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Posts: 15
Location: UK
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Ok I'll make this as short as I can, me a UK pensioner with a Tot Boy husband with a major heart condition.  
We bought a small house in a Bulgarian village last year the house is detached and facing south with a large productive garden to the front running down the side, the house itself has three large ish rooms upstairs plus a corridor which we use as a kitchen area and an internal bath room at the end of the corridor.
Downstairs we have a basement two rooms, one of which would have been the kitchen with a wood burning stove and a large sink and a corridor as above but no internal stair case and all need more power points, sockets and plastering oh and its a bit damp but this is cured by leaving the windows open when we're there.
No heating but lots of chimneys/
We want to get it up to all year living standard on a limited budget, all the windows are single glazed.
Husband thinks that an internal staircase should be the first priority.
I'm over there in early March by myself and it could be warm or freezing but no heating,we have a little money but where do I begin, upstairs is furnished and I can sort the garden but I need to prioritise works in the house before husband joins me for a weeks holiday in April as he shouldn't do any heavy manual work with his heart condition.
In short where do I start?
 
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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If it is just two of you guys. Then the current corridor with a sink/fridge/stove along the wall and a bathroom at the end sound wonderful.
It also has 3 rooms, aka A)bedroom, B) Dining/FamilyRoom, C) Project Room/misc.
I don't think that much more is needed.

I would add a direct vent heater to the corridor upstairs.
Maybe a AC/reversible mini-split heat pump to the corridor wall upstairs.
I would repaint upstairs and make it look like a really good.
I have seen much much smaller actual studio selling for 1 million dollars.
As fir the basement/downstairs. I would leave it as a basement/workshop.

The basement will be a multi-year project if you really want to fix it up.
1st electrical
2nd Drywall/Plastering
3rd Heating + Ventilation with heat recovery
4th Painting and Decorating.

Triple Pane Insulating windows and insulating doors and rigid wall insulation could be added after or during too.

Direct Vent Heater are cheap and works wonderfully for a space like yours.
You will have to run a propane/gas line to the wall.
https://www.amazon.com/Martin-Direct-Propane-Furnace-Thermostat/dp/B072Q5NBNZ

https://www.amazon.com/High-Efficient-Direct-Vent-Wall-Furnace-Size/dp/B008HQ5OQ4
https://www.amazon.com/Empire-Closed-Heater-Blower-Natural/dp/B001EXII56
You should get a handy man to come in and do it for you off the books, just buy the materials needed.


If you have a good ventilation system installed you might even be able to do a ventless one, but I don't recommend it.
https://www.amazon.com/Dyna-Glo-IR30NMDG-1-Natural-Infrared-Heater-x/dp/B016I0DGUG
 
Kath Thomas
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Thank you for your reply S Bengi, true at the moment we have a fridge and a table top cooker in the hall way but the only water is in the bathroom and theres no kitchen storage we use one of the rooms as a sitting room and when the weather is good we have a table outside but I don't like washing pots in the bathroom and I have to hand wash bedding and clothes in there as well as their is no room for a washing machine so I really do want to get the basement sorted and your list at the end of your post has been helpful. I thing that double or triple glazing will be a must as will thick heavy curtains thanks again.
 
S Bengi
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What is a tot boy husband? Boy Toy (Handsome & Younger) Husband, I am always lost when it comes to cool phrases and such.

When it comes to your upstairs kitchen/laundry plumbing.  
You could run flexible pipes to the corridor from both.
PEX piping is what every seems to be glamouring for now a day.

Here is a sink you could add to the hallway for US$300
https://www.eliterestaurantequipment.com/product/universal-bs-c2t2112-24-two-compartment-commercial-sink
https://www.eliterestaurantequipment.com/product/universal-lj1216-2l-39-two-compartment-sink-w-left-drainboard


You can use a auto-vent like what they use for kitchen Island.
As for the drain connection. Just send it thru the floor and then connect it to something there, or to the landscape greywater harvesting style.
Laundry Water likewise can just be used for landscape irrigation.
You could also setup the laundry outside. Walking outside once a week without an internal stairs to do laundry for just the two of you is okay.
Quite a few city folks do laundry for 5+ people and they have to 'commute' to a laundrymat/drycleaner everyweek in the horrible cold. So a brisk walk outside to the shed of a basement is okay at least in my book.
 
Kath Thomas
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Sorry for Tot Boy read Toy Boy, our sons when they first visited us had similar ideas to you but after staying a few days agreed with us that a move into the basement would be preferable also in the winter many people move into and live in their basements to reduce heating bills. Thank you for your suggestions.
 
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