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For some reason men working here were surprised I liked the destruction? Of course I did. You can`t have a better proof that something is going on.

The number of tones of bricks and so on that were taken away from here was shocking. I still can`t believe it all was here… Good I took lots of photos to be able to refresh my memory….

To keep things moving nicely I decided to deal with all the rest of the rooms dowstairs at the same time. So this way one team could deal with the kitchen and another with the rooms.

To my surprise just under the wooden floor there was … nothing.  An empty space of round 30cm then the ground… And some bricks … Well it did work…

Walking in the rooms became a bit problematic to say the least… Door to the rooms that were partly destroyed during a break in a few months earlier had to be replaced. It was the cheaper option to get new ones than have the old ones repaired (and by…? yet another person to look for).

 

 

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Demolition

A 1st team was created by a former builder who knew the family for years and did some odd jobs here (who though retired was ready to help and oversee all, arrange all ).

Original idea was to start from doing all upstair first (dad wanted it so). Well all checked, plans made and people who were to deal with it were busy with some other works so we waited.

Then when the guy went away for a few days I started checking whether downstairs first wouldn`t be easier… It would be and somehow everyone was free to start right then! And we started the demo proces…

An old idea of interchanging kitchen and bathroom was talked of then and as it was possible I decided to do it. If not now when?

Let me explain the bathroom was long and narrow to say the least. Two people could not be in it at the same time really. Kitchen was … big and full of light (and this is all the positive that could be said here)..

To do it first all the walls had to disappear. Obvious really but there is one thing that you have to think of – demolition comes not just with the noise but also a lots of bricks you have to get ride of (so need special containers, special tratment of it all (cost special too, not too horrid, but).

This is also a moment when you need someone to deal with water, gas, electricity and what seems to bring the most FUN -they have to coordinate their works!

Door

First thing that needed a fast change was the entrance to the house. As for years the place was not yours it made no sense to invest in it.

Somehow I start to think it all waited for me to deal with. So suddenly I had to find new  door to the house. Sounds easy but….

All the stores with ready ones would not deal with something this size (as obviously it had to be wide and high and somehow in 1920s they did larger door).

You needed to find a carpenter. Somehow bigger things ( like kitchens) and less visible to the outside world were favoured by them.

As it is one of main streets it was a problem. Finally found someone who clearly liked the challenge and thought about all, not just door itself, he wanted all to fit the house (style wise) and look in line with other houses nearby so nobody would see a problem.

Wonderful he did that as I had to deal with the town architects later and they had no problem with the door (though I heard some stories and already had some nightmare visions of…)

Thanks God what he did made me feel safe and calm. The door that was here before was so weak that I had a feeling you didn`t need to push it too hard to have it open….

Keys that were there were even worse and I hated opening the door. Must admit this change gave me an enormous feeling of calm. And as you are a single woman living with an old guy with hearing problems  it is a must.

To make things more complicated there were two round windows on the sides that obviously needed to be done.

Good thing the glass part proposed made your life easier, from the inside of the house you can see who is behind the door but the person outside cannot see inside.

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Works start – almost.

 

Started from the garden. It was neglected for a few years as no one was living there. The plants loved the neglect and grew… and grew…

As it would be easier to get any materials to the house through the garden it needed to be trimmed first. Though trimming ended up with trees and bushes being cut down and trunks and roots being digged out.

Not really what I had in mind but it was too late once I saw the empty space and decided to use it. Blank canvas you could try things out while the renovation was going on and did not have to worry if something did not work out. Obviously some trees or flowers took better to the place than the otheres and you had some time to learn.

And of course some plants were destroyed by the workers so you would end up with a bonus – a patience and calm lesson.

Cleaning sounds easy but it was a hard work that took a few days and as the nettles were over 2m high and in a great numer the guys were not too thrilled with the job and by the end of the day were exhausted.

I know it seems strange but the photo shows the garden after some initial works were already done and you could actually reach the house from the gate!

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Start

This is a real life story of a woman who suddenly became an owner of a 1920s house and had to deal with a much needed renovation.

It is still going on (almost finished – with almost being a key word…). It takes longer than expected, it costs a lot but the results are thrilling (at least for me).

Hope it will give you a few ideas concerning your places or just give you the feeling that it could be worse… and your horror is not that bad.

The page will be regularly updated and filled with photos. This is the start.

Photos you see is the house from the front (taken after main door chnged) and the garden in a state it welcomed everyone once I moved in…