Monday, 29 August 2016

12 Months on....

12 months later, we are still way off completion but some of the final finishes are now in place, giving us encouragement and a good feel for our new house.
Over the autumn and winter we will finish the interior and move in.
Leaving the 'L' shaped extension until spring 2017, this can be built without too much disruption to the current build.

This is the front elevation (the brackets will hold solar panels and form a verranda)

Here is a pic when we started demolition last August...

View from what will be the kitchen / dining room and eventually a nice garden

Over 2000 salvaged bricks from the old building, were hand cleaned by Joe and reused for a feature wall, built by Fergus Robinson and Joe.

The entire floor is a slab of polished concrete and with the underfloor heating pipes, should keep us cosy too.

Once we had done all the floor prep, the guys at Exeter Floor Restoration did an amazing job with pouring, floating and polishing.

For the cladding we used a Japanese technique of burning timber called Shou Sugi Ban, traditionally used to preserve exterior wood. The natural cedar looked lovely so it was a scary moment taking a roofers blow torch to the planks but we love this blackened effect.

We are still living onsite with reasonable comfort but will be a real luxury to move in properly.
Even on a building site, Julie has managed to provided us with plenty of salad and veg, grown from her pallet made raised beds.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2015 Build Progress

Late summer 2015 the demolition and build began.

Prior to this we concentrated on creating our temporary accommodation, to comfortably see us over the winter on site.

The old building starts to come down.
Materials that can be reused like old insulation, timber, roofing sheets etc were snatched up quickly as freebies advertised on Gumtree and some we have kept and will recycle in the new build.

demolition starting

site almost clear

As the site starts to clear, we begin to build the new timber frame, its a single story built on existing foundations so the progress is satisfyingly speedy.

Good to get some of the dirty jobs out of the way, drains all laid and additional foundations done.

A push to get the roof on before Christmas was at times very frustrating, battling with the wind and rain, but now enables a whole loads of internal fit out that can continue throughout the winter.

Waterproof now and with no internal walls, makes a perfect archery range!

Living on site is not always ideal but the open plan area still functions perfectly well as my studio and with a few further improvements on site, we are able to enjoy a good level of comfort.

Christmas 2015 in the studio

Its been a pleasure working with our main crew of Paul + Tom Redman and my son Joe, and although I've always been reluctant to predict a completion date, if we can continue at this pace, it should be safe to say that we'll be in by Christmas 2016!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Build Update June 2015

We’ve been in our converted office + studio for over 7 months now and have become quite fond of living here.
Perfectly comfortable throughout the winter, we soon got used to our daily campsite shower experience and the constant sound of cats thundering around on the metal roof at night.
Plenty of space for us, with just Toby at home the other two lads away at Uni + travelling.

Cal has now returned and Joe any day now, lovely to have them back and the extra labour is very welcome.
Cal is demolishing the room below, a bit of a shame as it feels like I’ve only recently done this temporary conversion.

 Callum 'The Demolition Man' June 2015

Temporary conversion in Nov 2014
 Being brutal in June 2015 

All 5 of us are here over the summer and as we demolish, less space available.
I've been planning for this, but not quite finished the extra spaces just yet. So a bit of musical beds going on right now, always somewhere to rest your head, not necessarily the same place each night!

Since moving, all my spare time has been spent building these new rooms to inhabit once the office demolition is done.
The studio still functions perfectly well for my work but have reorganised it. In the evening it becomes an open plan living space, we've installed a wood burner built a kitchen, temporary bathroom and another partitioned room.
I’m converting an old storeroom and have built a new fairly basic outbuilding, both insulated and will have power supplies, hopefully keeping us comfortable throughout next winter.
Photos will follow once I've properly finished these areas....,

Making the most of the summer, we have plenty to get on with and very soon will need to hand over the main running of the build to our good friend and architect Paul Redman who has all the clever technical knowledge, expertise and experience.

With his instruction, we will still be involved where our capabilities and time allows, also helping to manage + organise specific skills and materials on site.

All very knackering but still plenty of enthusiasm and excitement for the build.
Though if asked, at this stage, I'd rather not even attempt to offer a date of completion.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Building a house.

In an effort to simplify our lives a little, we are combining our studio site as a live + work space, suitable to accommodate our 3 lads coming and going over the next few years.

This gives us a great opportunity, to create a sustainably built, highly energy efficient home.

We are lucky to have such good friends Paul + Sarah both architects who have been very encouraging and enthusiastic about this project.

Naturally we employed their services. A year on after all their efforts, we have now have full planning permission and building plans, to convert the offices into a house. The studio will remain as it is.

Before any of this work can begin we needed to sell our house.
In need of a lot of work, I spent all my non working time during 2014 renovating, assisted by very capable son Cal who was available, keen and saving for his trip to New Zealand.

Lovely what you discover when lifting a floor!
Sad times, the estate agent didn't see the skate ramp as a sellable garden feature!

All worked out well and the house sold in Oct 2014


Back in 2006, looking for a new studio space, we saw the potential in this site and set about renovating into a studio and office space to rent out.
offices before and after

studio before and after
exterior before and after

Late Oct 2014:

Once the tenants had found alternative premises, we started to convert the offices into our temporary home that would see us through this winter. In springtime it will come down and become a building plot.
So here we are, very comfortable + settled with all we need. I still need to bash a hole to connect studio and house. Currently kitchen, food and internet are in the studio, so this is where the dog and Toby can mostly be found.

Our new address is: 70a Victoria Parade, Bristol BS5 9EB 

Over the next few months lots of prep work to do, surveying foundations, drainage, services etc, detailed plans, quotes and costings etc, Oh and also working out how we can live on site during the build. To be continued.....