It has been an exciting month for Him, Me and Our Three. Amidst the preparations for a return to school, after four submissions, we finally received building control approval for our plans.
We are not thrilled with some of the conditions we have had to agree to. The trickle vents in my beautiful hand-made wooden sash windows being the main compromise that is pushing me to the edge of sanity.
We are so excited though to finally begin work on This Old House. Before building comes demolition, of course, and there has certainly been plenty of that!
The old apartments are gone
Our builders, JB Bentley & Sons, have wasted no time in removing the 1970s extension and apartment access at the rear of the house. It’s pretty terrifying to see your home completely dismantled in this way. It’s particularly distressing to see coving and plasterwork that has survived intact for 100 years reduced to rubble.
My long list of ‘must keeps’ looks a little laughable in hindsight considering that the builders removed twice the amount of house than what we expected. There was a moment of rejoicing though as the pink and maroon bathroom from the ground floor apartment finally bit the dust.
Digger operator Sam, now affectionately known as “the demolition man,” has had to endure the frustration of frequent interruptions to his work whilst I pick through old bricks and try to rescue the original tiled floor that he’d really prefer to dig through.
They are getting on well though. The work only began at the start of September but the foundations are in and the brickwork is well underway for the new two-storey extension. On the ground floor, it will house the kitchen/diner, bootroom, garage and a downstairs loo. On the first floor it will include One of the kids bedrooms, a bathroom, shower room, laundry room, playroom and roof garden.
After such a protracted and complicated process to get to this point (you can catch up on how our journey to This Old House began here) it is so exciting to finally see progress. With the hotch-potch of rooms and previous extensions at the back of the house removed, we can get a real sense of the scale of the open plan kitchen diner that we’ve been dreaming about. I’m waiting with baited breath to see the plans that come back from the kitchen designer.
The only fly in the ointment may be the revised budget. It needs to take account of the increased steel requirement and additional works demanded by building control as well as few adjustments that were made to the original plans.
With that said, as the steel supports go in and the block work gets underway, the excitement of seeing daily progress is currently outweighing our concerns. I may not feel like that when the new quantity surveyor’s report comes in. Reality might bite then but, for now, it’s all systems go.