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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.


The Big Move

Today I did the 140 mile round trip to Robin Hoods Bay to bring my Grandmother B, who will be an amazing 91 on Monday, to Ripon as she has finally relocated to somewhere much easier to live and to be closer to family.

B has lived at the Bay for nearly 30 years, and much of that time alone after my Grandpa passed away. It has been a place my family have been attached to and holiday’ing in for over 60 years after my Great Grandfather bought 3 cottages there for his children. As a kid I remember the great family gatherings at Easter and the weeks we would spend there during the Summer holidays. And then I have now spent the last 13 years taking my kids there.

This is me at the Bay when I was about 4 or 5 I think

becky bay

When I got to the cottage this morning the removal men were well under way. Every piece of furniture and box had to be lugged down the back streets to the van. When I arrived there was furniture on the street ready to be shifted, and the cottage was emptying.


The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and the tide was out. I took the opportunity to snap B sat in the sun on the balcony.

B on the balcony

This is the view from her bench on the balcony .. priceless

robin hoods bay

B is moving into a lovely rented bungalow in Ripon with everything that she will need, so the cottage is being sold. Fittingly it went on the market today…I bet Tiger (my great grandfather) wouldn’t have thought in his wildest dreams what an amazing investment he made all those years ago.

I love the description the estate agent uses

“Dating from 1653, during the reign of Charles II, Whitegates is a unique traditional cottage with a fairytale look.”

We were finally off. We left my Aunt & Uncle to finish packing the last few things and helping the removal guys and got on our way.

This is the last time B will have to tackle all those steps and cobbled streets to get provisions or go for a walk.


When we got to Ripon I settled B into my house with some lunch while I waited at the bungalow for the removal men. It didn’t take long to unload the van and get the furniture in place in its new home. When B came round shortly after it was all done. In 6 hours the removal team had packed up the cottage, traveled to Ripon and unloaded. Amazing.

Special thanks to Rocket Removals from Whitby for the amazing service and their superb patience.


This is them heading off after a long, hard day.

So the next era begins … and I can already see a new lease of life setting in. I started searching a new place for B to live in January and I am so pleased that it has all worked out. Everyone in the family has pulled together and its great to see how strong everyone is when we pull in the same direction.

Unpacking boxes tomorrow …. and hopefully B will be in on Friday.

Happy Birthday Ethan

Today my youngest son Ethan turns 12. Wow, time has flown since the day Ethan came into the world, and today we celebrate his birthday and thank him for all the smiles he has brought. I still call him my “little Ethan” but he’s nearly as big as me now and still growing fast, with a wicked sense of humour and a cheeky smile.

I’ve had to dig through the old photo albums and scan in some of the old pictures (pre-digital) but the old ones are always the best, and there is still something really special about flicking through old photo albums that I did get slightly distracted.

This is Ethan when he was just minutes old with Dave


and here he is just a few days old with Miles photobombing


I mentioned his cheeky smile previously well here it is


We also couldn’t miss out on the obligatory “in the bath” shot


Moments to cherish in Ethan’s life .. like the day that he climbed into the washing machine (or was he pushed in by Miles?)


or when he decided to hide in the drawer of the TV cabinet when we were moving house

ethan drawer

A proud day, and an exciting one for Ethan too by the big grin on his face, on his first day at school

ethan school

A determined look on a ride at Blackpool during one of our mini breaks

ethan blackpool

Here are a few recent pictures. I love this one with me and Ethan on the way to the village pub when we were staying in a yurt in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales

ethan 2013

Last year on one of our visits to see Cooper before we brought him home

ethan 2013 2

And then Ethan earlier on in the year when we had a few days in London before we went to see England at Twickenham.

ethan 2014

So all that’s left to say is Happy Birthday son … love you loads xx