Last week, after months of planning, we were finally able to share our new-look kitchen and dining room with you.
Just to remind you, this is what the view from the dining room towards the kitchen used to look like
You can see that we kept a bit of the old and disgusting carpet to cover our newly sanded floor with while the building works took place.
It’s one of the biggest changes that have happened around here so far and whilst we absolutely love it, it still definitely takes some getting used to. Although the wall has been gone for about 1.5 weeks now, we still find that were sometimes surprised when we turn round and we’re looking into another room!
Before we could even think about getting out a hammer and bashing holes into our load bearing wall, there were a few things that needed to be sorted, starting with all of the structural issues.
Our lovely structural engineer, Paul, came round to talk though our plans and check the condition of the existing walls, ceiling, etc.
He wasn’t too happy about the size of the opening being so large, but luckily he was still able to work out a way that we could have what we wanted – even if this now does involve an absolutely huge steel beam.
There wasn’t too much prep work to do. The main job was to dismantle a few of our wall-hung units.
Now you all know why we were desperate for some new storage! Luckily our new shelves are exactly what we needed.
The works still aren’t quite completed and finishing off everything will definitely take a long while, but it’s definitely a huge step in the right direction!
Electrics & Plumbing
With it being one of the biggest walls in our house, it was kind of inevitable that we’d have a few sockets and a radiator attached to it. Ideally this would have been sorted before building works began, but our amazing builder was happy to work around them, so that they could all be removed after the wall had been knocked down.
Whilst we had an electrician sort out disconnecting everything, Jan decided that it would be a good idea to remove the radiator himself. It turned out that watching a few YouTube videos, doesn’t necessarily prepare you for any problems you might incur.
As it turned out, the remaining pipes ended up leaking, we had to turn off our heating and ended up having no warm water for a few days! Having a freezing cold shower really isn’t a lot of fun.
We have a bit of a confession to make here. We don’t have many progress pictures as we planned our recent trip to the Cotswolds around the building work. There’s only so much dust and dirt a girl can put up with! By the time we got back, the wall was already gone and our whole house was held up by a few acro props.
We didn’t miss too much of the action though, as Jan had promised to be one of the helpers when installing the steel beam.
As much as we love it now, I have to admit, that I could barely watch while the beam was being installed. At around 300 kg, it was certainly not any easy thing to do!
Because it was too heavy to lift all the way up in one go, the builders nudged the steel up bit by bit using concrete blocks until it just had to be lifted into place for the final few centimetres.
With all of the constant building work going on around here, you’d think we’d be used to a bit of a mess and dirt by now. We thought we were, but nothing prepared us for the amount of dust that knocking down just one wall would cause.
It’s everywhere! I’ve lost count of the times I’ve vacuumed, dusted and wiped every surface.
You’ve all already seen the amazing results but, just because we love it so much, here are some more images for you.
The works still aren’t quite completed and finishing off everything will definitely take a long while, especially as what feels like a million other little jobs have arisen because of removing the wall. We still need to replace the missing floorboard, install a new door from the hallway to kitchen, have the beam boxed in & everything plastered. At least it’s a huge step in the right direction!
What’s the biggest building project that you’ve undertaken?