

Off the top of my head we needed to:
• Remove existing pebble dash and replace it with a new render
• New windows
• Treatment of existing damp issues
• New exterior doors
• New internal doors
• Floor leveling (downstairs)
• Removal and replacement of dodgy chipboard floor upstairs
• New central heating system

And that was just to get the house habitable, never mind all of the cosmetic stuff which needed to be done including; removing a wall, new kitchen, new bathroom, plastering, painting, new floors, new carpets etc. Needless to say there was a lot to do and it became apparent that we weren’t going to be able to pay for tradesmen to come in and do all of it, we were going to have to do a lot ourselves. Now, I think it is fair to say that when it came to DIY, I was a novice! In the original house that my partner and I lived in, there is a family legend of the time I tried to replace a light fixing in the lounge; I completely messed it up, declared that it was broke and had to leave for Rugby, “ I will fix it when I get home” I said as I left the house. When I got home my partner had rung her Dad and he had come and saved the day, very embarrassing.

Other than “light fixing gate” probably the most DIY I had done was hanging some shelves, so I was clueless, how was I supposed to renovate a house?!

Well like any person born in the 80’s, I turned to Google and what I found was amazing. I found that for pretty much any problem you have, you can find a video on YouTube which has a competent (or at least semi-competent) person tackling the exact same issues. I think the most obscure one for me was a problem I had with some architrave (the piece of trim which hides the ugly bit of your door frame); when the plasterers had been they had raised the level of plaster on the wall meaning that the door frame was no longer flush with the wall. This meant that the architrave was rocking back and forth, not good. YouTube came to the rescue with a guy who was renovating a listed property, incredible (the answer was to add a thin piece of strip-wood to the door frame to make it the same level as the wall).

Throughout the renovation project there were countless times where I was sat with my iPad watching Tommy Walsh (remember him from Ground Force?!) show me how to do things. Now this doesn’t mean that I didn’t make any more mistakes, I vividly remember the panic when I removed a radiator (YouTube video assisted) from a wall and cracked the pipe at the bottom meaning that all of the water in the heating system came gushing out all over the floor…as my plumber said, “well that’s one way to drain the heating system”.

Anyway, my point is that even as a novice, there is so much information out there now, especially on YouTube. It’s really about making sure you have the right tool for the job and giving it a go, nine times out of ten it will be fine! I have renovated my whole house doing this so I suppose I have to say… thank you YouTube!
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