This is our blog detailing our garage rebuild during late 2011.

It's also a reverse order blog, as I think the story should always start at the top!!!

A little history first though...
When we moved into the house in 2002, we noted that besides our delightful double garage having a leaking roof - it also was fitted with a 300 year old base. The cottage that stood there previously had been demolished to ground level. Then a concrete pad was poured and a lovely 'totally in keeping with the area' garage was built in its place.
At the end of summer 2010, we applied for planning permission to rebuild the garage. In late November this was granted with a few caveats...
Metal gutters, stone on all four sides, wooden doors (no roller or up and over allowed) and small conservation type roof windows... yes we planned an upstairs area.
Anyway, enough of this, here is the story




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June 2002

A double garage !

Like I said...a delightful garage!!!

December 2002

Roof like a sieve

We always did wonder why the vendor wasn't keen on us seeing the garage when we looked round. By winter it was obvious, the roof was in a bad way and the quickest thing was to patch it with tin sheets.

August 2010

fast forward

The leaky roof, dirty fibreglass doors and generally shitty building had to go. We went to an architect who had been recommended by friends and he came round and did us some drawings!

21st November 2010


We finally got the plans passed with a few caveats from the parish council. Firstly we couldn't have the back wall block and render - it has to be stone. Secondly we have to used traditional timber work and guttering. This meant no up and over doors and plastic guttering.  Gutted!!!  as if we would have lived with that, we wanted tradition - hence the rebuild.

Now we just had to find the money and the right builder...

5th August 2011

nearly there

At last we have a builder booked and a start date, now starts the task of emptying 9 years of clutter!

Plus I couldn't help having a dig around the back through the old fireplace !

I dug my way in and started pulling stone out - couldn't resist exploring!

13th August 2011

final disassembly

We had agreed with the builder that we would strip all electrics and the tin sheeting off the roof. A plus side was that my dad was going to recycle it and use it for a shed extension.

I know... it looks bad getting a 13 year old to take the outside lights down. 'yeah son, course the electrics switched off...hehe'

21st August 2011


At last we are ready - one empty garage 'tadaaaa'

looking very dejected!

Ewans handiwork

view from the side

and for completeness - the back, note old fireplace and blocked up windows!

22nd August 2011

d day

The first day of construction - or should that be destruction.

Unfortunately I had to work  :(  but Tracy still managed to get some pictures !



Gone !!!  all in a days work as they say - Bones looking pleased with himself.

They've said 6 weeks to complete :)

23rd August 2011


and so started a few days of scrabbling through rubble...  We knew the old cottage was occupied until the late 1800's from the census results. In the last 50's it was used as a dairy up until it's demolition in the early 70's.

24th August 2011


After a lot of sorting and digging and sorting today, we found the basement of the cottage, remarkably the entire floor area was flagged with 2-3" thick york stone flags!


This one was one of the big ones, four foot by two!  In total we recovered 72 flags, and almost all were unbroken.

25th August 2011


After further sorting of stone today, we have the back wall dug and ready for the first pour.

26th August 2011

first mix

As tradition has it... after a week of sunshine it rained today when we poured the first strip along the back wall !

I was at work so thanks to Ewan for the pictures!


At least we had the loadall to help...  10.5m of reach was enough to save a lousy trip with a wheelbarrow.

1st September 2011


The last week finally gave us the first evidence that a building was going to rise from the ground. Here we have the block work for the rear wall.


Also we seem to be getting lots of good flag casualties where carelessness is breaking corners off and smashing them in half.  not good !

12th September 2011

pit ! - or swimming pool for dwarfs

Twelve days since the last update, work has got in the way for me. Progress appears to have been slow - oddly it seem to go that way when I'm not making cups of tea and watching them.

I'm also noticing their lack of care and respect for my driveway!  20 years of well looked after tarmac with barely a blemish. They are not mixing cement on it and making a right mess.... wtf !!!

16th September 2011


I arrived home this thursday to a floor!  well 30 tons of quarry bottoms. it's beginning to look like something. I could actually get excited !

Even the back wall is moving up.

23nd September 2011

little by little

After a short week at work, the block work seems to be creeping up. The side door and central pillar is now in place.

26th September 2011

missed by a mile...

Well the 6 week deadline was up this week, it looks like a garage, but sadly one that's got a long way to go...

Alan has told us another 6 weeks in reality - we've given him 8 and agreed on the end of November.

1st October 2011


A long week this week...  looked out of the window to see this. 8 Metres of I section steel for the roof.


Tracy was worried about the gypsies 'borrowing' it, but we assured her this wasn't an easy lift.

We also had Rosie on guard duty !!!

Saturday also saw us take a trip to Liverpool for a day out, stopping at Rufford Hall on the way back. Always on the lookout for inspiration, I think these might be the hinges I want...

10th October 2011

creeping up

Weather not brilliant over the last week and only 2 builders. We see fluctuations of between 2 and 7 of them and rarely ever the same one twice!

The stonework you see below is Rickys work - in between him having a bad back...  he's now off sick for a few weeks.


All the cut and dressed corners are by Dennis, he knows how to do a nice job!

14th October 2011


I arrived home this week to see the start of our staircase to the first floor. The novel idea here also being a log store underneath - so somewhere to hide/store our winter fuel.

The steelwork and joists for the floor are also in, shame we can't easily get there yet... we are twelve steps shy.

18th October 2011

one step at a time

Did I use that line before?  After watching the builders for a day we seemed to make good progress. We gained another step and more of the doorways.

Tracy is getting really fed up with the mess and lack of general respect for stuff. We keep finding cut marks in flags and more cement on the drive. Hey ho, they'll have to fix it or else....

On the plus side, we got the door tops in for the main doors :)

21st October 2011

short week

Managed to get home late thursday evening - which allowed me to get some early morning pictures. This shot was where we all thought 'wow it's huge!' Dropping the first floor height and the roofline from the plans we had submitted was definitely the right move.



During friday we also got the door tops in for the side door and wood store.

The masons had done a fine job of cutting the door head for the side door, the log store was an old sill from another job.

28th October 2011

a weight off our mind

After another week of work I managed to be home friday to watch the roof steel going in.

30th October 2011


After looking for old fashioned blacksmith made penny hinges and seeing the 70 quid a pair price - I resorted to making my own. I had already made the same hinges for the front door, so after buying 12 galvanised gate hinges and 3Metres of flat steel bar I set to work.

The top hinge is what I get after cutting the bottom hinge up and welding extra steel in.

There's also the rusting - which is accelerated in a day by using my cleaning bath in reverse. I think I aged the first pair a little too much, but they now look dead authentic!!!

4th November 2011


Arrived home to find the roof timbers and stairs complete !  we can now get to the second floor.

It seems quick but we are now 4 weeks over schedule...  There's really only 2 builders on a regular basis - Dennis went for a check on a shoulder injury and was operated on immediately. He's now off until xmas...  that won't help him pulling pints!


12th November 2011

only 2 weeks to go !

Well the revised deadline we agreed on is two weeks away, it looks impossible from where I'm standing here...  No roof, no floor, no pointing, no doors !

A sneaky shot looking into the wood store... it's like a cave... only a really small one <grin>

27th November 2011

almost dry

A felted roof!  yay... and the slates might go on next week.


3rd December 2011

missed again :(

Well we knew it wasn't going to happen - but still disappointing. Slates finally turned up on a truck from London yesterday morning. First 3 rows are on, but the velux conservation windows are not kept in stock - they have to be ordered. Alan called this morning and assured me the roof, concreting, electrics and flags/drains outside would be complete. Next week is plastering and flooring...  Somewhere in all this we are missing 6 doors!!!  I also need to finish off the remainder of the hinges - more sparks and cutting for me.

scaffold is down now though !  it's looking lovely :)

5th December 2011


well it had to happen, 6m3 of concrete arrives along with an inch or so of snow...

on the plus side we had 8 builders here!

the first half load goes in - lots of manual labour involved - in minutes they had lost the hats and jackets!!!

8th December 2011

misery !

arrived home late last night, flagging started, floor concreted, 1st fix electrics and no roof !

On the plus side I left a voicemail with Alan describing Tracys discontent... voila 6 builders this morning and it's pissing down!!!!

Gav and Bones are on with the flags, paddling in 3 inch of slurry - bloody nuts...


Dan, John, Shamooos and Kenty are on the roof - no scaffold so it's a ride on the loadall to get there!

and those big gusts of wind make a difference?  yes you lose your balance!!!

note the footshaped hole where Dan went through!

9th December 2011

water tight

the rain and snow held off - kind of and we now have our flagged area back, with a slope away from the house and new drains!


A further bonus is that we now have a roof !

and the first fix electrics are done!

tomorrows job is alarm, telephone and ethernet cables...

12th December 2011

all cabled out

I hid inside all weekend and managed to complete the alarm, phone and ethernet. This morning Bones came and sorted the drains and flags at the front - it's starting to look a lot tidier now!

16th December 2011



Well I arrived home after a long week to find over than I now have a second floor and a bit of pointing was done. Not impressed with this weeks progress...

19th December 2011


Went to Hull over the weekend for this years Chuckle Brothers pantomine...'oh no you didn't...'  Not a lot done except for finishing the beams upstairs.

The joiners did turn up this morning though with 6 shiny new doors :)

the hinges went on very well with a few tweaks on the old angle grinder... Unfortunately the last door on the right suffered a severe clearance issue, but with some clever joinery and moving the casing out of plumb we got away with it!!!

Really pleased with the hinges and hooks, they were worth the effort...

21st December 2011


Were made to be broken!  we have a fully lined upstairs already to plaster tomorrow, again we are promised the full complement of workers to:

plaster, do the sparks, joinery, build the dry stone walls, gutters and tidy up !

lets see - shall we !


I couldnt resist...  the horses have been in the cold and damp for 4 months now.



22nd December 2011


Well I didn't think it would happen, but they turned up, cracked on and got the upstairs plastered. It's looking really nice and spacious now all the crap has come out.


and no the wallers and joiners didn't turn up !

23rd December 2011


tidying for xmas

Gordon and Matty turned up first thing and removed the rest of the scaffold this morning.

The dry stone wallers came and finished off the walls that had been demolished during excavation.

I then spent 4 hours on the pressure washer trying to clean the cement and other detritus off the drive. It's looking a whole lot better, but still some horrible patches of cement to chip off.

25th December 2011


In lieu of the joiners coming I fitted the downstairs locks yesterday, this means that the compressor could leave the kitchen just in time for xmas day !  (today).

The main doors are also bolted and therefore downstairs is pretty secure.

This morning I have mostly been painting...

27th December 2011


after two days off and fed up of having to step around a big hole in the floor I finally fitted the pit boards. These were the old roof timbers which came in handy!



28th December 2011



One of the joiners came today to finish of the locks and adding the mastic around the doors, but for the thresholds we are now secure and relatively weather tight - though the rain is lashing against the doors and making its way in!


Continuing my unhealthy obsession for authentic hardware, here are the rose head square bolts for the main door hinges :)

29th December 2011



Bought ten litres of screwfix' finest masonry paint - good for 100 sq m. Managed one and a bit walls... bloody breeze blocks eat the stuff.

Tomorrow is back to screwfix for another three tins, we'll see how far they go...

30th December 2011

more paint


went to screwfix for three tins, ended up trailing to Halifax for them! Also I have a cunning plan...  see below !

costing me twenty quid...  but worth every penny  :)

5th January 2012

just about dry...

finally had a go at painting the front doors - tried the lazy way with the hvlp spray gun. Success !  note to self (do not try thin water based paints with cellulose thinners)



yes they are patchy - water based paint does not appreciate being laid on thick! it just runs......

9th January 2012

looking like a room

Tracy and the boys have been busy!  upstairs is 90% painted - we now need it to dry fully and get some appropriate flooring.


13th January 2012


After water running off the roof and into the ground for almost 3 weeks, we now have a shiny downpipe running into the drain.


16th January 2012


It's been a long time, Ken finally arrived to start second fix of the electrics!

result... we now have lights and sockets upstairs.

27th January 2012

moving in!

Slowly the process has begun to bring all my stuff back inside. I'm trying to be more organised - who am I kidding !

I've started on the benches and shelves and two of the tractors are in.

Only a trailer, quad, 5 more tractors and 10 bikes to go !


4th February 2012

spot of tidying

The builders did kind of clear up, but it needed a bit more effort. Fresh from snow clearing I left the chains and plough on the tractor and had an hour playi... errm levelling.


17th February 2012

cooking on gas

Well we would be if we had gas...  Our existing house supply is not man enough for two boilers so we are having to get a new supply to the garage.

Jake and Ian are cutting and digging ready for the new supply to be laid next month.

24th March 2012

gas :)

They arrived at 8.30 and had left by 11.00. We now have a yellow pipe and a gas tap!  Next stop meter - then a boiler...

21st April 2012

no longer need a bucket

I can now do sit down wees (and the other)

did not enjoy that bit of plumbing or hiding the pipes!

25th May 2012


Finally got around to finishing the kitchen - and we ordered the beer fridge last week and it arrived yesterday...

14th July 2012


Yes I know the updates are slow...  lots of shows and other stuff to do.

The bathroom is 90% drylined and the roof plastered.


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