December 2017 Spending Report

Hi folks,

Welcome to my first spending report where I'll be bringing you up to speed on my progress for my first 1½ years since moving into my home. The reason there hasn't been a DIY spending report before this is because I set up over Christmas 2017, and we moved into our home in July 2016.

As this is my first DIY Spending Report, I'll explain a little bit on what it's about.

Below is a detailed list of all the jobs I've completed up to the end of December 2017. split into the little and not-so-little projects. The major projects are ones that take me more than 5 days, the minor ones take 5 days or less.

I've gone into a little detail on each, and will eventually do some detailed how-to blog posts on them in time. Although I don't keep an exact tally of the time it takes me to do each DIY project, I have put a pretty accurate amount of days against each. I've also estimated how much I reckon I've saved by not paying a professional to do the work.

To the right (or below if looking on a phone) is a summary of the whole page.

That's it, enjoy reading folks and I hope you find this information valuable if you're about to start a similar project...

Jump straight to...


Up to December 2017:                   £10912.32


Up to December 2017:                   £10250.00


Up to December 2017:                    46 days


Small DIY Projects completed:     4

Large DIY Projects completed:    3

How do you estimate the money saved?

Double Glazed Windows

picture showing grey double glazed window set on white render gable end
To make things more contemporary, we opted for grey coloured window frames. In time, the render surrounding the window will be replaced with a more modern type.

  • Total cost of DIY Project: £5579.00
  • Estimated Money Saved: None (because I paid another to install them)
  • Time Taken: 1 day (meeting salesmen and dealing with snags!)
  • Small DIY Project (because I didn't install them) 

The existing windows were original and at some point had secondary glazing added, which (let's be honest here) doesn't really do much! As we were extendng out the back, we had new windows put in the front and sides only. I think this is the only job I haven't done myself, the shame is almost unbearable! That said, when I build the rear extension, I'll be installing those windows so I'll have a chance to redeem myself.

The Downstairs Toilet

picture showing newly installed toilet on basalt tiles with lights shining below the skirting
LED strip lights have been tucked beneath the basalt skirting tiles

  • Total cost of DIY Project: £932.45
  • Estimated Money Saved: £2000 (10 days for one person)
  • Time Taken: 14 days
  • Large DIY Project

This little nook started out as a dingy little room, too small even for a radiator, desperate for a complete renovation.

From floor to ceiling, everything came out. The floor was replaced with 10.5mm thick basalt tiles, the wall tiles were ripped off and the plaster repaired and painted. The toilet was replaced and the new sink sat on a new corner unit.

I got a bit carried away with lights and installed 10 small spot lights to replace one pendant light. I also installed strip LED's along the underside of the basalt skirting. These strip LED's continue into the cabinet to light it up from the inside. Suffice to say that the kids love it but I think I should've taken more time to think things through, and probably not got so carried away with the lighting.


  • Basalt tiles @ £11.50/m², 2.3m² req'd = £26.45
  • ½ can of Lithofin MN Stain Stop PLUS Sealer & Colour Intensifier from 1 Litre can = £19.16
  • HIB White Sienna Solo Compact Two Door Bathroom Vanity Cabinet Single Shelf inc Basin = £293.99
  • 24v 4 Metre 3528 Cool White LED Strip Light from, 60 LED's and transformer = £55.80
  • Set of 10 LED Deck Lights (Warm White 15mm) from  = £29.99
  • Tile adhesive - 1 bag from local builders merchant £8.88
  • Plumbing bits from Screwfix (copper pipe, elbow, flexhoses, pipe clips, equal tee) = £25.98
  • Metal blanking plates from local builders merchants £6
  • Other plumbing fitting from local plumbing merchants = £23.06
  • Toilet, cistern, loo seat & sink waste cap from City Plumbing = £ 270.39
  • Towel and loo roll holders from = £64.80
  • Grohe Europlus Basin Mixer tap from = £ 107.95

The Shed (in the front garden)

Picture showing rustic shed with green roof, sides clad in larch waney edge with chunky corner posts
Situated alongside our front boundary with the road, this shed required planning permission

  • Total cost: £3020.90
  • Estimated Money Saved: £6000  (10 days for two people plus a profit margin for a finished product)
  • Time Taken: 20 days
  • Large DIY Project

With all the inevitable deliveries of DIY materials, I knew that I'd need some serious storage space, especially as buying in bulk (when offers are on) is almost always a surefire bet to save money. My garage was ideal for storage, the only problem was that it was filled with my landscaping stuff (landscaping is my day job). This gave me the perfect excuse to build a big shed. It needed to be in the front garden, therefore requiring planning, and it needed to be big... I also wanted it to have a green roof.


  • Steel reinforced concrete shed base:
    • 3 sheets of A142 3.6x2m crack control mesh = £56.02
    • 1200 gauge  DPM = £42.00
    • 100 mesh spacers (castles) = £10.80
    • 3 bulk bags of 10mm ballast = £113.40
    • 25 bags of cement = £107.11
    • 2.25 tonnes type 1 hardcore £94.34
  • Low height wall:
    • 78 blue engineering bricks (2nd's) £23.26
    • 159 best blue engineering bricks £148.58
    • 7 bags yellow sand £17.17
    • 1 bag white cement £9.36
  • Timber framing and walls:
    • Really chunky Douglas Fir posts = £467.50
    • Douglas Fir door framing = £18.00
    • 19mm thick larch Waney Edge boards = £276.00
    • C16 structural timber for the hidden framing = £493.20
  • Sedum roof (green roof):
    • 30mm thick Sedum blanket = £411.00
    • 1 bulk bag of good quality topsoil = £50.40
    • porous separation membrane = £14.4
    • 1½ bulk bags of trent gravel for the drainage layer = £75.60
    • 6 sheets of 12mm thick marine ply £303.70
    • Douglas fir fascia boards = £25.80
    • 7 length of 3.6m x 48mm x 48mm sawn cut timber battens = £19.27
  • Internal shelves:
    • 1 sheet of 1.2m x 2.4m 12mm thick ply = £20.33
    • framing taken from left over wall framing timber.
  • Consumables:
    • Timber end grain protector = £12.46
    • 2 boxes of M5.0 x 90mm wood screws £12.82
    • 1 box of Reisser 3.5 x 30mm wood screws £3.94
    • 2 boxes of Reisser 5.0 x 90mm = £42.24
    • 1 box of Reisser 4.0 x 70mm wood screws = £10.18
    • Timber waterproofing paint = £18
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Galvanised gutter - 3m length down pipe, 2 fixing brackets & 1 end adaptor from = £40.69
    • Door locks, hinges, latches & bolts = £70.30
    • For the door - 60 M6 nuts, bolts & washers = £9.72
    • galvanised chimney balloon (it's a debris guard for the top of the downpipe,in case you were wondering) = £3.31

Bathroom Fan

pictur eshowing newly installed silver coloured extractor fan
Ignore the pink walls, that's on the DIY list to sort out. At least the extractor fan looks nice!

  • Total cost: £73.13
  • Estimated Money Saved: £150  (½ day for one person)
  • Time Taken: 1 day
  • Small DIY Project

Moisture is a big problem in the home and one of the main sources is the bathroom. Installing an extractor fan is a cheap and quick fix to bring the moisture levels down.


  • HIB Breeze Matt Silver Wall Mounted Slimline Low Profile Fan with Timer & Humidity Sensor = £59.99
  • HIB Ceiling Fan Accessory Kit = £13.14

Rear Boundary Fence

picture showing oak feather boarded fence, half weathered and turning silver in colour
All made from Oak, this fence has been weathering for about a year and a half. Eventually, it will all be silver in colour

  • Total cost: £796.63
  • Estimated Money Saved: £1000  (2.5 days for one person)
  • Time Taken: 5 days (there was a lot of brash to clear)
  • Large DIY Project

It emerged during the course of purchasing the property that our land extended 6ft beyond the rear fence. After a little chat with the residents we found out why. It turned out that he used to tip his grass cuttings over his fence, and it would still technically be on his land. Anyway, we decided to take down the old fence and put up a new mega-robust fence in the correct position, all made from Oak and expected to last decades.


  • 90 Oak feather boards = £378
  • 6 Oak gravel boards = £43.20
  • 25 Oak cant rails = £135
  • 7 Oak posts £95.76
  • 2 bulk bags ballast £75.60
  • 12 bags cement= £45.07
  • stainless steel ring shank nails and other fixings =£24

Parquet Floor (in the Dining Room)

picture showing lacquer being applied to a parquet floor
Lacquer being applied to a freshly sanded Parquet floor

  • Total cost: £132.40
  • Estimated Money Saved: £400  (2 days for one person)
  • Time Taken: 2 days
  • Small DIY Project

The parquet floor was already installed within the dining room but the wooden pieces were loose and the finish was worn. I needed to sand it all down, fill the gaps with filler  and finish it off with a fresh coat to protect the wood.


  • ½ can of Lecol 7500 5kg wood filler = £19.80
  • ½ can of Lecol Lobadur WS 2K Fusion 5L = £38.14
  • Roller and large squeegee from local decorators merchants = £14.46
  • Hire of Belt and Edge Sander from local Hire Station = £36.00
  • 36, 60, 80, 100 & 120 grit sand paper for sanders = £24

Chimney Flue & Cowl (for the lounge fireplace)

new stainless steel chimney cowl set n top of chimney pot
A standard stainless steel chimney cowl set on top of the chimney pot. The flue liner attaches to the cowl within the pot.

  • Total cost: £377.81
  • Estimated Money Saved: £700 (I got a quote)
  • Time Taken: 3 days
  • Small DIY Project

Prerequisite to constructing the fireplace and hearth. I realised I had a warm, not-so-windy week in December, ideal conditions to get up on the roof and drop a flu down the chimney.

Later in the year, I installed the hearth and purchased the log burner for £1147.13.  This is in February's Spending Report on the Lounge.

Towards the end of the year, I install the Mantelpiece, surrounding masonry and the lintel. You can find these costs in October's Spending Report


  • Hire of roof ladder from local hire station = £39.53
  • Winter warmer bundle from = £338.28, including:
    • 9m of 5" 904/904 Flexible Flue Liner,
    • 5" Stainless Steel Suspending Cowl
    • Flue adaptor to stove pipe
    • Fire cement
    • Nose cone
    • 5" 45° Bend With Door Stove Pipe,
    • 5" 45° Bend Stove Pipe,
    • Chimney Notice Plate

Is this not enough for you, want to read some more reports?

Click here to go back to the Spending Report page

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