Yesterday we completed the purchase of our funny old coach house. Today we start knocking it about to see its bones and check its structure before the real renovation can begin.
The house was built in about 1880 as a coach house and adapted in the 20th century for living in, then had a mansard 1st floor (that's a second floor for Americans!) added in the late 80s. Downstairs is a strange conglomeration of little cupboards and a tiny kitchen with two big rooms, one at either end; upstairs has a huge landing, 2 big bedrooms and the bathroom. The staircase is bizarre! It is inside a tiny square box, and although it only rises 1 floor it spirals twice in a dizzying and NOT cool way! It has a tiny electric water heater, electric storage heaters and two little gas fires - none are things of great beauty or very effective!
So - our plans are a full-on green refurb, with proper insulation (including underneath), triple glazing and living upside down - sleeping downstairs and living upstairs where we should be able to step across from the balcony to the sloping garden. We're using Gil Schalom, an architect who has done his own green refurb locally and worked on several others.
It's going to take a while, but we'll try to keep you updated!