After only a couple of weeks of the builders being on site, they had stripped our bungalow back to basically nothing, with just a few walls left standing here and there – my husband Dave and I often mused it would have been easier to knock it down and start again. The speed they went at was certainly impressive, it was different every time we visited. But during the progress of the build, there were a few little challenges we had to face…
For example, the structure of the roof was bowed because of the weight of the tiles over 60 years, so they had to have a steel girder put in to form the new ridge.
Unfortunately, this was during an especially rainy and windy time, so for a few weeks the house was open to the elements, as it was too dangerous to work on. Thankfully a large tarpaulin kept everything mostly dry (although we did get a phone call during some particularly turbulent weather from our neighbours to tell us it had come loose. We instantly dashed over there to sort it.)
During this time, they also put in steel girders and support pillars to take the weight of the new first floor, which was coming on rapidly. It was so exciting for us when they started building the framework for the new rooms upstairs in the loft conversion.
And I certainly wasn’t going to let the fact that there weren’t any stairs yet stop me from seeing the progress. So – rather nervously I have to admit, as there was nothing to hold on to – I scaled the ladder the builders skilfully used each day to check everything out. (It helped that they also very kindly held each end steady while I climbed up).
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While they were working on creating the bedrooms, work was also on going to the rear and side extensions for our large open-plan kitchen-living-diner. It was all go!
As it started to take shape we started to see and imagine things a bit clearer, compared to when it was just a plan on paper. So, after talking with our builder, Ahearn Construction, we made a few changes – like moving the downstairs bathroom door forward, keeping the hallway open plan instead of putting a door on to make a separate study, and widening the door leading to the kitchen.
Soon the weather improved and they eventually got the roof on, luckily recycling the original tiles. At the same time, the windows were installed, along with the bi-fold doors in the kitchen and double doors in the bedroom forming a Juliette balcony. We chose aluminium windows in an anthracite colour to make it as different and modern as possible. This meant that everything was now watertight and much warmer.
It’s started to feel like a proper house again! We especially love the new pitch roof above the kitchen, which makes it feel wonderfully light and airy. It’s incredible to think the blank canvas of our new space is now complete. Although, there’s still so much to do!
Read more Our Bungalow Renovation blogs in the series.
Featured image: The progress of the build.