A friend asked yesterday,” why havent you blogged about the house yet? “That disaster", which has been my default answer over the past few months. “But people love a disaster" he replied, “much more than a great story”… so tonight, one faulty boiler night too many, a bad wifi connection and rightly fed-up at not being in our own place, I thought about the house, still sitting there 16 months later and decided maybe it is time to talk…
We first saw it in about July 2015, it was different to all the others, I even thought it was love at first sight. The seller wanted a 100% guaranteed buyer. We had looked around at quite a few houses but there were definite criteria, same as any potential buyer, but this was my fourth house, I knew what I wanted. A sunny garden for a wannabe gardener, ideally detached, thin walls are a no-no, we couldn't actually have got much thicker if we tried and off the road was very important. I didn't mind a do-er upper; in fact buying someone else's style for me is a waste of money as its a given I’d want to make considerable changes, so we were always better off buying a house that needed work and not paying extra for what I would immediately undo.
The house seemed ideal— an architect and engineer had said it was structurally sound, we’d get away with the roof for another few years and apart from requiring a serious amount of insulation, the house was a good buy. That was all we needed to hear, job done, house in the bag, open the champers.
Plans were drawn up and planning permission got underway in February 2016. This took a little longer than normal as the building was listed so we had to ensure all the T’s were crossed to hopefully ensure a favourable result. During the waiting period we really wanted to have our homework done, the biggie was to have the windows chosen, these are a huge part of the style of the house, an integral part of the overall design.
It's a small house, there are two decent sized bedrooms and two downstairs rooms. The front door opens to a small hallway and stairs that connects the bedrooms to downstairs. The kitchen was relatively new, but we wanted to swap the kitchen and sitting room around so the kitchen was passed on. The bullbarn (recently referred to by a trades guy as the bit of a shed on the side, — hey Mr, thats our new extension) — was crying out to be incorporated into the rest of the house.
The original floorplan had a downstairs toilet but it shortened the hall and restricted the area for a new stairs, so this had to go. Upstairs two ensuite bathrooms off the bedrooms had an original ’70’s feel, I couldn’t wait to fire them out. At the back, there is a small courtyard off the bullbarn that faces the main house. This would have been the original front of the house or the front of the horses house — yep it appears we bought an outbuilding and under the floor boards sitting on adamantine stable paving bricks found some original horse sh*t to prove it!