The Build

The Great Build of 2014
(there are a lot of images - may take a while to load!)

5th June 2014 was the start of extending the extension. We are building a flat (cottage? Apartment?) for Adam and Kathy - or for me when I'm older as a 'Mum's Flat' (not an O.A.P. Granny Flat! I don't want to be seen as being that old! LOL!)

Is this what Kathy has in mind I wonder?

... I think we can build you and Adam a better flat than that... LOL

(photo taken January 2013)
This is the side view of the house from the drive.
A bit plain and boring - especially regarding the extension's rather ugly flat roof.
My present study is behind the lower window... 
seen below from the inside

while the upstairs windows are Kathy and Adam's bedroom.

We are extending this extension by as much again - but with a sloping roof to match the front of the house (More loft space!) There will be a front door to the left of my study window, and the study will become the kitchen. The present bedroom will become the bathroom and the new bit to be built will be a sitting room and upstairs bedroom. There will be glass doors from the sitting room out onto a small patio. And all should look lovely in about 6 months time!

Here's the present two-storey extension from the back (the extension on the right)  That rectangle of the house will be extended by as much again, 
and those walls with the windows on ground and first floor will be knocked through to make open-plan from kitchen to sitting room. But what about your study Helen? I hear you all cry (aghast that I'll not have my own space to think about what to write next)  Ah well.... 

Here's a close-up of the present patio and doors into the dining room. We are going to have a one-storey lean-to extension here - similar to a conservatory but with a slate roof. The door to the back garden  will be where the present steps are, and windows will be all along the front. So I will have a fantastic view while pondering the next chapter... That's the plan anyway!

So the Build Begins! 
DIARY 2014)

WEEK ONE: 5th June
  • The first job: move the stay of the electricity pole that brings the overhead electricity supply cable into the house.
the overhead electric cable
(you can just see it hanging between the tree & the house)
and the post -
which apparently is woodpecker damaged!
  • Job done - and the disruption wasn't too bad...
  • ...Apart from the delivery of the builder's digger causing chaos in the lane when the lorry - which was far too big - got stuck

The first equipment
  • Builder here with electrician and digger-man to dig trench, fit meters etc in preparation to move the electric cable. 
  • Dan and the Gang - nice bunch of guys - who are quite happy to make their own tea!
WEEK TWO & THREE: 9th - 16th June
  • Western Power here to move the existing cable underground. Job done
  • Foundations to be dug
  • Future terracing to be laid out
  • Pipes and drains to be excavated
Dining Room Window View LOL

just as well it isn't raining -
this could be our version of the Somme trenches!
  • Foundation cement to go in
  • First foundation block work

My future study
and the terrace
using the old sleepers from the previous patio terrace
 No, not the builders - the Gaffers maybe?

WEEK THREE : 23rd June
  • We have walls. 
  • Only little ones at the moment
  • Rather battered plants though :-(
poor plants :-(

The Back Garden / orchard :-(
The North Terrace

Next summer,  a nice patio table and chairs
will look much more elegant than a pair of ladders
and a wheelbarrow LOL
This alcove will one day be my study
Looking towards what will be the extended extension
- Kathy & Adam's sitting room takes shape...

At least the roses are ok
WEEK FIVE : 30th June
  • no delivery stops play.
  • There'll be nothing happening this week as we are waiting for the floor beams to be delivered. 
  • Apparently 2-3 weeks actually means "at the end of three weeks" :-/
  • Still, the forecast is torrential rain, so maybe its best to not have builders tromping around in their big muddy boots. LOL
WEEK SIX : 7th July
Back to work - delivery delivered.
And the walls to the new 'Blee Residence' sitting room look more like walls...

Baz the Gaffer surveying the day's work
My study... well, it will be!

The big gap will be the Blee Residence Patio Doors

From the drive - a porch will be here

WEEK SEVEN : 14th July
Monday 14th The walls get higher:

Cement - with Baz's pawprint 'Baz Waz 'Ere'

The walls get higher...
... and higher
my study - just waiting for windows and roof

poor old anemones have taken a bit of a bettering though :-( 

The front porch
Kathy & Adam's sitting room
WEEK EIGHT : 21st July

Builders at work LOL
(to be fair, it was their lunch break!) 
 Looking from what will be the patio doors towards where the oak staircase will go, and beyond, the open plan kitchen (at present my study windows) To the right will be the front door and porch 

WEEK NINE 28th July

My study now has the start of a roof
and some windows
(we're waiting for replacements of two wrong ones that were sent)
The start of Kathy & Adam's bedroom

The view doesn't really get spoiled from my bedroom window

And this is the front garden from my bedroom.
Somewhat overgrown - but the pond is good!
Inside my study

Should look good when we have all windows and doors fitted!

WEEK TEN 4th August

My study from the outside -
and we have the start of a roof over the extension!

orchard apples
from the orchard

from the drive
note Sybil the Gaffer on the prowl!

WEEK ELEVEN 11th August

Baz doesn't think much of my study as it is at the moment :-(

We have a roof (well the bones of one!)
Going upstairs....

The loft
Adam at the East-view bedroom window 
looking down on my study
Kathy at the north-view window
another view of what will be the loft
WEEK TWELVE 18th August

The roof starts becoming a roof!
And my study has a roof

Roof almost done - from my bedroom window
The old flat roof is being replaced
The Gaffer expecting the work
WEEK FOURTEEN 1st September

wiring the study
WEEK FIFTEEN 8th September
Outside rendering and painting being done -  forgot to take photos. For a couple of days we had rain, so work was intermittant

The hole for the chimney flue in the new sitting room
and SIXTEEN 15th September

Baz is a little more impressed by my study
 now that it has doors

and plastered walls
and a window sill
WEEK SEVENTEEN 22nd September

the scaffolding came down
The patio doors and the chimney and flue have gone in

Just the last bit of scaffolding to go now -
note the chimney and flue from the outside
a raised decking-patio will go where the scaffolding is
No work at the end of this week as the builders are on holiday, 
so time to inspect the back garden

WEEK EIGHTEEN 29th September
work progresses on my study and the porch (sorry forgot to take photos :-(

However, Kathy did repaint our dining room!


 These are the 'before' photos of the dining room when we first viewed the house (agents' pictures!) The walls look quite light here because of the flashlight, but actually they were a dark cream - as were the beams

I had my dresser in front of the hatchway 
- no where else to put it :-(

and looking through the doors towards 
the orchard and patio

The walls are now 'Jasmine White' 
with the beams darker

 The dresser has gone - so hatchway and hall beyond exposed

 Looking back hrough the hall hatchway
The little wooden duck (next to the cat) 
was a gift from fabulous Timeslip author Anna Belfrage 

And beyond those doors....

 my new study - Ta Dah!....

 Partially moved in - books done, now for ornaments and treasures...
The Gaffer helping as always
Rainbow from my desk - 9th October 2014 9 a.m

almost sorted! 
  • Track lighting still has to go in 
  • the corner pipes need to be finished and blocked in 
  • (when the new upstairs bathroom is done)
The black blur is Baz - refusing to sit and pose.
I suspect it is the builders' tea break so he's off for snacks...

my new desk where I am supposed to work....
WEEK TWENTY 13th October

The old bedroom will be the bathroom

wires and plumbing
beneath what will be the upstairs landing
looking towards the new bedroom
here there will be an oak staircase
the new bedroom
view from the bedroom window

downstairs -
looking towards the porch and front door
the kitchen -
do you recognise what remains of my old study?
the sitting room
and the patio doors
The Woman of the House
another view of the porch
My study and The North Terrace -
this will all be decking
from the orchard

The Gaffer surveys the builders' site

AND.... we have a porch!
WEEK TWENTY-ONE  to TWENTY-FOUR 20th October - 10th November

Most of the work has been going on 'upstairs' which I can't get to....

one day there will be an oak staircase here!
Meanwhile Kathy goes up - I stay down!

.... the chickens have found their way to the door from my study into the garden...

Mab has discovered a very comfy chair there!

while in the Build bit....

Tim puts the Kitchen in where my study used to be...

and Kathy and Adam's old bedroom becomes a bathroom...

and the new bedroom is taking shape...

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE 17th November

Bedroom wall
built-in wardrobe
upstairs landing
view from bedroom window
Kathy and the bathroom
Log burner in place (and working!)
the American Oak staircase!
looking back down the stairs
We're nearly there folks! Not long now and it will be finished!

WEEK TWENTY-SIX 24th November
Finish the stairs, fitting out the bathroom and loft hatch, front steps...
get hindered by chickens in my study because the door was left open

and a duck egg! (First One!)
WEEK TWENTY-SEVEN - 1st December
Tiling the bathroom, plumbing - shower and loo etc go in, central heating goes in....
Wooden floors laid,
The Bedroom
Doors waiting to be fitted,.
Painting the bathroom
(no idea why colour is funny - camera going wrong?)
Painting the bedroom

WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT - 8th December
Outside decking is started (by Buzz) (that's him as seen through my kitchen window)
Kitchen floor laid (by Cobby)Final fitments.
Finish the painting

WEEK TWENTY-NINE 15th December

start moving in...

WEEK THIRTY 22nd - 24th December
LITTLE OWL LODGE (as it is to be called)
(just a few little things (mostly outside)  to be completed - which will be done in the New Year)

The Kitchen - which was my old study. 
Note that we kept the original old stone wall from the main house uncovered. 
The open door leads through to the Main House sitting room (see below!)

Sitting Room... looking back to the kitchen

 View through the Patio doors
(and yes they ARE straight - my photo is wonky!)

sitting room - the West Window

 and the East Window (looking over the decking and to my study)

 Oak staircase

Owl on the bedroom wall


Front Porch 
(steps have to be finished, CCTV put in & front still to be painted)

WEEK THIRTY-ONE  Photos taken 30th December 2014

On a Cold and Frosty Morning.... 

View from my study (that's Mab)
you can just see the decking outside (Buzz Terrace!)

and here it is properly

It all links up with....

Little Owl Lodge Patio Doors....
looking back the other way

 and into the Orchard

My Study from Buzz Terrace
(note Baz disappearing indoors!)

we'll be planting a rose garden where the wooden planks are

It is nice to have MY bathroom back 
(it's been used as a storage room as we
also have a downstairs shower)

and to finish off...
 (so as to not be outdone)
The Old Main House bedecked for Christmas

 sitting room

the door is the link to
Little Owl Lodge Kitchen

 Hall from the Kitchen

Looking into the dining room from the hall
(and beyond to my study 

Opposite side of the hall
looking into the front garden

Same view from the front door

cold but clear winter sky!

Sybil  by the front door
and sitting room window

and the ducks
in the garden

and finally the orchard and the hens...

Dan measuring up
for our final "pass" certificate
 from North Devon Council
Adam building a path and step
aided by a hen
and the Winter Penguin

The Verandah!

Home Sweet Home!



  1. Lovely pictures Helen! Thank you for sharing them with us all. I'm sure you will all be delighted when it is finished; especially your "Mum's Flat" The progression is very clear. Leila x

    1. Thanks - more pics as we progress!

  2. Forgot to mention about the house martins and their nest. What a privilege for you to be able to observe them! As a child I spent many happy times in Runswick Bay on the North East Coast and there was a house martin's nest under the eaves of my aunty's house. I seem to remember they built them so skilfully with mud?

    1. it seems they only build of an evening. We wondered if this was because of the builders being here during the day, but as there haven't been any men for two days now, things haven't changed. I guess the Martins are waiting for a delivery as well LOL

  3. Exciting to watch,will be lovely no doubt when its all done

  4. I see the supervisor has been onsite. Good for Baz. Well done. Looking forward to seeing more pictures as the extension progresses to a finished product.

    1. Baz loves the builders - he insists on saying good morning when they arrive. I have a feeling the 'love' is because they share their lunch-time sandwiches with him though!

  5. Love the additional pictures. Your study will be amazing when it's finished. Love seeing Baz's footprints in the cement.

    1. Thanks Melanie - I'm planning what sort of bookshelves and desk to have. A nice comfy chair for coffee breaks as well I think! :-) (Baz seems to have adopted the space already - he's moved his toys from my present study into the new one!

  6. Anonymous7:06 pm

    I love your study. I am hoping to have my son build bookshelves when I move. I especially love all of the windows.

    1. Thanks Sue - the bookshelves and desk came from Argos

  7. It is looking really lovely. So glad they are moved in, with only a few touches to finish. I think your new study looks lovely and fresh and cosy.

  8. Anonymous8:41 pm

    Hello Helen: Yesterday I got to watch your Escape to the Country episode again. After watching a few hundred of the ETTC shows, I still think yours is still in my top 10 favorites! Thanks for posting your extension photos. I've really enjoyed seeing how it progressed. Happy that you all have a bit more space to enjoy that beautiful countryside.

    All the best to your family and Kathy and Adam too!

    An ETTC fan from California.

    1. Thanks - glad you enjoyed the show - my apologies I've only just found your message!


Thank you for leaving a comment your interest is very much appreciated! It will be published as soon as possible - depending on whether I am at my computer or walking up the lane, or being chased by the goose or helping mend fences after the pony has broken through YET AGAIN.... :-)