We moved into our current home almost 20 years ago. Before signing the purchase agreement, we had the house checked over by a building engineer to make sure that we were getting value for money. The recommendations included improving the drainage around the house, which was considered to be high priority, and re-tiling the roof, which was considered urgent. While we did eventually get round to replacing the drainage and insulation around the cellar, we have happily ignored the recommendations concerning the roof – despite being described as urgent. That was until this Summer.
We felt that the roofing needed to be re-done including replacing the felt and battens and where necessary the underlying structure. Our insurance company had encouraged us to get the roof done by pointing out that they would not cover the cost of any damage caused by leakage. Having made the big decision about the roof, it was a simple step to deciding that the gables also needed replacing, allowing us to change the colour from dark brownish grey to something a bit more pleasant on the eye. From there the next decision was to replace the windows, which were not the most energy efficient and certainly in need of maintenance. In general, we have tried to clean the windows once a year regardless of whether or not it was needed.
Big decisions were made and we were on a roll so we, just for fun, decided to rearrange the porch with a new conservatory and as icing on the cake a built in jacuzzi. There were a few moments of concern during the process of acquiring planning permission, but I will spare you this bit as it would probably entail a ten-page rant about how the authorities meddle in the small details of everyday life for ordinary people.
The roof was first on the list. Tiles, battens and felt were removed to reveal the underlying structure in perfect condition, contrary to what we were told 20 years ago. The new roof was soon in place and looks great. Next in line were the gables. Again, all of the underlying structure was sound. This has been fully appreciated by a number of wasp colonies. If we could collect rent from the occupants, we would be quite wealthy. The new materials are now in place and look great.
At the moment, work is in progress to replace the porches, both at the front and rear of the house. Both have been demolished. Our cats, Caesar, and Maximus were not happy about this as the weather has not been so good and their shelter is gone. Also, it means that they can no longer easily reach the window to inform us when it is time to come in. The preparatory work for the new porches (I almost wrote Porsches, which would be something completely different) requires a good deal of excavating, turning the garden into a muddy quagmire, which is again not well appreciated by our cats.
The demolition stage is now completed and has been replaced by the sound of hammering as the first beams are put in place. Hopefully all of the work will be completed well before Christmas so that we can enjoy snowy evenings in the jacuzzi and drinks in the conservatory. (I used to say that the only good tory was a lavatory, but now I should extend this to a conservatory).
Watch this space for updates.