Update!

Over the last month, we’ve seen some big things happen here at the cottage. Although we’ve only really been able to work on it at the weekends, it seems to have started moving relatively quickly. 

We’ve managed to get the first extension watertight (hooray!) after installing our first window, finishing the roof tiles and the lead flashings. All that is left to do on the external structure of this extension is to fix the facia boards once we’ve painted them and install the guttering and render, yet the latter two will be completed once the rest of the cottage is ready for that stage too.

Internally, we’ve also pushed on in the extension. We’ve removed all the horrendous concrete render from the old external wall of the property, and exposed some lovely old stone and brickwork. After much deliberation, (and my head ruling my heart) we’ve decided not to do too much with this masonry work. As much as the traditionalist in me is screaming to repair it all and keep it exposed, there are two main factors that are going against this:

1.)  Both the stone and brick work is in such a poor state, that the majority of it would have to be cut out and replaced, before obviously pointing it all back in.

2.) These rooms will be our entrance porch, and a downstairs cloakroom/bootroom. As much as I feel first impressions are important (and I’m not just taking property here!) It would be a rather ridiculous amount of time, money and effort for the two smallest rooms in the house- which we will hardly ever be in. We also need storage space in the cloakroom/bootroom which would cover that wall anyway.

So with that in mind, we have decided to repoint (in lime of course!) any parts of the brickwork which clearly needs it, but instead of completely tidying it up and exposing it we will wash it in white. As I said, these are the two smallest places in the cottage, and therefore can seem very dark. Hopefully the white walls will bounce off some much needed extra light. We will also do the same with the stone in the cloakroom/bootroom- but as we are having storage along that wall you will only see the stone work above the cupboards, going past the beams and into the pitch of our high ceiling. We will be exposing much more stone throughout the house, so will have plenty to be getting on with.

In other internal work news, we’ve also boarded the ceiling, which looks great. It’s really starting to feel like a room.

Next steps (and the final ones in this extension for now!) are to render the walls and screed the floor. We’ll then need to build a doorway from the porch into the new room. 

We’re currently looking at having a sliding door to save space, and hopefully can find an old reclaimed door- similar to something like these


Today, we started sanding one of the oak beams, and it looks fantastic. We’ll be continuing to work on this when we can.

So, in the next few weeks, we should have the rendering and plastering done, floor screeded, beams sanded and be able to move on to the groundworks for the second extension! We’re now in the process of having all the windows and doors bespokely made, so we’ll have lots to do fitting glazing units and painting those soon. I’ll also be thinking about the finish of the rooms, and starting to think about the processes of the next extension and sourcing materials. 

Here’s some photos for you to enjoy!

Partly sanded beam showing the true colour, and a test for the white brickwork finish. Lots of repair work still needed, but hopefully when finished and butted up against Cotswolds stone flooring this will eventually look great!
Boarded ceiling, the first real sense of space
Internal view of new, hand made accoya window
Watertight!
Closer look of fitted window
Watertight!
Finishing the roof tiling and flashings
Thinking like render colour. I love the organic colour of our lime mortar up against our window colour- so an hoping for a render based on this!
Second extension plans. The whole gable end is coming out (chimney breast and all!) and we’ll be extending two storeys on this side. Lots of lovely roof lighting going in, and a light well in the kitchen.

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