Why Why DIY!

For those that know me, my DIY skills are A for effort and Y did I attempt it for achievement!

There I said it.

If you personality profiled me I’m the head of the arrow who’s only focus is on the target. The problem is when it comes to DIY there’s planning, preparation, multiple coats, waiting for drying, the right tools, perfection and skill all required before the target is met. You can see why we aren’t friends.

There’s also the trips to B&Q. My god the trips! Walking down the aisles like a zombified Tim the tool man Taylor (One for the oldies there), I end up spending more money on everything I need that it would cost to get the work done by a professional.

And then I do the work!

Having brought a very unique but old bungalow/cottage, it has heaps of character but it’s not been looked after. There’s so much work to be done and someone needs to do it.

Let me list some of the projects so far:

  • Flooring – I did 90% just need to sort beading. Did 90% in a week, haven’t finished yet :( Looks immense though.
  • Shelving in Porch – Slightly coming out of the wall!
  • Hall Way Lighting – Looks amazing! My homemade light fitting.
  • Painting the Walls – I did the first couple of coats and Mrs P finished.
  • The Stairs – We ripped all of the panelling off the stairs. Revealed some amazing 1940s features. Got someone in to prepare and paint after I got bored!
  • The garden – This is a continual project but I’ve chainsawed, ripped up, dug out Rhodendrons, removed paths and re-grew grass. Got help erecting picket fences and decking!

So as you can see there’s a mix of good and bad bits! The common theme among those that go right are the ones where I use the right tools or get outside help.

Something like this as we have no pictures because it was hideous and didn’t have a cover.

So when we had discussions about replacing the horrible strip lighting in our very out of date kitchen, there really wasn’t any sense in me “playing” with wiring and potentially risking electrocution or even worse, getting it right and then taking on more work.


Thankfully after doing the normal searches on Yell and Facebook as you do, I was pointed in the direction of Bidvine. A new way of getting local companies to bid on what’s required. If you’ve read my Engie post you’ll see that’s the new way to work with trades. Clarity and upfront quotes rather than coming in and quoting whatever they feel like.

Now I must point out that price isn’t everything and you have to take reviews and quality into consideration. So after a number of really important questions around who I need, location, type of work, specific requirements, indoors/outdoors and the option to upload pictures, my request was then sent to bidders!

You can also skip most of that and go direct to their Lighting Installers page.

Having found a very reasonably priced installer, we now had an idea of the cost and we then started to get creative. If we moved the strip light out, swapped the three directional spotlight one in Dottie’s nursery into the kitchen, then moved the pendant one which creates rainbows which she loves so much into her nursery we would then be able to invest in something epic.

Rachel always wanted a chandelier and while she’s off work with PND money is tight. Having worked on a number of campaigns and built up some PayPal funds from Ebay, I invested some money in a on-sale French antique chandelier at 25% from these guys for Rachel’s birthday: Here’s the website, Dandelion Interiors

Having gone through all the processes to find an installer, I felt comfortable leaving the money with the wife as there was a full trail of contact, bids etc.

All I can say is what an impressive job, service, chandelier and it’s the start of making our dining room an epic place to be. We have so much potential in this house, we just have so much work to do and it all costs. I will however be getting experts in to do it properly first time and save myself money in the long run.