April and the Bear Blog
DIY Interiors

Friends are important … especially where Skips are concerned

If you are venturing down the path of renovating a house on a tiny budget – I can tell you one thing, you are going to need some awesome friends. Not many, just a choice few that you know you can depend on when you’ve organised the delivery of a 20 foot skip and unfortunately but not surprisingly the weather forecast for the next day is torrential rain. The type of friend that shows on those painfully un-fun days are the ones that will still be by your side in twenty years time. Luckily the Bear and I have quite a few of these awesome types – Tom, Murph and Chris are some of our helpful heroes. 

Help me knock a wall?   Yes.

Help us rip a rotting patio out?   Done!

Help me replace a ceiling?   I’ll try!

Heroes I tell ya! But there was one friend that we literally could not have done this without – without his constant help we would not be nearing the end of renovation but more likely the end of our relationship! He was there on his days off work, in the evenings, at the weekends – basically whenever we needed an extra hand , he was there … the glorious, splendiferous DAVE JONES. Thank you Dave from the bottom of our dusty hearts – our first born is yours, whether you want her/him or not!

There he is now, our saviour Jones’ Christ in the future Living Room.

Sorry I do realise that this post has meandered into nostalgia via Friendsville but my point is this … friends are great, ask for their help when you need it and when they show up be thankful and ALWAYS have plenty of cold beer and pizza to hand.


Once the team of builders had demolished a reasonable amount of walls downstairs and had installed all three steel joists (1 across future living/dining space, 1 above future window in future kitchen and 1 above future patio doors in future dining area) they scarpered and we were left with a mess and a mountain of dusty rubble. So we did the logical thing and added more junk to it.

We ripped out and dismantled any remaining furnishings, pulled down ceilings, knocked walls, pulled up flooring. We kept all the salvageable bricks from the walls as we knew we’d need them in the future – so far we’ve used them to build rather a fetching wall in our front garden. You should always try and salvage what you can – it will cost you otherwise, either in trying to get rid of it (skip/rubbish fees) or in trying to replace it. Over the last 2 years we have salvaged tables, chairs, bricks and a helluva lot of wood. 

Reuse, reuse, recycle! This fine yellow brick wall was constructed from the walls on the lower floor. PLEASE NOTE we own and operate the weeds to the left of the brick wall not to the right.

Once the dust mound reached the 10ft ceiling it became apparent that we needed a skip. A motley crew of friends were called upon and the skip was ordered. At this stage we are as close as you get to being skip connoisseurs’ but at the beginning we didn’t really know what we were doing – if you are looking to hire a skip here are some tips;

SHOP AROUND – the week before d-day shop around and look for the best price! The company that we have used most frequently is A PLUS SKIPS – they are reliable and as far as I know the cheapest in Dublin city.

ENSURE THAT THE RUBBISH IS READY TO GO – in other words don’t order a skip for Tuesday morning if you’re only going to start demolition that day. You’re not that quick mate.

MAKE SURE YOU ORDER THE RIGHT SIZE – order too little and you’ll have to order another skip, order too big and it’s a total waste. Guestimate the size and if in doubt, ask your skip hire company.

STACK WITH SMARTS. The beardy one has stacking skips down to fine art, he starts with any long/large objects that he can stack all along the sides of the skip (see image below) so that he can pile as much as possible in. It works and generally the skip companies haven’t had an issue with it just don’t go overboard.

ORGANISE PICK UP WHEN ORDERING SKIP – Only plan on having the skip for one day and one night otherwise you are inviting hassle. Organise collection of the skip the day after it arrives because A. you’ll probably be finished and B. the company will inevitably be late on collection.

The wonderment of Photoshop.

If you do keep your skip for a couple of days/nights, you will gather a lot of random junk from opportunistic passers-by; you may also annoy those lovely neighbours of yours and or incur a lovely fine from the local County Council. Because as we all know, if you are planning on putting a skip on a road with parking restrictions you should have a licence for it – I know right? Classic case of WHO KNEW?! It doesn’t cost a lot (from €20) but it is definitely a pain in the ass and hence the quicker you fill that skip and get it outta there the better!

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