With the whole house needing redecorating, new carpets and a host of other work it is hard to know where to start.
Finding the time and money to complete the work has been a bigger problem than we had anticipated. Once the most urgent work is completed there is barely any time left to do the little things that make a house feel homely, like adding soft furnishings and paintings.
After four months the only furniture in our lounge is a manky old sofa-bed, and half the boxes are still unpacked.
So a few weeks ago we made a decision; to take on a lodger and use the money to accelerate the work we want to do.
It wasn’t easy to decide on having a stranger share the house. Who would we pick? Would we feel like we were back in a house-share again.
The decision was made simpler by the fact that we have a loft room with ensuite that we rarely use.
People take on lodgers for different reasons. For some the kids have flown the nest and they want to have the company or security of someone in the house. For others they want someone similar to them to chat to and go to the pub with.
For us, we really just wanted someone clean and tidy, who wouldn’t intrude on our life too much. As a result we made the room almost self contained. Installed a TV, put in a desk, chair and light and supplied clean sheets and towels.
The other decision we made was to choose a Monday to Friday lodger. We specified this in the advert. It means the lodger has to vacate the room every weekend so we can use it for family and friends.
Having a Monday to Friday lodger also means that at the weekends the whole house is ours again. Given that we all work all week that means we really don’t feel like we’ve compromised on having our own house at all.
If you’re looking for a little extra cash for a spare room then taking on a lodger is a simple and easy way to do it. Most of the money you get is tax free, under the government’s rent a room scheme. And unlike with tenants, lodgers don’t have property rights so you can change your mind if you need to.
Next step was doing up the room. More on that next week…