We finally managed to move in to our new house on Saturday morning, having decided that living on site was finally possible (working loo, tap & electric sockets in the kitchen working, if no where else, and two serviceable rooms to live in). We are still popping back to my parents’ house for showers though!
It feels like a lot has happened in the three days since we moved, so here’s a summary.
The dining room plaster dried, so we could paint it:
Our fabulous main builders spent Sunday on the roof fixing the ridge tiles in place (I don’t have a photo of that yet). They also fitted the wetroom boarding ready for tiling.
The plasterer came back and plastered the bathroom today (Monday), so hopefully in the next few days the plumber will be back to fit the bath so the tiling can be done.
The electricians (there were three of them here at a couple of points today) also came today and lit up the downstairs. This is fabulous as it means we don’t have to use a torch to find the loo after dark. They’ve also fitted the plug sockets in the other rooms downstairs, so we don’t have extension leads everywhere.
Kitchen (above the imaginary table)
Living room recessed spotlights
The electricians also switched the oven on, so I made scones. Happy days.
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.
The land our house is built on has been in my family for over 90 years, having been bought by one of my Granddad’s uncles in the 1920s.
It’s a fantastic TARDIS – it looks small and unassuming from the front, but it’s surprisingly big inside. Until we cleared it last summer I hadn’t really appreciated the size, but it must have always been that way, particularly as it fitted six adults and six children in when the whole family visited my grandparents at Christmas, and even more people usually arrived for Christmas Dinner.
There are two distinct layers in the house at the moment – the stone layer, which was built by my Granddad’s uncle, and the brick layer, which was built by my Granddad. The intention is that our alterations will give another (tile clad, probably) layer that shows the next evolution of the house.
“Our” layer involves a dormer extension to the top floor, turning what was my Auntie and my Dad’s bedrooms (and later the rooms my family stayed in when we visited) into a big bedroom, a bathroom and a landing area with a balcony. None of the construction has started yet, so we’re waiting to see how it really evolves.