Well, we are pretty much done in terms of the stripping out of the existing properties. Both number 8 and 10 are now pretty bare. There aare a couple of things left to do here and there, but the bulk of the stripping out work is done. The images below show the current state of both of the interiors of the properties.
I took these photographs as proof that building work has commenced. Once work starts, it is possible to get an exception from paying council tax. Class A exemption (which applies to most major building work) can last for up to a year. Since there are two lots of council tax to be paid, this is a significant sum of money.
The letter that I received a few weeks ago from the council asked for evidence that the building work had commenced, so that they can grant us Class A exemption. I am not sure what constitues “evidence” and, since they don’t seem to answer the phone in the council tax department, I have assumed that some photographs will do. I emailed them to the council today, so only time will tell (assuming that they respond better to emails than a ringing telephone!).
As you can see we have pretty much reach rock bottom as far as stripping the building back. We will go a little further once the major contractor is appointed and the roof is removed. It will just leave us with the four exterior walls. From that point onwards, we are just putting everything back!
You can still see the serving hatch, although the kitchen has long gone. There were two bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom.
Downstairs in number 8. You can just see the end of the soil pipe sticking through the wall upstairs where the bathroom used to be. And yes, that is a hole in the wall to next door (number 10) where the beam used to stick through into next door. The two ends of the beams had been bolted together.
Downstairs in the lounge of number 10. The fireplace has been taken out. The floor beams that supported the floor upstairs have been removed. You can see the ends of the beams (oak) to either side of the fireplace.
Downstairs in the kitchen (or what used to be the kitchen) of number 10. The upstairs floor beams have been left in (for now) as they seemed to be in much better condition than the others in either of the properties. However, they may not be in good enough condition for the building inspector!