The diary of a kitchen extension – part 2

Day 50: 2nd April 2020
The builders have started back after the initial lockdown to finish the roof and install the decorative fascia. After weeks of nothing happening and living in what felt like a dark cave, it was great to see things happening again.

Day 51: 3rd April 2020
Now the fascia is installed I can paint it and start to get an idea of the colour we have chosen. As we will be painting the rest of the outdoor windows in the same colour, it was a good opportunity to see it come to life in daylight.

… After a day of painting I can confirm it looks great. I’ve even managed to paint the outhouse that sits directly next to the extension so that it all pairs nicely.

 

Day 52: 4th April 2020
The scaffolding came down today and we can see for the first time the new space we have created. It’s a good day when your design and planning turn out exactly the way you intended.

Top tip: I feel like I’ve spoken to our builder A LOT just recently, but a builder once gave me a tip. In order to get what you want, you need to be specific and tell all trades exactly what’s needed and where, so nothing is open for interpretation. This way, there are no awkward discussions later down the line which may end up with either party losing out in the long run.

Day 53: 5th April 2020
The day has come that I have been dreading! We are going to have to live in a cave for a week or so as the internal wall is getting ready to come down so that the floor can be concreted. It’s an exciting step forward but I’ll miss the daylight!

Day 54-61: 6th – 13th April 2020
So living in a cave was, like I thought, bleak and depressing. It highlights the need for natural light and a nice outlook to help you stay positive and happy. I don’t think you realise this until it’s taken from you. Now it’s finished, it’s been a stark reminder to always keep natural light at the forefront when planning extensions and designing kitchen layouts as it makes such an overall difference to the end result.

Day 61: 13th April 2020
The patio doors have been installed and boy was it exciting! It gave us the first glimpse of the vision we had and the design we put together. It’s exactly as we planned and the detail is perfect. The age of the house and design of the kitchen is rather eclectic and has a great mix of traditional versus quirky. Our new timber doors have given us amazing results and, when the kitchen is fitted, it will pair in perfectly.

 

Day 63: 15th April 2020
We have spent the best part of the day steaming off the 150-year-old wallpaper and all the steam disrupted the old ceiling and the plasterboard fell on my head… good job I’ve got a thick skull!

What’s more, the walls in the extension have been plastered and shown how bad the rest of the room is. But, we’ve maxed out our budget so we’re thinking creatively about how we can cover up those lumps and bumps!

Day 65: 17th April 2020
Finally, the new floor in the extension has been completed and has highlighted the quirkiness of the old floor which echoes the mountainous Peak District we live in. It was the old charm and character of the house that made us fall in love with it, but it’s going to be a nightmare to lay the herringbone floor tiles onto it – which, due to budget restraints, I’m doing myself!

Day 65-66: 17th – 18th April 2020
The electrician and plumbers have been and gone. The lights are illuminating and the floor is luscious and warm – exactly what we intended, dreamt about and pictured.

I’ve said it before, but thinking about every detail from the beginning is key to this. If you want to recreate the image that has been in your head, then you need to spend the time to shop, hunt, chase, badger, examine and, most importantly, talk! Talk to the builders, your partner (sometimes your bank manager) so that everything is agreed and you’re 100% happy with the overall result.

Top tip: Don’t be afraid to add or change things to the build as this is the one opportunity to do something about it. BUT, be prepared to pay for it as none of it is free. Things will always evolve on jobs like this, so if you want that light moving say something – as you’ll just live to regret it!

Day 70: 22nd April 2020
I’ve painted the walls and it’s looking amazing. I’m holding back on final colours until the kitchen is in. The kitchen will be our statement piece here, so I’m not prepared to go nuts or create too much theatre until I have my main character.

Day 80, 90 or 100 who knows…
Because of COVID we’re all working (and schooling) from home. The house is a dump and we’re tripping over everything. We have a great deal to sort out still before the kitchen comes which feels overwhelming as I have decided to do this myself, from laying the floor, tiling the walls and redressing the chimney. Aaahhh!!!

I’m quite sure it will be amazing and I’ll look back and kick myself for feeling this way, but in every project there are low points and this is one of mine.

Day whatever… the day of being naive!
Started tiling the floor today and as a job it really didn’t scare me, but how naive I was on how long it would take. With the extension, the kitchen and pantry form a 26 square metre area and I have decided to do a herringbone pattern to add character.

Starting this took a while as I needed to make sure everything lined up, as if it didn’t I would only pay for it later, but once this was done it went down like dream. The sheer size and amount of tiles made sure the job took me seven days to complete. I honestly thought it would be three or possibly four – but I was dreaming!

Now it’s finished, it does look amazing. But I can now say I hate tiling and never want to do this again – I can’t feel my knees anymore!

The countdown begins
Three days to go….kitchen gets delivered on Tuesday 9th November 2020. We started this in February but COVID took away two to three months, so the process has taken about six months so far. As a family, we’re absolutely buzzing that the end is near!

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