This is the house when we first saw it before we did any renovations

A picture of the old conservatory area which has now been amalgamated into the house and room in the main house

A view of the original house from the garden and the old chicken house

28th April 2008 

Demolition of the lean-to barn well under way.

The walls were constructed of local hand made bricks with river mud as mortar making it easy to demolish and save the bricks for re-use. 


The original floor was a poor concrete skim over a loose packed clinker base at best.

A pickaxe soon sorted it out and the rubble was shoveled straight out of the front windows.

The renovation would be divided into two parts: the original house, and the 'kitchen' area which is totally detached from the original house.

This would be rebuilt and incorporated into the main structure of the house. A bathroom would be formed in the original house.

18th May 2008 

The material removed from the chicken run, pigsty  and goat barns was heavily infested with lice so burning was the best option


18th May 2008 

View along the back of the house looking towards the old kitchen, and view from same spot looking towards the barn after the lean to chicken house has been demolished.




26th May 2008 

The new concrete floors are completed in the original house. 4 inches of concrete re-enforced with steel mesh was laid onto insulation bats over a damp proof membrain.

The bathroom has been formed in one of the origianal rooms using Ytong blocks (expanded concrete with high thermal efficiency)

Here you can see how I laid the PEX pipe in a continuous run to each room and used clips to fix it to the concrete base prior to screeding.

Note: I am not using insulation under the pipes as I want the entire floor slab to act as a thermal mass. The insulation is under the subfloor.

6th September 2008 

Stripped the original roof over the old kitchen.

The tiles were retained for re-use.

15th September 2008 

The old 'kitchen' ceiling and walls being demolished.

The ceiling was a mass of wire and plaster on reeds attached to oak joists.



1st October 2008 

Progress on the old kitchen. Clearing rubble and sorting bricks as we go. 



1st October 2008 

The first walnuts collected this year having three trees we are going to be busy



Clearing a channel through the rubble was the first step in locating the septic tank.
I started to dig out the hole for the septic tank by hand as the top soil layers were quite easy going.

The new septic tank would be uphill of the house so I worked out the depth of the pipe runs starting from the lowest outfall point which was in the street at the front of the house. The ground was very sticky and heavy here.

The subsoil in the hole is highly compacted and is proving almost impossible to continue by hand.
I will ask around and see if anyone has a suitable machine. JCB's are very rarely seen.