Life’s chaotic at the moment. Not content with the madness that surrounds life as two working parents to a nine month old, we’ve made the decision to start moving forward with our renovation plans. Finally. Two and a half years after we moved in to our eighties-decor-laden wreck of a house, we’ve pulled our socks up and decided to get things sorted. What does that mean? It means it’s time to find a builder.
I should explain a little of the backstory first. In our previous pre-baby existence, we bought our first house, gutted it completely and turned a seventies nightmare into a modern, open-plan home. It took months of living in dust with every spare moment spent demolishing, rebuilding and decorating but we got there. We finished it, took one look around and sold up. Yikes. This house is different. We moved in with an appetite to do it all again but quickly realised it wasn’t feasible. We were right in the middle of planning a wedding and by the time that came and went, a little blue line appeared.
In the depths of nesting we set about decorating a few rooms to make things a little more baby friendly. We did our bedroom when I was 22 weeks pregnant, the nursery at 30 weeks and I painted the bathroom – balanced precariously on the edge of the bath – at 35 weeks. I was determined that things would look a little less ‘grandma’s house circa the 50’s’ and a little more like us, even if it did mean I attempted to re-wire ceiling lights in the nursery at 36 weeks and left us without lighting for 12 hours because I got cramp midway through. I think it was then that my husband put his foot down. We were done.
Fast forward nine months and here we are. We’ve got plans approved, money saved and finally, a window of opportunity where we can imagine living in the upheaval of decorating. There’s only one thing standing in our way; finding someone to do the job. Previously, I’d have been adamant we could do it ourselves but with a baby in tow and limited time anyway, it’s not happening. So, in an attempt to find out who’s out there and in our (tiny) budget, I turned to Bidvine.
Bidvine is a company I heard about from other bloggers. Covering a wealth of different areas from events to business services, counselling to home improvement, Bidvine makes it easy to get quotes from local, trusted service professionals. Having seen it recommended by others, I figured anything that saved me time was worth a shot especially after a quick look on their site showed me they had great coverage even down here in deepest, darkest Devon. So off we went.
Ringing up builders is not something I enjoy. I hate the awkwardness of the conversations, I hate asking about money and I despise building up courage to call someone only for them not to answer as they’re busy. It’s bad enough without a child but when you throw in a demanding nine month old whose favourite thing to do at the moment is shout ‘DADA!!” at the dog repeatedly, phone calls are hard work. So another plus for Bidvine. It took me all of two minutes, if that, to pop in my information. I put in builder, selected construction services and entered my postcode. Bidvine then asked me a series of questions to make sure I got to the right people; whether it was just an estimation, the type of property, the size of the extension, our time scale and any additional information the builder would need to know. In order to get quotes, I create an account, hit submit and then wait… our information is sent off to local registered companies and they get back in touch with us with their quotes or asking for the further information that they need.
Sounds a bit too easy doesn’t it?!
The whole process was painless considering our request is probably one of the more involving out there in terms of the level of information needed to get a quote. The website was simply laid out, the steps were easy to follow (even for a sleep deprived parent) and worked well on my iPhone. It meant that I could sort building quotes on my phone whilst doing the night feed at 2am… not something I’d otherwise manage! I’d imagine that easier, more specific tasks such as finding a party entertainer or locating a personal trainer would be even simpler – I don’t need to imagine for long, both of those are jobs I need to do soon-ish! I’d recommend it to any time-strapped parent, especially those who, like me, dread the calling round required to find someone decent, available and within budget. I just wish I’d heard about it sooner – I could have spent those 2am wake ups being far more organised rather than surfing social media!
Now to break the news to my husband that the dust is coming back…
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