Starting to renovate: Our Side Extension

starting to renovate

As mid-December came and went, starting to renovate our side extension became a reality. The space began to take shape, and we were a step closer to our new laundry and storage room. I was actually surprised how quickly the extension went up, and that’s credit to Wayne who worked so hard on it. Every weekend and in the evenings, whether it was cold, rainy or windy… he was out there, labouring away, and so the build began.

Starting to renovate the space was arduous. Wayne began by making the frame. There were a few things he had to keep in mind, such as the slope of the driveway and ensuring that everything was level as he went. The frame was built out of timber (4 x 100mm square fence posts for the wall supports). It was attached to the house using anchor bolts. The walls went in next, made from 18mm plywood OSB boards, with 4 x 2 timber battens in between. Wayne sourced all these from local builder’s merchants. I won’t lie, it wasn’t pretty and there were plenty of woodcuttings and shavings everywhere. The garden effectively became Wayne’s workshop and he put up a gazebo so he could saw away undercover. Since we wouldn’t be using the garden during those winter months, it seemed like a good time for starting to renovate.

starting to renovate
Starting to renovate the space: the frame begins to take shape.

Beginning to renovate the space

Starting to renovate was a relatively quick process. Every day Wayne completed a bit more of the extension and it wasn’t long before he built the frame and put down the flooring. He chose all the materials, including the 18mm T&G chipboard flooring, as they were structurally stronger. It all sounds very technical, doesn’t it? I trusted Wayne knew what he was doing. I took myself back to planning where I was going to put everything once he’d finished it. So I just peeked in now and again to see the progress!

Side-extension building process
Starting to renovate: our home looked a little like a timber yard for a while.

How the process unfolded

Starting to renovate our side extension

We’d decided that we’d need the roof to incorporate a skylight, to create more light. Not just for inside the new space. Also so that the rooms inside the house with windows looking out into the extension would stay light and airy, too. The only problem with this was we needed the weather to be a little nicer in order for us to install the skylight. This is because the sealant wouldn’t gel in the December weather. So, until it got hotter, Wayne put up a temporary roof, with enough of a slope that the rainwater could drain away correctly.

One day, I came home to find him looking extremely pleased with himself. He’d been fed up with trying to lift the large plywood sheets onto the roof of the extension. So he’d made a timber ‘lift’ contraption he could use to hoist the ply up. Genius! That’s where being practically minded really helps I suppose (his words, not mine)…

Starting to renovate our side extension

Wayne covered the outer shell of the extension in vapour barrier – a material used for damp proofing. He then insulated it using sheets of 50mm insulation in the walls and ceiling. He’d created the main room, so it was time to build the porch at the front of the extension. Wayne built a couple of steps up and then a porch floor and frame, along with a door in the side of the structure, so that we could use it for storage. Again, a clever idea that gives us extra space to store items. We’re going to keep our bikes in there, so that we don’t have to wheel them through the house (or side extension) when we want to use them.

starting to renovate
Starting to renovate: Wayne insulated all the walls.
Side-extension built porch
Starting to renovate: the finished porch!

Cladding the outside of the extension

If you’ve read my previous blog you’ll know we’d already decided that we wanted to clad the outside of the extension. However, we did deliberate as to which colour to choose. We finally settled on anthracite, which is a very dark grey (almost black). We went for the same colour for the porch flooring, which was made from 4 x 2 timber and covered in composite decking.

Scouring eBay and local selling sites to find a matching door, Wayne discovered an anthracite-coloured LPD design in a herringbone pattern. We fell in love with it. It was one of those times when once you’ve seen something, you can’t get it out of your head, and nothing else will do. Despite it being pricier than a bog-standard door, we knew it would work perfectly with the finished look.

Plus, the door is at the front of the house and they do say that first impressions count! We actually got a good deal, as the company selling the door had lowered the price by £300 due to a few tiny marks on the inside. This didn’t really worry us as the marks are really small. And as we’ll have deliveries and boxes coming through that door, it’s likely to get a few marks over time anyway.

Going over budget by £1000

starting to renovate
Starting to renovate: the new door has found a home.
Side-extension Anthracite cladding in the new build
We chose anthracite cladding to create a contrast against the white of the exterior house walls.

Falling in love with the colour anthracite

Starting to renovate our side extension

Once we’d seen how good the anthracite looked, we knew that we wanted to continue this at the rear of the extension. So Wayne covered the wall in anthracite Durasid vertical cladding, the same as at the front. We decided that double doors at the back of the extension, leading out into the garden, would be handy. This was because we’d gain the access we needed. In addition, we could open them up wide in the summer to let more air in. Finding French doors in the same anthracite colour wasn’t a problem. But they did cost more than the same design in white. It was details like this that took us £1,000 over budget. Getting the quality of finishes right on the outside was important to us though, and we haven’t regretted it for a minute.

starting to renovate
Starting to renovate: the rear of the extension gets the anthracite treatment too.

Starting to renovate… and finishing, too!

Wayne called in some favours from friends in order to fit the double doors, and also for the electrics. We had downlighters installed on a PIR sensor (passive infrared sensor). So now they turn on when we enter the side extension and go off after we leave. It’s perfect, as if I’m going to be carrying props or laundry out here, it means I don’t need a spare hand to flick on a light switch.

Once we’d finished our main build, it was onto the inside and the storage. Pop back soon to see how we’re getting on…

Read more Our Side Extension blogs in the series.

Featured image: Wayne’s clever ‘lift’ invention to help get the roof panels up high.

Follow Laurie on Instagram @lifeofaninteriorstylist and @secretstylingclub

If you liked this feature, you may also enjoy: How to keep that renovation motivation going.

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