The Listed Home Renovation {Weeks 1-4: Out with the old}

OK — so you know that for years I’ve been banging on about extending our home? But as our 16th century cottage is Grade 2 listed, a listed home renovation isn’t just as simple as getting planning permission and off you go.

But undeterred, in October last year, we finally put in some plans to the council and on 20th February 2019 — after a false start and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing — our planning permission and listed building consent was granted!!

I spent the following few months looking for the right builder and on 19th August, we started our build.

So what has been happening?

Well, I’ll put things in chronological order, to make it easier to get a grasp on what’s been going on. And I might — if I can try and unravel all the clips I’ve been taking on my phone — make a little film, to accompany this post.

But, for now, here’s a timeline of what’s been happening.

Counting Down

The weeks leading up to the build start date were a little bit chaotic.

We had to move all the plants etc; the ancient climbing rose that rambled over the back of the house. Plus an entire border of geraniums and two large pyracantha bushes.

And we started pulling down the little retaining border wall, so we could re-use the bricks.

I’ll apologise in advance for the heavy use of images in this post but this is just a fraction of what I actually took!

I didn’t want to forget any part of this renovation so these posts are going to be fairly image heavy.

The garden was looking a bit of a sorry state afterwards but nothing in comparison to what was to come.

Week 1

Day 1 — The conservatory came down; piece by piece.

Day 2 — Down came the garden wall.

Day 3 — Up went the scaffolding.

Days 4-5 — Even though it felt like they’d done such a lot already, this is when the real work started!

The builders began work on the three new dorma windows in the roof.

First ripping out the old, rotten dorma window (the larger one of the two on the left on the roof — see pic above); before starting work on the second, which was to be made bigger.

Week 2 & 3

Week two started with a bank holiday Monday — but in the four days that followed our team continued work on the dormas.

They broke through the tin and thatch on the roof to start the third — middle — dorma.

We’d been granted permission for this as the access to the top floor was really precarious. Hopefully the addition of this new dorma will give better access to the second floor.

The end of week three saw part of the tin roof painted in waterproof sealant our dormas finished and ready for glazing!

Week 4

Day 1 — The plasterers arrived to finish off the new dorma windows inside the house.

Meanwhile — outside — the builders had to break the old conservatory floor; 3 feet of solid (reinforced) concrete, with a jackhammer. I definitely didn’t envy them this job. Such hard work.

Eventually, the cavalry arrived. In the form of a digger!

Days 2 – 3 — Full steam ahead, trying to get the concrete up.

Then — just as quick as it went up — the scaffolding came down.

Day 4 — I went out for a couple of hours and, when I got home, a big pile of earth had appeared right outside the back door!

Obviously, this is all very exciting for two little 6 year olds, with a penchant for digger.

They literally thought all their Christmases had come at once.

As the footings were being dug around the outside, all of the earth in the middle kind of looked like a crazy citadel, surrounded by a moat.

But romantic notions aside, it made it pretty tricky to get across to the garden to my shed. to get to work.

Day 5 — A grab lorry came and took the big pile of earth away just as the building control officer came and signed off the footings.

And that was it for the 4th week!

Our Listed Home Renovation on Instagram

If you’d like to follow our listed home renovation on a more day-to-day basis, I’ve set up an Instagram account. It’s called The Listed Home and it will document our daily progress.

Apologies if this is the most boring blog post in the world but this blog has always been the keeper of all our most important memories.

I want to be able to look over these images in years to come and see this process unfold with fresh eyes; rather than the mixture of horror and morbid fascination I currently feel.

Seeing your home torn apart throws up some odd emotions; on one hand, I’m so excited but that’s definitely tempered with anxiety. It’s quite emotional!

More than I ever anticipated it to be.

About Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

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