Blimey hasn’t time flown. I promised you in my last house renovation post that I’d be sharing an update in eight weeks but that was back in January and here we are in May already! In the spirit of complete housebuilding honesty, things haven’t progressed as quickly as I thought they would but as of last week we’re now starting to see considerable changes including a brand new roof!

So why the delays? Why the lack of progress?

Well it’s been a combination of so many factors, money being one (why oh why doesn’t it grow on trees?!), the weather (I mean honestly we’re in the middle of a heatwave one minute and then back to torrential showers the next) and the fact that Ste has been so horrendously busy with work. Lastly we’ve been dithering…mostly about whether to replace the roof entirely or just stick with creating one for the extension. In the end we decided to bite the bullet and do the whole thing in one go whilst the scaffolding is up to save hassle further down the line.

So what have we done?

Well let’s start with the back of the house. We’ve now completed the second storey and the structural elements of the roof are in place. As of yesterday the roofers from began work on removing the existing roof and replacing it, with as many of the existing tiles as possible. We’ve decided to go for reclaimed tiles around the back – hence one of the reasons for the delay – to ensure that the new extension is as sympathetic to the original house as possible.

The garden has been extensively landscaped – hello new lawn – and you can just about make out from the images the beginnings of a brick wall as you look at the back of the house which will form part of the terrace with some stupidly wide steps going down to the lawn. I’m envisaging sitting with friends on the steps with wine glasses in hand next summer. I know, I know! It’s pretty hard to fathom it out from ALL THE RUBBLE at this stage but I promise you that it will look glorious. At least the old shed has gone and there’s some grass rather than a muddy trench to walk across. I’ll share an update on my instagram wall as the wall progresses.

There’s also a picture in the gallery below of the foundations of the shed/greenhouse which is built in reclaimed bricks to match the house. The bottom part of the garden will incorporate four or five raised beds for next year’s vegetable patch and there’ll be cold frames too. Trust me I’m intending to make this all look as gorgeous as possible with climbing clematis over the shed and beautiful brick paths. It’s all so blimming expensive!

Moving to the front we now have a beautiful reclaimed brick wall at the front of the driveway and all the existing and mostly dead shrubs have been removed from the front bed apart from the conifer which is 110% going to follow its companions into plant heaven very VERY soon. Please can someone pass me an axe! The front bed will start being planted up this weekend and I can’t wait to see the results. The driveway has mostly been cleared of rubble…I say mostly since bizarrely each time the area is freed from building detritus it mysteriously fills up again. Ste tells me I need to face the fact that our house is a building site and until we move in the situation will repeat itself; I can’t help but feel the compulsion to tidy every time I visit. Oh and those big pieces of ply laid across the front? Yep they’re there purely to stop the place descending into a mud pit rather than being a permanent feature…

We’ve also purchased a new to us, but original to the house, front door from eBay that is currently being glazed with a new piece of glass and I can’t wait to start choosing colours and selecting some gorgeous pots for kerb appeal!

I was going to include some photos of the inside of the house but other than the additional bedroom there’s not much that has changed. We’ve been focusing so hard on completing the external elements that we’ve not touched anything internally; I’ll be sure to include any progress made in the next update.

What Next?

Well firstly finish the drive and the accompanying flower bed. I’ll be sharing a post on the blog soon about a recent trip to the garden centre and the nitty gritty details of which plants I’ve selected for growing in the front bed and up the house itself. Hint; it involves wisteria and voluminous hydrangea!

The half dead conifer will be coming out! That my friends is a definite (and apologies to anyone that actually likes the plant) and all of the current building rubble on the drive will be disappearing into a skip to make the front of the house shipshape. I’ve also asked Ste for a resin bound drive and he’s agreed but only when all the work on the house is complete. In the meantime we’ll be putting our original front door back into the property which I feel is more in keeping with the age of the house rather than the uPVC number that is currently in place.

Lastly the side extension will be built; this will form the utility room, the downstairs toilet and the garage and once that’s erected I’ll feel like we’re really getting somewhere. Ste tells me that this will be completed in the next month…time will tell. Hopefully the remainder of the brick wall and the steps in the garden will be completed simultaneously and that will be the end of the structural hard landscaping…for now at least. Obviously there’s a whole heap more to do but that will do for the next few weeks until my next post on the renovation project…Stay tuned!

If any of you are undergoing your own refurb projects I’d love to hear all about them. Why not share your own journeys in the comments box below…