My next DIY project is likely to be a little more involved

Of course in an ideal world I’d be doing something like the inimitable Colin Furze and building a secret bunker in my garden. But since my greatest achievement to date has involved getting the toy cars lined up on my littlest’s wallpaper, I know not to push it too far. My skills lie elsewhere. I’ve been told. Presumably by someone who knows.

Anyway, I have managed a few fairly major tasks- I’ve refitted and tiled a bathroom, rebuilt a summer house from an old concrete shed, done my own DIY security camera project and even fitted an IKEA kitchen. Yes, the majority of this was all done before I had dodgy knees and three small children getting underfoot but in principle, I’m still up for a bit of a challenge.

We’re at that stage where we’re looking to either move and take on a project or do something fairly radical internally. Either way, it’s going to involve the removal of some non load bearing walls. Our entire top floor is pretty much non load bearing in terms of the internal walls- the roof is supported on the external brick walls, with some obvious gaps between the rafters and the internal walls at the top once you prod the plaster away. We’ve been looking at turning the box room into an ensuite & bathroom and moving it (the fourth bedroom) to the current bathroom. I’ll need an upgrade on my 5lb lump hammer and also a pair of sturdy comfortable safety shoes to stop brick and breeze block clobbering my delicate toes. The lump hammer I can get most anywhere but the chap we had in the office to do our PAT testing recently pointed me towards Engelbert- Strauss for the safety shoes. I’m a size 12 so it’s hard enough to get normal shows  in store in my size, let alone specialised footwear. The idea of being able to buy them online is appealing.

We’re fortunate enough that in St Albans we have the first two pilot Bunnings stores in the country. Bunnings are the brand that bought out the ailing Homebase and are turning them into proper DIY sheds- when I re-felted our sheds roof the other day I had about 5 different types of roof felt to choose from, which is something even the huge B&Q in Stevenage can’t boast.

I’m fortunate as our next door neighbour has already done roughly what we anticipate doing, so I can learn from what he’s done and even ask him if there is anything he would have done differently. Apparently there is some structural steel in a very inopportune place that’s caused him a bit of a headache, so I’ll have the benefit of not being surprised by that if we do stay put.