Scaffolding goes up, chimney comes down

Zoë talks about the fast rate at which the build is now coming together as the two-storey extension gets underway

Meet the owner: Zoë Sheridan-Wasey

Zoë is a former marketing manager for a popular stove and fireplace manufacturer, a career she enjoyed for ten years while simultaneously undertaking five renovation projects. She has always loved home renovating and interior design, but this is by far her largest project to date: renovating, rebuilding and extending a large family home on her dream acre plot in Devon. This time, two small sons are competing with the build for her attention, while a completion date of Christmas 2014 is looming…

Follow her blog over the coming months as she charts the highs and lows of the build.

Scaffolders are early birds and the crew arrived first thing in the morning to erect the scaffolding that provided our builders access to the chimney to bring it down, making way for a new internal wall. Either this was an easy job or the process has quickened since our previous renovation. By the time I returned home from my swift school run, not only was the scaffolding up but the chimney was already starting to come down… as was a deluge of soot all over the dining room. Apparently my improvised bin bag fireplace cover wasn’t up to the job of containing several decades worth of blackened chimney-grot. So, while I got to work with a hoover and a mop, the builders got to work cutting a large piece of plywood to fit perfectly over our fireplace – a much better method of holding back the grime. However, as much as we try to plan in advance, the speed of this build still seems to catch us out with these little things; but still, if a quick clean-up is the worst we experience, I for one will be a very happy home-builder.

Plus, apart from the obvious advantages of a quick build, we are also enjoying a daily ‘spot the difference’ competition. It took a surprisingly long time for my husband and sons to catch up on this particular day. So enthralled were they with the scaffolding (as I repeated, at increasing volume, “this is not a climbing frame”), the now-missing chimney was entirely irrelevant…

Above: Now that the chimney has been fully taken down, the walls have gone up at an astounding rate. It was lovely to see the outlines of the rooms taking shape and then the window and door frames too

Above: Next, the steel and joists went in, before the floor was laid. At this stage we could see the physical shape of the first new room and actually walk around it. After all the time spent planning, it was a rewarding experience and was a real payoff for the upheaval and disruption, and a tantalising taste of what’s to come

Above: Another successful building inspection means that the east side double storey extension can carry on growing… onwards and upwards as they say!