Monday, 31 August 2015

Rain Rain GO A-WAY!

It's been a horrible month for building... Not only has it been the wettest August on record but we have for the most part been making lots of holes and exposing the poor structure to some very severe elements. We've been very glad to have a water tight caravan but the intensity has been quite dramatic at points:

Misty and atmospheric mornings:

But damp drizzly days have led to clogged water drains:

saturated steps:

and leaking roof timbers:


We know it will all dry out eventually but it has been pretty soul destroying and put a lot of the outside works on hold :(

Bank Holiday Breakdown

As DIY is synonymous with Bank Holiday's we thought it rather appropriate to set upon a major task today. Right from the outset, there has been a secondary set of stairs in the property that have never made sense.... We think this is due to the house having been added to over the years and that these had perhaps connected together the old and new at one time? We know that they had never been used by the previous owners, and when looking at how to incorporate these into a new format, we decided that they had to go. 

By removing them, we were enabling a new corridor to be created, and after establishing an additional two openings (from the plant room and the main living room), we were now connecting the outbuildings of the property with the rooms in the main house. So, context to one side and with crowbars, sledgehammers and rubble bags at the ready it was operation stair removal...

The banister came away quite easily:

But it looked a little suspect at the top by the floor above, so we found a spare acro prop on site and used it to support as we took at the main case:

Once the stairs came out, we made a start on the wall to the old dairy, so that we would open it up for the new utility space:

It looked amazing when we'd finished - a fabulous space:

We even considered leaving it and having it as a HUGE open corridor; but the intention is to introduce a new stud wall (marked out by the yellow line below), which still maintains a large corridor but allow us to incorporate a utility:

Now that it is one big space it is much easier to look at its whole potential. There is actually enough space in there to incorporate a new set of stairs, remodelled in a fashion that opens up into the new bedroom above. There is also an additional external access point here so you could, potentially make this into its own self contained flat? This isn't something we need right now of course, but could happen in the future, which is interesting...

Here's a short walk-through taking in the new openings
 and how it links through now from the main house:

Friday, 28 August 2015

Remodelling the bedroom

After spending a lot of time scribbling layouts on bits paper; it wasn't until a few of the new additions to the rooms (electrics etc) had started to go in that we got a sense of what the spaces were going to look and feel like. The one room that has had the most changes has been the master bedroom. As we are at a stage with the house where we can make major disruptive changes and look at future-proofing it for other eventualities, we spent a lot of time talking about how the room worked with the rest of the house. Because this is going to be our our 'sanctuary space' from all things work and business, we decided to put a few more things in place to allow it to have that feel. 

We have borrowed a bit more space from the main corridor to enable a new lobby like entrance in the main room, making the room feel more spacious:

We have installed an en-suite, borrowing the doorway from the old toilet door in the bathroom: 

As the en-suite will be quite a dark space we got Jim to introduce a new window opening, that is now very in keeping with the rest of the external look of the property:

In the main quarters of the room, we have established two new openings:

On the left is an opening to a walk in wardrobe and the right is the new lobby into the room:

That's most of the major work done in this room now, some plastering to do then it's all ready for second fix plumbing and electrics

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


Mike has been hard at work putting up the stud walls for the en-suites:

We bought a few more tools that have made things a bit easier:

Meaning we can get the lengths up super quick:

measure and level:




Now we're ready for the plasterboard and insulation then it's another job (almost) done!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Moving the cats in

It's taken us an age to get here but we finally have the cats down with us now :) The drive from Nottingham wasn't too traumatic, just a mild bit of car sickness (a la Piper) as we pulled off junction 23!

It took a few days for them to settle but they seem right at home now:

Piper was very curious to see what was outside:

And after managing to keep them both in for a week it was time for an explore:

what's up here:

Ah ha! Birds!!!

Pixie has been enjoying herself inside the house:

Whilst also making the most of the local wildlife:

And here is the temporary cat flap Piper has discovered - the service hole for the soil pipe - naturally!

Glad to have them with us here now - another step closer to permanent relocation Somerset!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Off with the roof, down with the wall, up with the floor...

There's been loads happening with the kitchen recently. Now that the opening is all secure from the old chimney - things have really started to progress with the new part. 

It looks a little bit scary to begin with:

especially when viewed from above - eeeek! proper destruction:

But before long there are foundations going in:

Flooring laid:

A wall emerging:

Stone cladding on the surface:

And all the openings being made good:

It's great seeing the place come back together again! The oak should be arriving for the new roof trusses next week so I will update again when there has been a bit more progress there.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Containing the Clutter

You know it's getting bad in life when you need a storage container to place your belongings! But, the only way were going to move our 'stuff' out of Nottingham and into the house (that can't actually contain things at the moment due to the high levels of dust, filth and tools!) was to get some secure and watertight vessels on site. The units are going to form part of the proposed plans for the business build so they are a very early purchase for that and will be put to good use later down the line.

Early on a Saturday morning then, arrived the delivery of our two one way trip containers

An impressive spectacle of chains, crane and steel

As is becomming almost standard now, there was a slight issue when it came to levelling the units once they were in situ:

After a scramble around to locate some breeze blocks however, they were level and solid waiting to be filled!

And fill them we did...

First with a few truck loads from the house (thank you to Steve for the loan of his van!)

Then it was a trip back to Nottingham to fill up a big van from the house:

Mike enjoyed one mammoth game of container tetris:

So well deserved a play when we opened up the second container and started to fill it:

We're not too sure when it will be that we unpack it all again but at least it's locked up safe and dry for now!