Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Structural Engineer

I met him at the house this morning. Overall, he seems to think we'll be able to do what we want (he had various interesting questions, such as why dig down, couldn't Gil put insulation on top of the current concrete floor. But I suspect it's a no-go as we'll need to damp proof too, and also won't want to lose that much head height from the rooms or the front door.

Saw some interesting things with his direction - will take some pics soon. Anyway, encouraging overall, looks as if we can go ahead, though he wants to think a bit more about stiffening the walls and roof upstairs before we knock down the stud walling there - apparently there's a theoretical risk that high winds could cause twisting.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Garden work

 Looking down the garden at the gable end with our future bedroom windows just visible.


Looking back at that same window, and the across the view from it - weeded by Mum so now the lavenders are visible.

We had a few days of fun in the garden with my parents - they provided the knowledge and the stick-to-it-iveness, and Clare and I did the running round and some of the work. The garden is made up of lots of separate beds and we've cleared a couple out, so we can start some planting - garlic is in line for the first planting (we love it, and now's the time, I gather).We plan the ones near the to-be-expanded balcony to have most of the veg and herbs, but we'll bung some raspberry canes in a bit further down. all very exciting!

Mum was able to name lots of plants, and drew us a plan of the garden with labelled areas and so on. We seem to have lots of repeats - can't remember all the names, but several Cotoneasters, Euonymous (?sp?) and other stuff, including some possible little Leylandii (ssssssssss....) which need to come out asap.

Dad dug out several shrubs that were right in our way (and rather moth-eaten, too). This is one of his major fields of expertise - and he started training C! She and I cut lots out of an overgrown Fatsia japonica which left more light on the situation, much needed.

We created a massive pile of stuff-to-be-composted - way more than we can handle right now, so it'll be a gradual drip feed into the garden waste bin.
And lots of bits of wood to dry for next winter when we'll be living here!

We're lucky enough to have a shed that will work as a greenhouse in the future, we hope.

We met our neighbour show seems lovely and is a fount of knowledge about the area and the people who live here. He's been here since about 1970. We'll have to show him the paperwork that came form our solicitor yesterday - goes back to 1876 and the details of ownership of the big house, Malvern House, to which our house (the coach house and stables) and his (the Lodge - shown as having a vinery and plant houses in what is now his beautiful garden) belonged.

On another note, Gil (the architect) came round and was pleased with how we've started on the destruction of the decorative beauties. We'll try to get the rest of it done over the next few weeks.

And, excitingly for us, the structural engineer is coming on Tuesday - so we should soon know what we can and cannot just knock down. Gil's sent the proposals to the planning office to get their views on our plans re windows, balcony etc.

(Don't think we showed the glories of the electrics in our last post, did we? Rather scary!)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Few Days off!

So we haven't done anything in the house, other than a bit of a clear-up since Wednesday. This is mostly due to me working, Emily visiting Birmingham, and then me busy paddling at the Dragon Boat National Finals this weekend. We (notts anaconda) didn't win anything, but we had a great time and a really good club atmosphere and ethos.
I have also just started a 10 month training plan for an ironman triathlon next August. I have decided to get a proper plan worked out from the coach at the triathlon club I have joined. Last week was OK but this week looks a bit more full on, so fitting training, work, and the coach-house refurb is going to keep me fit!
We will get some more done, and some more photos on in this coming week. We have Emily's parents visiting, and hopefully will use their expertise to get started on some garden stuff - for the first time ever we are hoping to grow some produce, as part of our general green plans.