Yes that’s right. We are moving house in 2.5 weeks and at this stage we aren’t particularly confident that the house will be liveable, so it’s likely we’ll be staying with Sarah’s parents for a short spell.
That being said, this weekend things have moved on leaps and bounds.
We managed to find time to travel up for the weekend and on arrival we were excited to find the bifold windows in place!
Landing to balcony
Plus the first fix electrics and plumbing have been taken care of. Now we can see where the shower head & controls are going to be.
It’s all rather exciting!
But that’s not why we were there. It was time to actually get stuck in and do some work for ourselves because the kitchen walls and ceiling were plastered and the floor was tiled, so it was timed to get the first paint on the walls before the kitchen fitting begins!
We’ve visited the house twice since the last post, in fact I’m writing this one having just spent the day working there, but you’ll hear about that in the next post. Today I’ll share the updates from our last visit.
The framework making up the ‘landing’ has been completed and the remainder of the old gable has been removed. On the other side of the tarp is the beginnings of our balcony!
Not only have they finished the landing structure, but they’ve also got the bedroom up as well.
Including the partition wall creating our walk-in wardrobe
Space for a few hangers…
The next surprise was that the wall and door under the main staircase have gone, opening up the hallway space and making the room feel so much bigger! Eventually we’ll have a glass balustrade instead.
Finally, we decided during our last visit that the empty doorway between the dining room and the sun-lounge wasn’t really how we wanted it to stay, so the pillars have now been removed leaving a much larger double-doorway.
In the summer the sun-lounge becomes like an oven and the lack of door means that the heat is passed straight into the dining room and raises the temperature of the house considerably. So we’re going to have some doors added in to regulate this somewhat. We just need to decide if they’ll be sliding doors, bifolds, or just regular doors!
The major work upstairs has started in the last week – parts of the roof have been taken out and the wall that will split the bedroom and landing has been started. Our fabulous builders are reusing as much of the original material as they can, so this wall is mostly being built out of chimney.
Inside the gable end.
We were there briefly during the week this week, so were able to meet with the electrician and talk through the rewiring as well as seeing recent progress. The electrics are a bit of a mixed set at the moment (“Have you got an outside socket?” “Well, there’s a socket outside.” “Umm, that’s just an extension lead.” “Ah.”) so we are having the whole house rewired to modern standards. This also includes moving most of the light switches as we have moved some doorways and, because we’ve changed the use of rooms, will be changing which way doors open. Apparently we don’t need a shower pull in the middle of the kitchen either. It has been an interesting challenge trying to decide where we want plug sockets and lighting, especially with sockets in the kitchen, but we now have a plan to start with, even if it gets adjusted nearer the time.
Part of the importance of removing the chimney stack has been to allow us to turn the big room upstairs into a usable double bedroom, but the extension plans don’t stop there.
We wanted to be able to make the most of the fabulous views from the back of the house, so we (Rob, mostly, with Sarah making encouraging noises) designed a full width extension to the back of the house. Rob’s proficiency on Sketch Up meant that it was easy to show our architect what we wanted when it came to him drawing up the plans.
Almost inevitably, we had to make some compromises in order to secure planning permission – this felt frustrating at the time, especially given the reasons the planning officer gave for the initial rejection – but we have essentially come out with what we wanted.
The biggest differences between the first and second planning drafts was that the extension now looks (from the outside) like a big dormer extension, rather than the initial asymmetrical roof we had planned. The planning officer also asked that we changed our originally-planned timber cladding for a tiled finish. What difference this makes, we don’t know, but she requested it, so we did it!
The other change to upstairs is that the bathroom is moving up there from downstairs, into one quarter of the upstairs space. The other available quarter will be a “landing” (so called so it doesn’t have to have a door to meet building regulations), leading on to a small balcony.
All this is yet to come – it looks very much like a building site up there at the moment. The lining of the ceiling is gone, as have the previous walls that gave storage in the eaves, so the next big step is for the roof to be taken off, but that requires scaffolding, so the builders are doing all the interior prep work in advance.