Renovation Diaries - part two - weeks 7 to 10
As our builder Matt said “this is the business part of the project” and if by business he meant billowing clouds of dust, maypoles of acrow supports throughout the space and walls like Romanesque ruins, then yes, he was spot on! But the progress was epic to see and our new space is starting to take shape…
After the roof was made watertight it allowed the builders to get on with getting the existing walls down. And to install the huge double steel needed across the full span of the back of the house.
What was fascinating about this stage was seeing the bones of the house (through the clouds of dust) and stripping it right back to its absolute basics unearths all kind of strange old fittings, pipework, electrics... We had no idea we were the proud owners of this quite magnificent collection of cables…
Prepping for the installation of an RSJ steel is precise work and as the pad stones went in and the acrows went up we started to get a sense of the final result. I’ll admit it does take some imagination but as the wall that separated the old kitchen from the dining room (the wall that prevented any kind of communication between cook and diners) came down we could really see the space where our new kitchen would be and learnt another valuable lesson - that decisions you think are final sometimes need revisiting.
Our original plan was to have a horseshoe kitchen running around three walls of our dining room. We’d been basing our kitchen budget on this layout and after trawling around Wickes and Homebase feeling totally uninspired we found a fantastic local independent supplier, drawn up plans but thankfully hadn’t placed the order.
Once the wall came down we began to doubt our plans and so out came the tape measure and the builders pencil and we started drawing out on the floor some other options. We took into the account the opening for our new doors onto the garden, where we’d planned to place the breakfast bar and how we might move around the new space.
I don’t know about you but I always thought I was pretty ok with decision-making but then I’ve never renovated before! The amount of decisions to make - some small, some significant, some that won’t really affect the budget, others that have the potential to stretch it to breaking point - really made my head spin. So waddaya do? Go to your Instafam of course!
Sharing these two plans of our kitchen layout and asking for feedback was like a sense check and also brilliantly confirmed that we were right in thinking that an island was the way forward. Two days later and Dave, our fabulous kitchen man, came round, marvelled a bit at the new space and immediately said, “guys, you should really think about an island”!
Next stages of the build are where things will really start to take shape. Amongst a whole range of things the roof tiles are going on and the Velux roof lights are being installed. I literally cannot wait to see the new space with natural light pouring in. Here's a sneak preview...
Until next time! Thanks for reading