Our 1930s Home Renovation Takes Shape

It’s been a whirlwind 3 months since my last update on our 1930s home renovation. It’s been so non-stop and I’ve been so tied up in the minutiae detail of all the interiors that there’s been no time for updates, so here’s an abridged version of what’s been happening.

With tin roof keeping us in the dry and the existing roof removed, the following month was all about the carpentry work building the new roof, back and side dormers, putting in or reinforcing ceilings/floorings, and any further internal stud walls needed. This is precision work requiring very skilled carpenters. There were lots of angles and detail to factor in and a shed load of timbers delivered to site!

The back dormer was created with chamfered edges which will eventually be clad in a black zinc wrap. The large dormer will be all glass fronted with French doors, glass side panels and Juliet balcony across the front.

This loft room being created under the new roof in our 1930s home renovation will serve as the master bedroom of the house taking up the whole upper level complete with ensuite, his ‘n’ hers walk-in wardrobes and Mac’s office. There was also quite a bit of internal wall stud work to factor in too, and we built an additional supporting wall in the middle of the room off which the master bed will then sit, looking out to the garden through the large dormer.

We also built a stud wall to make space for an airing cupboard on the first floor hallway, careful to retain the arch through this hallway, one of the period features of this 1930s house that I love.

Studwork was also built to create an ensuite bathroom for what will be our guest bedroom, complete with pocket door to get maximum use of the space. All the bathrooms are down the right hand side of the house for ease of drainage.

On the ground floor, stud work was then put in to divide up the large open space of the former kitchen area, now joined to the new ground floor extension as we progress with our 1930s home renovation. A huge open space that has now been split up to create a large kitchen/diner, a larder, a downstairs WC, a utility room and a boot room. It’s all about practical living for me, and having moved more than 10 times in the last 15 years I knew exactly what I wanted in my end home – a separate larder and a boot room through which the family enters the house by the side door.

With openings all created where required, HBD Systems could then do final measurements for doors, windows and bi-folds.

Infact, our windows and doors were ordered in 3 phases. As we were keeping the configuration of the rooms/windows for 5 of the existing rooms in the house, we were able to order the replacement windows early on, and this order was put in as phase one at the beginning of the project.

We opted for black aluminium inside and out, with vertical bars, to give the crittall look I was opting for. As a 1930s period home, the property has some beautiful bay windows so I was keen to make a feature of them in our final home. The pictures of the windows here are before the external vertical bars have been fitted, but keep an eye on our blogs in the weeks ahead to see the fully finished look.

And they will look so much better when the surrounding scaffolding is not obscuring the view too!

Phase 2 included the windows in the extended part of the house to include the corner bi-fold doors.

And finally phase 3 when the new loft back dormer was built included the French doors off the master bedroom with glass side panels, now just awaiting delivery and installation of the Juliet glass balcony that will sit in front of this.

With timbers and stud work all in place, the following month was a frenzy of insulating and plaster boarding. Those of you that know Mac will be well aware that he goes above and beyond building regs from an insulation perspective. Not only does he like to insulate a building well, filling every nook and cranny to ensure nothing escapes and minimise heating costs in the winter and keep things cool in summer, but he also likes to soundproof a house so that noise doesn’t carry through floors/walls.

In order to press forward with the plaster boarding, this also required a plumber and electrician on site doing first fix, which means I’ve had to fast forward my mind to my finished home and think of everything I need from mirrored cabinets to LED lighting strips, kitchen appliances to office set up. I’ve had to choose all the toilets, the bathroom fittings and pretty much take a call on everything that is either plumbed or hard-wired in.

Have a read of my first fix electrics checklist here if you’re at this stage of your build too and need a few pointers.

Another item on my ideal home wishlist was a laundry chute – yes a very 1st world requirement I know, but it was on my list if feasible all the same.

After some online research I came across Laundry Chute Solutions Ltd. who were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. You can buy laundry chute kits and DIY it, but as this was virgin territory for us, we decided to go with experts in this field through to the installation. There’s also fire safety considerations when installing a laundry chute so we left it to those in the know.

The majority of the work for the installation of the laundry chute was done at first fix with all the piping chutes and openings put in place. We have laundry drop points in the master loft ensuite, and the family bathroom on the first floor, which both join up and drop out in to the utility room below on the ground floor. Sweet.

Second fix for laundry chute is essentially just fitting the child-proof and fire safe doors, and this will take place when we’ve fully boarded/tiled around the chutes and entry points.

A laundry chute is definitely a “nice to have” rather than a necessity but us it’s all in the attention to detail of a house that will make it stand apart in design and practicality.

Look out for our next blog as we move on to bathrooms, roofing, plastering and log burner!