Thanks for visting Simply The Nest. I'm an English girl married to an Portuguese boy, and when I'm not working or taking care of our three adorable daughters, I blog about our house renovation, DIY projects, and family life in a Victorian Manchester nest.

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Simply The Nest Victorian House Renovation #5 - External Wall Demolition

It's astonishing how quickly building work progresses. One minute the back of the house is still standing, and the next, voila! The corner of your daughter's bedroom appears to be hanging in mid air.

Here's the view from the new extension looking towards where the bay window used to be. You can see the shape of it in the steel in the ceiling.

Tom the builder assured me that the steel and the three props were sufficient to support the house above, but nonetheless they welded the main supporting pillar into place by the end of the day.

The pillar is located where the left-hand corner of the bay window used to be. In the not too distant future, it will be built into our new kitchen peninsula. In the picture above, the gap between the pillar and the wall on the left is what *used* to be the wall between the chimney breast and the left-hand corner of the bay window in the picture below. 

Our two monkeys enjoyed the obstacle course the builders obligingly left in place over the weekend.

Final before and during - here's a picture I took of the bay window a couple of weeks ago:

And here's the view from more or less the same spot:

There's a lot less wall, that's for sure!

The builders are currently busy installing the roof. The bifold doors, windows and roof lantern go in next week, and then they move inside and start knocking the internal walls down. Bring on the dust!

Click here to leave a comment, if you like. You can also see all posts about the progress of our extension here.  


Simply The Nest Victorian House Renovation #4 - Propping, Steel and Demolition

If you thought I was excited by seeing the walls and openings go up, you should have seen my gleeful dance upon climbing up the ladder into the playroom last night and seeing A GIANT HOLE IN THE BACK OF THE HOUSE WHERE THE BAY WINDOW USED TO BE. Boom!

But first, the house had to be propped up. The builders did this by installing a number of temporary steel poles that braced against the ceiling in the playroom, the cellar below, and the hallway. Next, they bricked up a couple of parts of the house that will no longer have openings. In the photo below, you can see the steel bracing pole on the right, the bricked up window towards the middle, and the stained glass window on the left that the builders removed. It's beautiful, but we needed the wall space in this part of the room more than we needed the window. Fortunately the builders were able to remove it intact with a bit of loving care, which means we can use it somewhere else in the house.

The back door was taken out - and then swiftly rebuilt with engineered brick. It now includes a new porthole-type window that is at child height on the garden side of the wall and adult height on this side, thanks to the split-level floor. There will be two large panes of glass on the adjacent walls to let the light in - we added this little window just for fun.

Next, the builders knocked meticulous holes in various parts of the wall to allow the steel to be threaded through and cemented into place. The picture below was taken while standing in the new extension.

In the photo below you can see where the wall has been removed to allow for the steel, along with the steel props and a new concrete padstone.

Yay, brickdust. We ended up a layer coating the entire house - the builders were only supposed to be working on the exterior walls but a brick from inside became slightly loose, resulting in plumes of red dust spiralling up the stair well.

The steel was supposed to go in last week but it completely randomly snowed heavily for the day in Manchester, and dancing round on icy scaffolding wielding immensely heavy pieces of steel didn't seem like an outstanding plan, so the work was delayed until this week.

The steel in place supporting the bay window above (Eva's bedroom window).

The view of the steel from inside the playroom.

And finally - the bay window comes out. I think my insistence on keeping the bricks was a slight downer for the builders, meaning they had to take the walls down carefully instead of having at them with gusto, but we've now got a large pile of our own beautiful reclaimed bricks that can be used for various projects in the garden, so I'll live with their disappointment :-)  

I fear the carpet will never be the same again. Note to self - do not let Natalia in here; she'll be straight up that platform.

Idiot posing in a purloined hard hat.

You can read the whole story of our extension from inspiration and planning to the current building work here

Click here to leave a comment, if you like. 


Simply The Nest Victorian House Renovation #3 - Walls

And just like that, the shape of our new extension arose majestically from the mud like a phoenix. Actually I don't think it felt "just like that" for the builders if the swearing from the brickie as he wrestled with a pallet of unevenly sized 100+ year old reclaimed bricks is anything to go by, but from our perspective the walls materialised with the most exciting speed.

The first level of scaffolding in place...

Victorian house extension - by Simply The Nest, a UK DIY renovation blog

The reclaimed brick kitchen wall, breeze block pillars for the bifold doors and back door (to be covered in white render), and more scaffolding - and a cheeky Jack Russell attempting to steal the builders' lunch!

Victorian house extension - by Simply The Nest, a UK DIY renovation blog

Beautiful blue sky and the steel in place across the openings.

Victorian house extension - by Simply The Nest, a UK DIY renovation blog

Original bricks on the left, 'new' reclaimed bricks on the right. Not a bad match. 

Victorian house extension - by Simply The Nest, a UK DIY renovation blog

You can bet I hopped up the scaffolding into the new extension as soon as Tom the builder said the steel was firmly in place. This is our new kitchen window - for scale, it's 1500mm wide. The induction hob will sit below it with a ceiling extractor fan to remove the smoke that naturally comes from being a family that likes to eat a lot of bacon. 

Reclaimed brick matching the original Victorian brick - Simply The Nest, a UK DIY renovation blog

The next step will be to remove the bay window, knocking through into the current playroom. We'll have a giant hole in the back of the house and it will be freezing but it will also be AWESOME. 

Click here to leave a comment, if you like.