Wednesday, January 17

Living On A Building Site | Diaries

I thought that as I and Ben are currently undergoing major renovation works to our property, I would start a new series all about what life is like when living on a building site. As the timescale of the build is unknown and so far we have been in the thick of renovations since May 2017, I don't want to promise a weekly update on what is happening, purely because the building progress will fluctuate. However, something I will say, is that I intend to break this diaries series into phases, and thus today is the start; with 'phase one'.

In May 2017, Ben was tirelessly digging out the foundations for our kitchen diner extension. This felt like a real accomplishment when Ben starting digging, as we felt as though we were finally embarking on the extension of our dreams. 
Going way, way back to September 2016 we enlisted a reputable local architect to design out kitchen/diner and double side story extensions. I found it so useful to call around a variety of different architects, ask for a home-visit where you can get to know them and also enquire about costs. In addition to this, it is also always extremely important to check out their portfolio on their website as architects have expertise in different styles. Ultimately, the style that we are aiming for with our property is modern, updated Victorian style. There will be details giving a nod to the property's Victorian past, but we want to bring it into the 21st Century and thus inject some modern aspects, e.g. bifold doors.

Then it was the real task of receiving full planning permission. This took 8 weeks for the local council planning office to grant, however, before we went to full planning permission, we did a prior planning application. This basically means that we ran our initial ideas with the council, only to get knocked back. We had to reduce the size of the extensions as we live in a Green Belt area. Yet I would recommend doing this, as it only cost us £150 compared to the full planning permission which is in the region of £400. It's far less stress on your budget to do this first, especially if you feel as though your plans may be a tad too dreamy.

We received planning permission with our reviewed plans a few days after my 23rd birthday which was a nice surprise. Then it was really a matter of saving up for the extension and riding out the harsh winter weather until Spring in order to be able to start the extension. We then enlisted a building regulation inspector to frequently approve our build as the extensions progressed. We found a really good company through being recommended by Ben's parents who had only very recently had a kitchen/diner extension themselves on their property. 

Once Ben dug out the footings for the kitchen/diner extension, he then organised for the concrete to be poured into these footings to establish the foundations to lay way for the slab of concrete. It felt like a real accomplishment to get the concrete slab done as we could really appreciate the sheer size of the extension. 

Continue to stay tuned for Phase Two of the Living on A Building Site | Diaries.

*(All photographs were taken on Ben's iPhone as I foolishly forgot to take photos of this stage! Photo credit: @moenjoineryltd)

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