Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Mews News - My house renos

Anyone else having or planning renovations?
Like Heidi at Adelaide Villa and Jenny from The Lime Walk who are undergoing extensive but exciting renovations at their lovely homes , I am in the eye of the storm that is my renovations.

There is the pain, the expectation, but then you go home to nest and like the end of a Grand Designs episode, it seems all worth it in the end.  But I swore after my last home refurbishments, I was never ever going to do renovations ever again but like childbirth one forgets the pain and the labor involved and does it all over again.


 
This is the top of our roof before we finally started construction in end of July.

We are currently building another floor to our two story home.
I had been telling Mr CSW that we needed to get planning permission sorted out way in advance but he always postponed it every year for the past 7 years. 

My house at present

Just before last Christmas, we he finally decided to get an architect and lodged the application for a new floor addition late December.  The last two years we were in between two homes that got theirs done and we decided that this was the perfect time.  
What it should look like before the turn of the century.

We never hurried doing it as we have just about enough space.  
We live in a 3 bedroom house but as we don't have children the spare rooms end up being my storage cupboards or guest rooms.
 
This drawing is only for the hard-core build enthusiasts.
Normally planning permissions in the UK are not meant to take more than 3 months and as there was already plenty of precedence of roof additions in our street, I thought we would be starting construction some time in April...

The end result we are hoping for.

But of course like most construction projects, 
there was a delay due to various issues.
We only got our formal approval at the end of June but then there was the issue of getting a scaffold license and finding a scaffolding company as the one we were going to use went AWOL.
The extensions to the right of my house.
Cut a long story short, my builder somehow managed to start and continues the build without any scaffolding by going through our skylight.  I will tell you more about my builder another time as he is a "character".

The roof extensions to the left of my house.
Things have been a bit disruptive this year in many ways as at present we had to move out of our house to temporary digs but also the house to our left is undergoing huge renovations.

A property developer bought the house next door and has been doing a complete gut and also being the first in the street to undergo what is simultaneously popular and unpopular in London right now.

The basement excavation.
The exposed line of brick in the middle used to be the ground floor.
So even before we moved out, we had to endure days of endless drilling and cranes and trucks coming to take away the dirt.


 I thought my living room was a mess before but actually compared to now it isn't too bad.

 
This is the new coffee table and chill out zone.
I don't know how much longer it will take and decisions 
are being changed all time...
Will update you intermittently on progress.
Wish us luck and strength!

50 comments:

  1. The digging out of the neighbour's basement looks very Grand Designs-esque! Don't envy the mess. Have been there myself and it was not pretty! All the best for your renovations. Can't wait to see the finished product. Jo xx

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    1. It sure feels like it. I will post some pictures of cranes that was towering the skyline...I would have stayed but as you can see the mess was too much even for me to live with! Will update you though the end result might not be too exciting I'm afriad...xx

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  2. This brings back nightmarish memories of when I had a new roof installed in my old house. And what it cost! When I saw the bill, I thought he'd used diamonds instead of tiles. So disruptive, but it'll be worth it I'm sure. Looking forward to reading about your builder.

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    1. Works do that don't they...You're right - what goes into waterproof sheath membrane and insulation for crying out loud?? It is hugely disruptive. I was planning to be all fashionable and accessorize on a daily basis but everything is in boxes so still a schlumpadinka...Yes will tell y'all about him as he is very funny.

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  3. renos scare me 1/2 to DEATH Lady!

    I wish you all of the strength you need.

    Will my lovely Kevin be involved? I do admire him x

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    1. Tell me about it..No, our dear Kevin is not involved - if he were I would be doing renos all the time! x

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    2. Pleeeeease call Kevin pronto! I understand that he is in Australia on tour at the moment... which explains why I'm having problems with weather and windows as those things tend to precede his arrival on any site, but I'm sure he'll be able to pop around to your place to do a few talking to camera pieces about your project within the month?

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    3. I wish - we are way too boring for Kev. So true about him being the Macbeth of the construction site!!!

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  4. Can't wait to see it when it's finished! I still haven't met anyone in London with a basement. It's so American. I think only the rich Russians and Arabs have it in their Mayfair digs. So un-London. Tell us about the builder soon. Is there going to be an interview? :D x

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    1. On dear, I am worried it might be much ado about nothing. So please temper expectations! :) An interview with my builder might be not suitable for this blog - rather racy he is so might just tell you about him :)x

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  5. Oh Lordy, I wouldn't be able to take the stress of that! 9 weeks after the break in, my house should finally be back to normal in a few more days, I've had enough of tradesmen to last me a lifetime.

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    1. It is so disruptive having them over and making them endless cups of tea - but I hope it gets sorted and everything is back to normal and even more comfy for you than before!

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  6. Renovating is always a brave undertaking... particularly if one remains living in the reno site!... which thank goodness you aren't! It's always exciting to have a vision of something and going through the pain and mess and disruption sweetens the end result all the more. Best of luck with everything and it's lovely seeing your plans and being able to go through it with you. With regard to my building, I KEEP on forgetting to take photos,... and so am unable to blog about the progress!!. Anyway.. going again tomorrow and have reminded everyone to remind me! xxx

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    1. I just feel I spent a lot of mental stamina waiting for the works so by the time we started I was kind of sick of it already! Little did I know. I am at the stage where I don't know if it will finish...But please take photos of the site and your builder!! :) xx

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  7. Phew - sending you lots of fortitude and calmness!
    We are on the verge of submitting our plans to council.... I'm dreading it.
    I'm sure it will be so fantastic to move back in at the end of the process!
    Gambare!

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    1. Yes but you guys seem to have discussed sofas already? We are so far off that sort of thing...It will be worth the trouble in the end right? :)

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  8. Ooooh!
    Will come and check them out next time I get to London.

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  9. Soit courageuese ma belle! It will be worth it!!! For the balcony terrace alone...
    xoxo
    h

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    1. Thanks Heather - Courage courage... Now if only the weather cooperates as God knows how many times we will be able to use it! xx

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    2. Oooh, just even for that one special day...when the weather suddenly gets sunny for no reason in January...trust me, we always had terraces here until now and oh how it changes everything!

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  10. I can't believe planning took so long, given what is going on next door! I also can't believe you're making your builders cups of tea? I haven't done that at my place... and I actually still live there. But I figure if I start making it, they'll expect it, and it's actually quite hard to communicate with the builders as we're so separate from the back of the house. I have to make a bit of an effort to go out the front door, down the side street to our side gate and go in there. So really, no trays of tea and biscuits to carry make life a lot easier!
    Keep the faith. It will be worth it... the extra storey will be fantastic, and all the dust/ storage problems will fade into the background fairly quickly. But now, I'm wondering why you're not digging down too to create a basement level swimming pool or something while you're at it??! xx

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    1. Oh dont...I luckily dont live there but for some reason it is a British tradition that rounds of teas are made. Crazy. hence I try and avoid when the builders are there but last reno with them, it was like working in a cafe! We are putting in permission for basement but no pool! I once lived next door to someone who did a double basement and it hit a underwater river and flooded the whole street. Nightmare. But we are letting them be guinea pigs to see if it all goes ok! Hope yours is chugging along smoothly xx

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  11. Good luck with the renovations!! Wishing you lots of strength. I am sure the new rooftop terrace and living area will be amazing. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and gets done on time. Looking forward to seeing the end result!!

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    1. Thanks Louise! I am waiting for the day I can exhale and chill in my house :)

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  12. That's a very exciting project darling!!! Good luck with all your renovations!
    xoxo

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  13. Replies
    1. Yep, it has taken 10 months of head space already...

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  14. God Bless you! I am getting the willies just thinking about it!

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    1. Thanks Wendy! I wish I could rearrange my closet instead...

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  15. Blooming ell, I do wish you loads of luck and strength; how exciting but daunting at the same time. I love three storey houses and that is what I am saving up for right now (when Harvey Nichols doesn't get in the way). I live by myself but in my mind I still want extra space, but i'm hoping to buy it with lots of space rather than taking on your brave challenge of renovating a small space! The plans look great, cant wait to see the finished 'product' if you are happy to share xx

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    1. It is a big project that takes mental energy for sure and co-operating with Mr CSW takes energy as well! I think having space is a huge luxury but then again small spaces done well are so chic! I will definitely bring you along but I am worried it might be an anticlimax...xx

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  16. Replies
    1. Well yes and no but I was over it before it even started so I am trying to get enthusiastic now...x

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  17. Where did all the clothes go??? Tsk Tsk .... LT

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    1. Boxes! Mind you I wear the same things on rotation lately so I hardly miss it... I am sooo zen! :)

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  18. A lot of work! I am sure it will be worthwhile in the end , Elle

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    1. Thank you Elle - I hope it will be worth it!

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  19. Wow! We got damp proofing down which was bad enough but wow! Amazing when finished though, and the value added will be crazy....I'm still in awe you have 3 bedrooms in central London!
    Can't wait to see the finished result!
    2 more things, LOVE a builder with character and I have never heard you mention Mr CWS! I am so nosy. Does he read your blog? My husband skims the photos, never reads mine :)
    Xxx

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    1. Karen, I am afraid you might be disappointed by the end result. My energy isn't extending to thinking ahead as I am trying to just keep my head above water at the mo. Need to rejig my head. Mr CSW is very hands on with telling the builders what to do, he is the project manager. I will try and sneak in a picture :) I make him read mine but as he says that the decor/girly stuff is hard for him to digest hehe xx

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  20. Replies
    1. Will try!! x maybe one of the whole team of builders?

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  21. I don't envy you but it will be worth it in the end. Unfortunately it always takes longer than anticipated. We had building work last year when we had all the snow just as the outside wall came down. It was difficult to get the house warm but this year we have enjoyed the results. It's not put me off but our builders were so lovely which makes all the difference.

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    1. Yes builders make a huge difference - even next door one's affect the vibe. Ah if only the weather holds up - especially with an open roof!!

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  22. You've totally inspired me to share my renovations too! Can't wait to see what paint colors you are thinking of. xox

    http://lattesandjuice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/under-renovation.html

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  23. What a mammoth undertaking. So interesting the move towards multi-story basements. But where else are you going to store your Ferrari collection. I hope they covered all their sewerage/ plumbing bases- it would be awful for all those Ferraris to be covered in shit! Good luck with the renos!

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    1. You sound like you live here and you know what goes on!! Will def do a post on the real estate issues here soon bc you are spot on. They call them icebergs now bc you only see the tip of the house and most of the home is underground...

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  24. I wish you ALL possible strength. My builders began a small amount of repair work here last March and it is not yet finished.

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