Who knew that Emily would be a master at destruction - whilst I was hitting a chisel with a hammer to make a hole, Em had a jemmy and had opened a headsized hole in the ceiling, and linear gaps in the wall - it was extremely impressive (and slightly anxiety provoking!) she definitely has a talent for destruction!
At the moment it is a controlled affair, just opening up specific areas requested by Gil (our architect) such as the fireplace downstairs to see what is behind the faux brick cardboard cladding.
What we have discovered having started the process is that this whole room is actually battened and fibreboarded, so all that would have had to be taken down anyway as it is not fireproof (like plasterboard is). Although slightly daunted by the task I am pleased we were planning to strip the whole house back anyway, as it would have been a bit of a shock to have had to do it, if we had just been planning some basic cosmetic refurb.
We are also making holes in the ceilings downstairs in every room, to see the beams and boards above, removing all the beam cladding, removing the staircase boxing, and opening up a hole to the southern end of the house as far as the outer plastic coating found on a bit of the end wall. The sooner we can get this first wave of destruction done, the sooner we can get a structural surveyor in. This means that the refurb plans can be finalised, we can get a guestimate of the price, and a final set of plans can go out to builders for tender. We can also get damp and timber surveys done (as required by the mortgage company) and make sure there are no nasty surprises to add to the projected cost.
Luckily for us (possibly unluckily for them) we have enlisted the help of my sister and her boyf for the whole weekend, and some other friends on Sunday so we will post more pictures at the end of the weekend!