Saturday, July 25, 2009


I've been out this afternoon snapping away with a couple of internal shots to show. I took this one from the field behind our house. It gives you a good idea of the scale of the build. I think the house has grown by a third. I am sure I won't have any trouble filling it - I am not known for my minimalist taste!

As you can see, the roof work is complete. I think the varied pitch of the roof mirrors the two little dormer windows. The one on the right got moved from where the small skylight is on the left of the other one so it wouldn't interfere with the new roof pitch. It was moved very carefully and reinstated using the same stone and wood frame.

Here's the extension from the patio. The window and glass doors out are still covered up.

Despite it being Saturday we've had four lads in to get plasterboard up on the walls. They got most of it done today. It has really changed the feel of the extension and made it feel more like rooms than a building site.

This shot is taken from the corner of the working part of the kitchen looking into the garden room. The plasterboard has really lightened the place up. I can't wait to see it all plastered out next week. The builders are also knocking through into the house early next week. After that there's not much else to do before it is over to David for wooden floor laying in the kitchen area and tiles in the utility in the porch. This could prove tricky as David returned from a bike ride today with a gash under his knee that resulted in four stitches at A&E. So the poor thing is hobbling about at the moment. Friends and family reading this, get your excuses ready now.......

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fitting out

Not much has changed on the outside since my last blog. The stonework and structure is in place and the main thing now is to get the roof tiled. I am looking forward to this bit being finished as it will mean the extension is watertight and we can get onto the next stage which is fitting out.

Meanwhile, things have been moving on inside. We seemed to have had a lengthy discussion with the plumber as to where we should site the boiler, sink and white goods in the new utility room. There are all sorts of building regulations to work with re venting and pipework. Anyway, the pipework has gone in ready for the new unvented cylinder and boiler that will replace our old system - our old boiler was so large it had its own room. We have also sorted out where we want the electric sockets and light fittings to be.

As this is an old building, as well as updating it, we were really keen to keep the original features. We had a nice old arched back door that would have been redundant in the current scheme. But we have managed to salvage it and the joiner has made a special arched frame for it. This door will now lead to the front porch. Here is the frame - the door we are re-instating is similar to the front one you can see.

The new study/bedroom above has its velux windows in and has been boarded out. I am really impressed with how this room looks and how spacious it is. Here is that view again through the roof supports and through the borrowed light window once that is in place. It has been designed so that when you are sitting at your desk here you will get a view through the kitchen's velux windows and beyond.

We are about 11 weeks in now on a project set to take 14 weeks. It looks pretty much like it will be on schedule. I must say that I find this last bit harder than the rest. With everything coming together quickly I just want it to be finished so I get get on with getting it sorted to move into. Our temporary kitchen has worked really well but I am coming to the end of my recipe repertoire. We are lucky that my parents are nearby and my mum has kept us sustained with some tasty dishes and invites from friends to cook for us have also been gratefully received.

The scaffolding is gradually on its way down round the front of the house which will mean we have our front garden back which is timed well for the school holidays and the kids playing out there.

There are lots of practical purchases to make to kit the place out but a few weeks ago I did indulge myself by buying a print from the inspiring Godfrey and Watt gallery in Harrogate - . Emily was brought up in North Yorkshire and her work has a really nostalgic feel about it. The print I was drawn to was the 'Silver Swan', a drawing of the mechanical working silver swan which operates a couple of times a day at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle a place also worth a visit. When I saw Emily's print I already had a home for it in my mind!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The rain

Despite the lovely summer weather we have also had a couple of massive downpours here recently and have had to catch a couple of leaks coming through the roof. Our roofers turned up on Friday just as the thunder clouds were looming. Despite their best efforts at working quickly to get the roof slates off and the roofing felt on, you can't beat nature and the heavens opened. We had another leak yesterday morning. The overflow pipe had been dislodged so the water from it came into the house. Luckily, as it was a Saturday, our foreman Tony came out as did Roger, the plumber, and solved the problem.

Anyway, leak dramas aside things have really moved on. Here is a photo to show you where we are at.

The gable wall is finished with window and door in situ. The door leads out onto the balcony - which is enclosed between two pitches of roof and is above the utility room. From the front of the house you would have no idea that there was a balcony there. Me and David will be both fighting to use this room for our writing work!

Here is the extension from the back. The glass doors and window out are still covered up but I think this will be a very light and sunny garden room.

The building inspector came round mid week. He said that his job normally involved changing the odd thing but in our case he was extremely impressed with the design and the building work. He said it was a very 'tidy' job and that we should be really proud of it - a compliment to both the architect and the builders who have got us this far.

In the meantime we are looking ahead to fitting the place out. The aga installation has been booked for August 11th. The electrician has been in and we have gone through where to place the various sockets, switches and light fittings. Next the plumber will be in to sort out the radiators, boiler and pipework. I think this is the bit that takes our time and consideration as not only does it come together very quickly but this is also the bit where you get the house as you want it. So you have to plan ahead as to how you want to furnish each room. I can't really believe that the extension will be more or less habitable in just over a month's time as we are just 10 weeks on from when our builders started.