My story with Dave, the kids, Cooper, VW's & rugby

Extension Update

Wow, last post mid October when the extension was due to be finished… now we are heading into December and still work to be done. Its getting there though and soon to be done. Will update very soon with some amazing transformation pictures.

Update on the Extension

Well its been a long while since I blogged about the big extension project that we are having done at home. We are now on Week 16…it was meant to be finished by now but like every Grand Designs programme I have ever watched nothing ever completed on time or on budget, but we are not doing too bad and most importantly we are still sane and coping with the house being a building site and rooms upside down.

The kids bedrooms was one task that we pulled forward so at the end of August the builders started creating the kids new rooms

kids bedrooms

And both of them gained a few extra feet which has made a load of difference to the individual space that they have.

ethan room

miles room

They got into their new rooms a week into the new school term which was a big help that they were resettled after camping out in the spare room for a few weeks.

Then it was all about getting the roof on and the building watertight, which seemed to take ages

roof going on

kitchen roof going on

But we got there in the end and the day came that the scaffolding came down which made a huge difference

scaffoding down

It was even better when earlier on this week the windows and doors arrived so we are now watertight, and it transforms the building


Inside we have gone from this

old kitchen

to this is a very short space of time

new kitchen

new dining room

and this week there has been teams of builders, plumbers and lots of electricians onsite getting the first fixes in. The kitchen is due a week on Monday so still lots to be done to get the space ready for the kitchen fitters, and there is still the work to be done on the 2 storey extension inside and outside.

Onto the final stretch now :)

Extension after 6 weeks – 10 more to go

Since my last post on the extension we have progressed another 3 weeks or so and its surprising how quickly it is all taking shape and you can now get an understanding of the size of it all. Here are some of the pictures from the last few weeks.

The floors are being created. We also now have the french doors taken out and boarded up but the builders did recycle one of the old windows to let some light in.

foundations done floors going in

At the same time we are having to dig new foundations for the extended patio retaining wall

patio foundations

It was exciting to see the first blockwork go up on the kitchen

first blockwork

Followed by the brickwork. There is going to be a combination of rendered walls and exposed brick.

first brickwork

Next it was the side of the two storey extension

sitting room side up

The scaffolding goes up and the bricks get higher

scaffolding goes up

At the end of last week the brickies were done and tomorrow it will be the roof.

ready for the roof

The Big Extension

If you know me and Dave you’ll know that we always like to have a project on the go … and this time we have taken on a beast. We bought the house about 9 years ago and have done loads to it over the years altering rooms, decorating, replacing fixtures, knocking walls down etc, as our family needs change. I also love my “before & after” pictures as seen in a couple of my previous DIY posts.

Two and a half weeks ago we started a 16 week project to extend the back of the house, including a 2 story extension (which will include reconfiguring the kids bedrooms and their den, as well as extending the dining room and kitchen. Here’s a few pictures of the major stages.

The Before … You can see the markings on the wall where we took the conservatory down 2 years ago


This was the start as the patio came up


We’ve had a couple of issues so far with the build, one being access and neighbours, or you could say neighbours and access .. meaning that the builders had to use smaller machinery to dig the foundations. Then the next issue was the depth that the foundations needed to go down to, so we are a few days behind schedule and over budget at this stage but we’re hoping it can be caught up and money will be saved elsewhere.


After all that digging, and because they had to dig so deep we were also getting the side walls collapsing, it was a welcome sight when the concrete truck arrived early in the morning. Here’s the lovely expensive concrete moat.


This is the triumphant day we got out of the ground. Onwards and upwards!


Then yesterday they took off the large bay and boarded it up inside so that they can then focus on brickwork for the next couple of weeks.


Weekend at CamperJam 2014, Weston Park

This weekend while the Tour de France was set to hurtle around the roads of Yorkshire we set off heading south on the 150 mile journey to CamperJam in Shropshire. It was our first trip to CamperJam so we were really excited, but with slight trepidation about the journey.

Here is our merry convoy ready to depart


On the route down we met up with some fellow vdubbers so we had a convoy and it was good to have some support vehicles travelling with you :) The roads were ok considering it was Friday night, but it was amazing how much traffic was heading North for the Tour de France. When we got to CamperJam the rain had started, and it carried on through most of the night. Needless to say we all went to bed earlier than usual as we were all a bit wet!

The next day the sun was out and thats how it stayed for the rest of the weekend which was perfect.

Here’s the Harrogate & District VW club camping patch


Camperjam was huge, there were so many traders that we really just didn’t have enough time to look around properly, but it was also packed with day visitors as well as the campers. Great fun though and a fantastic atmosphere. At this festival, our 2 worlds merged as our friends from the rugby club, who have recently joined the VW club, came along too so it meant there were even more kids in camp entertaining each other.

Here’s a few of the pics from Saturday





Sunday was Show n Shine day so we were up early (well sort of early) to give Mollie a bit of a rub down, and to get camp tidied up and packed up. We wouldn’t be heading off until later in the afternoon but it can take a good few hours to steadily pack everything back up, especially when you’re in a relaxed “go slow”.

Here’s Mollie in the Show n Shine


In the VW show circuit there are certain shows that are tougher than others, and CamperJam has always been our ultimate one to test Mollie at. This is due to the calibre of the judges, one being David Eccles who we have probably all of his books under our coffee table. When we lined up there were just so many amazing looking buses of all styles, with immaculate interiors and exteriors, each deserving of a prize. The judges of the Show n Shine, when they came for a chat liked the fact that Mollie was still a microbus rather than one that had been converted to a camper so we felt a glimmer of hope.

After a nervous wait .. (its like one of kids needing to pass a test!)


She’d done it .. a winner ..

Here is me collecting the trophy and having to explain to the crowd what work had been done to Mollie (embarrassing lol!) and strangely enough out of all the prize winners I was the only female owner (makes me even prouder :) )


And here is Mollie’s trophy to add to the growing collection.


The thing I love most though about showing Mollie is not all about the winning, but its the smiles that people have when they see her, and I love it when she is so admired that people want to take photos of her or wave at you when you are travelling up the motorway.

We certainly needed the waves and beeping of the horns that we got on the way back as it was a long drive when were were all worn out, but loved it all the same. This was our mini convoy when we stopped at Woodhall services. We were lucky that the Tour de France traffic was all going on the opposite direction again…and I’ve never seen so much, it was crazy.