Renovation diary: One month into the building work

The building work for our house extension and renovation started on 1st March, so we’re exactly a month into it. The work so far has mostly been outside, demolishing the garage and building the shell of the side extension. The inside wasn’t affected during March apart from us clearing all our non-essential stuff from the house in preparation for the builders starting works inside.

I have been sharing it all on my Instagram Stories (most of which are saved onto my Reno story highlights if you would like to catch up), but I thought it would be good to do a little recap here of what has been happening in the past month.


On the first day, when the garage was demolished, my builder made a very interesting discovery in an obscure part of the garage we had never looked at (a high shelf built above the door where we’d thrown some flat-packed boxes thinking the space was otherwise empty).

First Sense renovation - Antique found during garage demolition

So curious as to why it had been hidden away like that! I had lots of messages about it on Instagram with several people musing about its possible worth. My builder loved it so I let him have it; I think he has plans to encase it in a coffee table which sounds cool!


Having a digger on site for digging the footings was cause for much excitement with my kids!

First Sense renovation - Kid on a digger


We also lay a new mains water pipe as our house is still on the original lead pipe. This meant we had to do the messy work of digging up our drive.

First Sense Renovation - Laying new water mains pipe


After just one week into the build, new drainage pipes had to be put into place and I had to give my builder exact measurements for where these needed to go. There would be no moving them once they were concreted in. My plans for the extension have veered a bit from the architect’s drawings, so it was a really big help that I already had a pretty good idea of the room dimensions I wanted in the extension, and exactly which loo and basin I would be getting, so that I could determine their precise locations in the WC to suit my requirements. Despite knowing what I wanted, I still found it nerve-racking to have to be so sure just one week into the build before I could even really see the space! This is a perfect example of ‘designing backwards’ when you are renovation – figuring out what you want out of the space before it is built. Now I need to start planning the rest of the rooms pronto!

First Sense Renovation - New drainage pipes


Watching concrete pour straight from the mixer truck is strangely satisfying and many of you enjoyed watching both the concrete pours for my extension as much as I did!


Our boiler is located in what was the garage and the outdoor electrics connected to the boiler had been protected, however we had some dreadful weather in March and somehow, the rain got into the electrics one Saturday evening. This tripped our outdoor electrics so the boiler couldn’t work. I sent a text to my builder asking if he would be able to pop around to check it out, wondering whether he would be able to spare some time on Sunday to fix the issue. A few minutes after my text, he phoned me saying he was on his way. It was a cold, rainy, windy Saturday night – absolutely dastardly weather – but he still came to fix the problem because there was no way he was going to leave us without a boiler for a night. Do I have the best builder, or do I have the best builder? 🙂


First Sense renovation - side extension shell

Our ground floor extension shell is now built and it is so great to be able to see the new space added to our house. This extension will give us:

  • a boot room (shown as cloaks in the floorplan below) which will keep the hallway clear of the clutter of coats, bags and shoes, hooray!
  • a WC – not a big room in size, but it will definitely be big on style!
  • a utility room – finally, the kitchen will no longer be cluttered with washing or dirty wellies!

[Do the exclamation marks convey my excitement about how these rooms will improve our lives?? Because I AM SO EXCITED!]


On the last working day of March, I had some lovely people over to shoot my old kitchen, a few days before it was being demolished. Why??? I can’t say much more just yet, but stay tuned and all will be revealed! 😉

First Sense Renovation - Filming the old kitchen before it gets knocked out


Before the first floor extension shell can be built, the next stage is to knock down the supporting wall between the kitchen and dining+play area. This work started today… now it gets really messy!

First Sense Renovation - Knocking down walls

Keep an eye on my Instagram Stories for all the action!


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