We bought this house over three years ago now. At the time I was around six months pregnant with Ewan and we were rushing to get the extension built before he arrived (looking back I’m not entirely sure why – we’ve certainly lived through more projects with both boys then building an extension!) so because of his we’d applied for planning alongside the sale of the house (the previous owners were wonderful and happy for us to do this).
Given that we didn’t even live in the house then, a lot of the original things we thought we’d do have massively changed (after living in the space and thinking about it all the time we’ve just come up with better solutions but one thing that hasn’t changed is the proposals for the front of the house.
Here’s a quick reminder of how the house looked when we bought it:
And again once we’d knocked the extension down and rebuilt it:
You’ll notice on these photos how ‘wonky’ our windows are. They’re all over the place and just don’t line up. This was something we wanted to fix and so the propsals for this were included on the planning three years ago:
The extension is already included in these drawings (as is the conservatory that we’re nowhere near ready to build!).
We were really keen to have the windows line up top and bottom (which took at bit of configurating behind the scenes as there are obviously internal walls we needed to factor in).
The plan is to render the outside of the house eventually, but we need to get all the windows in place before we consider that. We also don’t want to move the windows in every room all in one go as we’re trying to minimize the mess and disruption as we still need to live in the house, so we’re doing them ‘as we go’ and essentially moving from right to left (as you look at the plans). The extension windows were put in a couple of years ago, and in the last 12 months we removed the old bay window and added the front door and porch. A few months ago, we started all of the work on this middle section of the house, and we realised very quickly how long it was going to take us. The window at the top, middle had to be moved over so that we could build the porch, but it took three weeks to do that. (Lee only had about half a day at the weekend to actually do any work). Everything felt like a bit of a battle and so we realised that we didn’t need to do everything ourselves. (I mean Lee is still doing so much work, and spending hours a week on the house, but getting help has meant we’ve been able to speed up the work rapidly).
We realised that moving all of these windows was going to be one of these situations where more people doing the job for us would speed the work up rapidly, and so we got the builders back again. It felt like we were skiving (in a good way!) when we all went out for a family day out together and left a workforce behind at the house getting on with jobs without us!
The upstairs window (in the landing) had already been bricked up by Lee, but this needed a new opening making and refitting in it’s new place. Here’s where it was before all the work started:
And how it is now:
(You can see the scar of where we’ve bricked up the original one to the right)
After this, the downstairs window needed moving over (only by about 30cm – but we wanted it to line up with upstairs). The downstairs window before:
Here’s the two windows (circled) prior to being moved from the outside:
You’ll see that this was before we fitted the porch. The upstairs window needed to move so that we could do this. Here’s how everything is now looking from the outside:
At the back of the house we had two other windows we wanted to move. Firstly; the window in Ewan’s new room. This room has had lots of work done to it recently. We’ve pulled the chimney breast down which has created more space, but the new flue will be getting boxed in, and will be closer to the center of the wall which means it’s harder to plan furniture around it. We’ve also moved another wall in slightly (between the landing and the bedroom) so that we had enough room to fit the new stairs) and then finally we’re giving a bit of the room (that used to be used up by the wardrobes) to the office (which will be made in the space that was the old stair void). Essentially we’ve pinched lots of bits from this room (which was the master bedroom and a really generous side for a child!) to make the rest of the house more usable. We’re very cautious though not to make it too small.
One of the problems that we have with our upstairs bedrooms is our windows are very low. This means there’s no room for furniture on the wall with the windows which limits us when planning the layout. The existing window in Ewan’s new room was HUGE:
It made sense to make it both shorter, and narrower. This meant We’d be able to fit a single bed down the right hand side of the window:
You can see the instructions that Lee’s drawn on the wall for the builders above the window
This way he’s left with a big window (and importantly plenty of light in his room) but the space is much more practical. You can also see how massive the windows are in the below picture – they’ll be much more in scale with the house now.
The final window that we wanted to move was the window in the old stair void. An old picture (before we’d built the extension!) of the house shows you this (again, it’s the circled one):
It was an absolutely tiny window, but because it was in the old stair void, once we’d fitted the new floor it would have been at ankle height. From inside the house it looked like this:
The office will be tiny, so I didn’t want an overbearing window – but I still wanted something slightly bigger than this. Here’s what we have now:
From outside, here’s how it’s starting to look:
The plan is to make the upstairs far right window smaller too eventually but hopefully now the back is starting to look less of a greenhouse. We’ll have to live with all the patches for a while as we’re still a few years away from rendering, but we can only do so much at at time unfortunately!