Slow going - my double storey extension build

hopefully there’s been a bit of progress since early Dec :)
Not so much- weather has been horrible. Some floor insulation in and hoping to get the floor down this w/e......
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Hi all,

Back for another instalment and back inside the house to try and get another room sorted. The job was to strip out the old kitchen as this was becoming a dining room connected to the new kitchen. This involved knocking a new doorway between this room and the room behind it, replastering it and then get the floor laid throughout the kitchen / diner.

It didn’t take too long to strip out the old kitchen, although I did take care in dismantlement the old cabinets as I intend to reuse most of them in the garage in the future.


The tiles mostly came off ok, save the wall by the door on the right but I was planning to re-plaster the whole room including the ceiling which had lovely 70s artex on it.

I found the wiring in the kitchen was shocking (literally!). Horizontal wires, connections which were twisted wires with electrical tape that had been plastered into the wall with bits of cardboard to separate the plaster and the wires . Also a 20amp junction box for the 32amp oven and hob feed right next to a capped gas pipe! :eek:


I decided to tear all the wiring out and start again as it was all pretty sketchy. The Ceiling came down to allow me to run wires for spots and also additional 4 way wires so that I can put 2 way light switches beside the new doorway so you can turn the lights on/off whichever way you enter the room.

Even the lighting wiring was a mess, with loads of seemingly redundant wires and loads of connections that were just twisted and taped up. After some tidying up and removals of ‘dead’ wires I then discovers the upstairs landing light wouldn’t work anymore :rolleyes: That took a bit of head scratching to sort out, but got there in the end when I worked out that in the original lighting circuit some of the single core wires were permanent live and others were switched lives.


Last day of the French doors and temporary cat flap being concealed by the inner skin of the wall.

Acros up on either side supporting the floor joists above, and using my new evolution disc cutter with the water supply meant I made puddles of water rather than clouds of dust as I chopped the walls. I really rate the evo cutter as with the 305mm disc it can cut all the way through a 100mm wall and leave tidy cuts on both sides. You can just about see the cuts below.


A little lump hammer action to remove the block, and then 120cm lintel in with a few blocks wacked in above to support the floor and hey presto…new opening! There’s not much weight above, floor and a stud wall.


New ceiling up, and bonding coat on to try and sort out all the imperfections in the existing walls and after the chasing in. I’m hindsight I should have spent a bit more time smoothing the bonding coat, as even after skimming there’s a few bumps and ripples in the right hand wall which I’m not super happy about.

But I can now use my new French doors now!!


I tend to be able to plaster wall or ceiling in a morning or afternoon, so plastering a while room takes a few days…but that’s the time price of doing it yourself :)

Walls and ceilings plastered, 4 spots in the ceiling as I didn’t want the dining room to be too bright (there’s a temp light in the pic).

Paining done (all bar the top reveal on the door as it was still damp)…but we were on the clock getting ready to host Christmas dinner so took the decision to leave that bit for later!


New laminate floor down too, and the view from the new kitchen into the new dining area. Skirting boards were not fixed at this point.


Still need to finished the door frames, fix the skirting and hand the doors but it was good enough to have the in-laws over for Christmas dinner :D

Final bit to do while I had my plastering gear out was to patch the other side of the new doorway. I had to move a socket on this side as well as the original plugs were in the middle of the doorway. This all went ok…the whole room here needs redecorating, but that’s a job for another day!


A relatively cheap bit of the project this, plaster was about £100, PB was bough/paid for previously with the bulk order, £100 for electrical bits and bobs, and other 100 for the lintel and the door frame (blocks were left overs). Laminate flooring and underlay was £500 (but that’s actually enough for the whole downstairs of the property- bought 53 packs from wickes in the clearance in June 2021 and stored it since) and another £100 for the skirting, architrave, etc.

So all in another grand spent and total spend to date £103k.

Andy :)
Have only recently read through your thread and think you're doing a hoofing job! We had a load of building work done a couple of years ago and know the amazing effort and results you've managed. Well done and keep it coming
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Hey folks,

Another few months have passed and I'm back with another update. Not a massive amount of progress to report to be honest, lots of things are small jobs or not really noticeable to make it worth writing a post about.

A couple of things that have been sorted are the internal fittings and doors for the integrated wardrobes in our bedroom, and also the ensuite bathroom.

Starting with the wardrobes, my other half got a super snazzy set up from Ikea which looks really good and had an online planner to help here design it to maximise the space. I had a couple of cheap Wickes units that I picked up cheap and combined together which took up half the space, and then I got a different unit from B&Q as I couldn't get more of the Wickes units...but the mismatch doesn't bother me because it's behind closed doors most of the time.

You can probably tell who's unit is who's from the pics:



The sliding doors themselves come from B&Q and were very simple to fix with just a track at the top and bottom. The walls had been built previously to the dimensions given on the internet for these doors, and I'd allowed 20mm for the carpet, which works but is very tight...I really had to screw down the bottom rails hard to compact the carpet to allow the doors to close without catching.

The instructions don't tell you, but you can actually adjust the rollers on the doors by about 20mm, so I'd wished I'd made the opening a little but taller. Not on show, but I also bought some 3m stick on white LED strips from Amazon, which came with a movement sensor. When you open the doors and reach in the lights come on.


Having the wardrobe doors on does make the room feel a lot narrower, but the trade off is that we can hide most of our stuff! I forgot to take a proper picture, but in the small anti-space we made before the stairs there's a small dresser with draws and a cupboard (you can kind of see it through the door behind the TV box). That will be Clare's spot for jewellery, make-up, hairdryers, etc.

The other thing I've sorted is our little en suite room (the left door in the picture above).

Previously I'd boarded out plastered this room, along with laying the shower tray, and then just closed the door for about a year! Before anyone asks, I'd mixed up an extra big load of finishing plaster when doing other walls, so I ended up using the surplus to plaster the wall where the toilet and vanity unit would be...which worked out be just enough before I ran out!


I painted the walls and then laid a little laminate floor (only took a pack of laminate). Note the position of the radiator pipes...which had been placed looong ago before the floorboards were laid. Stupidly I'd just placed the pipes centrally in the room, but once I fitted the toilet I released the towel rad would be very close to your knees if you were sitting on the toilet!

Reluctantly I decided to lift the laminate floor I'd just laid, then cut a section out of the T&G floorboards to get to the CH pipes and reposition them. I forgot to take any pictures as I did it, but I moved the pipe over to the right without too much hassle... although I had to buy another packet of flooring as the old holes vs new holes didn't allow me to reuse the floor!

Next the integrated cistern and cabinet were assembled. It was an awful lot of faffing if I'm honest. As the pipes had been installed before the T&G floor went down, nothing was in an optimal place and I had to install and uninstall the whole thing about 5 times to get everything aligned for drilling, fitting etc.

Then I realised I'd made a booboo! While my vanity unit was 1000mm long, and the tall unit to go next to it was 300mm long, and the room 1300mm wide I'd failed to notice that the sink unit that went on top was 1010mm long and it didn't fit in the tight space! D'oh!!

I didn't see any sensible way to cut the sink down, so the plaster and plasterboard had to be notched out and the sink installed slightly into the wall. Not ideal I know, but I couldn't think of anything better to can see my effort with the oscillating saw before I did the notching out below.


Excuse the mess, but I was mid tiling when I took the next picture of the finished sink and toilet. There is a tall unit to the left of the sink but it's not as deep as the sink so it's hidden from view. The fancy medicine cabinet is also just about visible here which has sensor lights and a shaver point in it. You can also see the moved towel radiator, which gives space for knees and a toilet roll holder!


On the other side of the room is the walk in shower unit. I'd installed the shower tray before fitting all the plasterboard and aqua board much earlier on in the build. The reason for doing this was because I've laid a shower tray before in to a space that was already plasterboarded/tiled and you have no space to position the tray nicely onto the mortar bed - with the extra space of being able to around the tray you save potentially trapping your fingers or scraping your knuckles!


The shower tray was laid on a mortar bed, which itself was on some 18mm marine ply. Not a good picture or two, but at the time of fitting the tray and the aqua board tile backer. This was later glued in with the knauf joint stuff which comes in a cartridge - watch that stuff as it expands, but only over the space of a couple of hours as it hardens!


I really don't like tiling, I don't have the patience or the precision to do it well to be honest. Also I should have thought more about where the cubby hole for the shampoo bottles went, and probably built that closer to the time of tiling, because as it was I was left with some small tile cuts to get it all to fit in.

I probably actually wouldn't do a bottle cubby again, as it was really fiddly - especially the mitre cuts on the tile doesn't look all that great close up unfortunately.


Unfortunately I don't actually seem to have a picture of the finished room (post grouting and fitting of the shower and glass screen), so sorry about that! Not doing well today on the photo front...I will post one up next time I do a write up.

Above you can see the 10mm cable for the shower, and the cold water feed. We've gone for an 11kw Mira electric shower, and actually the flow isn't too bad from it. I had thought about a mixer shower, but it's likely this shower will only be used occasionally, so ultimate power wasn't needed and I figured that having an electric shower here meant a bit of redundancy in case the boiler ever stopped working.

That's about it for this update. Another spend heavy one too I'm afraid:

Wardrobe doors were £650
Wardrobe internals were £1200 Ikea, £300 for others)
Dresser unit £150
Toilet, sink, vanity, etc was £500
Shower tray and glass screen £300
Tiles, flooring, grout, etc, £500
Radiator, sundries £250 or so

...probably call it £4k all in, so total spend to date £107k.

Thanks for following along :)
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Wow, time does seem to fly between these posts! At the time of writing this, the project (well at least this phase of it) is pretty much completed…and have been for a few months now.

I’ve had a few weeks away with work and my parents came to visit from Oz for 6 weeks so that put a crimp on me doing much DIY.

Looking through the pics on my phone, I don’t think I’ve posted up about the changes to the lighting circuits or my doors!

Re the lighting, previously our through lounge only have one route in and out and thus one double light switch for the living and dining room. When we knocked the extra doorway through, I decided I wanted extra switches so that you could control the lights from either the new or the old doorways into that space.

It was just a case of running some 4 core cable from switch I installed by the new opening and connecting that cable to the existing double switch to make it a 2 way switch.

Having already run the 4 core cable through the new dining room (to the left in the picture below), I cut a hole in my hall way ceiling to enable me to drill a route through one joist and get to the point where the exiting lighting cables went to the original switch (which is on the other side of the wall from where the cables are hanging):


In the living room I then removed the plaster and the conduit to get to the original lighting cables.

Clare wanted a new tall corner unit it the living room, but the original light switch was going to end up behind that piece of furniture, so I took the opportunity to move the switch to the left and chased a new route for the wires - which is partially done in the picture below.


After a bit of boding coat, I used one-coat plaster for the first time to patch up the hole. I found it pretty easy to use, so I’d be keen to try a whole wall with it in the future.


On the other side I used an offcut of plasterboard to fill the hole I’d cut, and then used the one coat again to skim it flat (ish)


Another thing I had to do was to replace all the doors in the house as they were all the really basic 4 panel moulded while doors and I wanted something a bit nicer. January 2022 Wickes did a clearance sale on Marlow Oak doors at £63 a door…which is good deal but we needed 14 of them in various sizes and it was in store collection only!

Thanks to click and collect, I took Clare on a tour of Liverpool, Birkenhead, Macclesfield, Bauglay and Clifton (last 2 a Manchester) in order to get all the doors we need :D

In the end I got 3 glass panel versions for downstairs which were twice the price, but I think worth it for the extra light.

Fast forward a year and a bit and I was finally read to fit them!!

Given the doors were expensive (even though I got them discounted), I treated myself to a new Trend T5 1/4 router and a door hinge jig to help with the fitting of the door furniture.

I made a mistake by buying the Trend Jig ‘A’ to start with, which is a bit simpler to use but doesn’t have very much flexibility when it comes to moving the cut outs for existing doorways where you can’t control the heights of existing hinges. After I realised this I then bit the bullet and bought the Trend Jig ‘C’ which is a much better bit of kit. With that one, you can move the hinge cut outs around and also has the correct recesses for your hinges. (With the A jig you put a spacer in with the hinge and it never quite worked out to be a precise cutout).

Here’s the Jig C along with some other bits and bobs.

I failed to actually take any picture of the jig on the door, but after having a couple of practices on the old crappy doors to get my confidence up, I took the plunge (pun intended) and went for it with the extensive doors and was very pleased with the results.


I’d gone full Trend mad at this point and got their door stand, door lifter, corner chisel, self centring drill bits, and the lock jig as well. I have no affiliation to Trend, but I can honestly say all the items were excellent and saved me time and ensured I did a decent job!

I did some of the normal latches once the doors were hung.


For the bathroom/toilet doors I used my 1/2 inch router (which I had for the kitchen worktops anyway) to drill the depth for the Mortice lock, then you switch out the front place for a wider one and use the 1/4 router for the face plate of the lock. The kit comes with loads of different template sizes and a little guide for which ones to use.


The door stand was great - even on a pretty windy day!


I’ll admit it was a bit of an extravagance to get all the jigs, etc but with so many doors to do and only limited time, I think it was the right move…and I’ll certainly never go back to drilling and chiselling a door out again :)

Anyway, that’s enough about doors.

In terms of spending, all in the doors with the handles, hinges, latches etc we’re about £100 each and the tools set me back another £500… so we’re getting onto about another £2k in total for this episode… so total spend to date £109k.

Wow, been a while since I last updated the thread. That’s because the house was largely finished so we’ve been living in it.

My project over the autumn and winter has been to replace the decking at the rear of the house and to build a fancy pergola with a louvred roof for an ‘outdoor’ room.

Here’s the starting point with a few bits of timber to show the layout once the new deck was built.

In prepping for this, I needed to account for a future project which is a new detached garage. I needed to run utilities to the location of the new garage, which would come from under the deck.

A bit of digging later and hey presto, water pipe running below 750mm and electricity 350mm below ground level.

Lot of effort and cost went into that prep, which I’ll detail when I get to the actual garage build…but once it was all filled back in I had literally nothing to show for my efforts :)


The pergola required 400 x 400 x 400mm concrete pads for the feet, so I built them into the frame of the deck. I used 4x2 inch tantalised timber for the frame. Some would say to use 6x2 inch timber, but for 3 reasons I’ve used 4x2:

- wood is expensive nowadays.
- I didn’t want to dig down another 50mm as a lot of extra dirt
- I’ve used 4x2 on low level decks before and it’s fine!


In places I connected to the existing decking along the house as the frame was fine. I only connected at certain places as there’s an old wall which I couldn’t be bothered to remove.

I forgot to take any pictures of the finished frame, but here it is in the background of a cat pic!

I used lots of 4x4 fence posts to a depth of 600mm below ground level to support the frame.


Then the decking arrived. Needed a fair whack of decking. I went for two tone grey composite decking.


Loads of threads on decking already, so I won’t detail what I did here, but I found the hidden fixing system nice and each to use, although framing the edges just went for colour matched screws for speed and they look fine.

The pergola was a kingdom teak one. I’d been looking at Suns Lifestyles Mazarana, which were megabuck and the kingdom one looked pretty much the same. It’s made of aluminium, very quick and easy to bolt together. There was one bolt that didn’t align with the hole, so I needed to re thread it…but no real bother.


And hers the clever bit of the roof that the slats fit into, which allows the roof to be opened or closed (and rainproof)


The final plan is to run a row of patio slabs between the edge of the deck and the grass to give a flat finish and make it easy to mow. But nearly finished pictures here:

You can better see the roof below, and all where I’ve fitted some pipe work, wiring and hosepipe for the outdoor kitchen.

Although not fitted yet, I also have blinds that go on the three outer sides of the pergola to act as wind breaks if you do want to use the space on a day with rubbish weather.

You can also better see the finished deck. As the decking was two tone I decided to use the anthracite to frame the deck, then use the lighter grey for the main area.


Timber framing, postcrete, soil removal, etc 500, decking and fixings 3,500, pergola was £4,000. Spent a lot on this, but once the kitchen and new seating are installed I think I will be a nice outdoor space to use.

Total project spend to date £117k.
Absolutely stunning what you've done with it. Thanks for pointing me in your threads direction. Really helpful! Exactly the colour scheme I'd have picked with the render and cedar. Very jealous!

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