This might sound odd, but we fell into this renovation by accident. We aren’t property developers, or even great DIYers for that matter. There also isn’t a shortage of property where we live. However, we couldn’t find the right sort of property in the right sort of area.
There were lots of properties in our price range and, but they were either too big, too small, or in the wrong location. We were particularly attracted to period properties, but while they have lots of character, they just were designed with a different way of living in mind – while we could imagine renovating such a property, what would you do once it was finished? It would be expensive to heat and light and probably wouldn’t have been a good fit for the way we live. It seemed that the combination of a period property with modern open plan living was just too hard to find.
We then came across a property – 2 cottages and a barn – in the right location that needed to be renovated. It didn’t go onto the open market and we knew we had to be quick if we wanted to buy it. We were lucky. The sale went through very quickly. And in July 2012, we found ourselves with a renovation project on our hands. When we started the renovation, the estimated “move in” date was March 2014. It seemed a long way away at the time. However, we eventually moved in on 25th March 2014. While we might not have been exactly on the budget, we did move in on time!
What’s the purpose of this site?
With these sorts of projects, there seems to be a massive amount of information and decisions that need to be made. 6 months in and the paperwork started to mount up. It all needed to be collated into one place and easily searched – particularly since information doesn’t necessarily present itself at the right time. I wanted to make sure that if we came across great ideas that we could find them again later when the time was right. So this site has ended up as a mishmash of ideas, facts, and updates. We have often used it for our own reference – providing links to others on particular topics. Often I had even forgotten that we had blogged on something and ended up searching the entries here to find the information.
But there was another reasoning for keeping a blog – we wanted to keep a record of our progress over the weeks and months. Even now that we have moved in, the progress hasn’t stopped and I reckon there will be odd projects going on through to the end of 2014 (maybe beyond). Bizarrely, looking back at the entries, some things seem to progress very slowly, while others flew past really quickly. There are occasions on any big project where you just need a bit of a reminder of how much progress has been made – just in case you get the feeling that things aren’t moving in the right direction!
When we bought the property it was organised as two cottages and a barn. It used to be three cottages and a barn originally, but two of them (number 9 and number 10) were knocked together in the mid 1970’s. There were also a number of stone outbuildings and timber sheds. The image below shows the satellite view of the property as it was when we purchased it in the Autumn of 2012. You will find a number of other images on this blog of the property as it was when we purchased it.
We combined the existing two cottages and barn into a single property. In addition, we converted the barn so that it became part of the house. The kitchen, lounge and master bedroom, boot room and utlity room are all in the space that used to be occupied by the barn.
The 3D image below provides an illustration of the finished building, however, you will find more 3D images of the outside and inside of the new buildings on the blog. The rest of this blog is dedicated to how this 3D drawing was converted into a house.
I hope you enjoy reading through the entries. If there are any questions/queries, please ask.
Stephen & Joanna