It wasn’t until I returned from my trip to Australia last November that I had any clear ideas on how to improve the interior of the house. A large number of houses down-under function well with an open plan design with Lounge, dining and kitchen running one into the other. I quite liked this but felt I needed a clear demarkation line between each of the sections so decided to remove most of the wall between the front room and what was the middle bedroom. In the middle bedroom I’d remove the staircase and relocate elsewhere and then make an archway into the back bedroom which would become the new kitchen.

The first step was to determine whether the wall could be removed without installing a bearer, a quick look in the roof space confirmed what I already suspected and that the wall was not supporting anything. I decided the wall had to be removed brick by brick rather than whack it with a sledge hammer as I wanted to retain the bricks for future use. I also wanted to retain a short stub of wall as a divider between the two living spaces mainly to preserve an original cast-iron fireplace which had remained hidden in a cupboard for decades. I carefully set about removing the bricks one by one until I reached the chimney breast, half of which needed to be removed and eventually reached my goal.


In the meantime, the ceilings all needed to be removed so armed with a crowbar and hammer set about removing all the laths. This was neck-breaking and I’m really grateful for the assistance of Dave who ripped out the ceilings quicker than I could clean up after him! The huge pile of rubbish was by now getting even larger, rubble from the demolition was piling up on the back patio and the laths and ceiling boards were building up in the garage. There is where Dennis stepped in, he was in control of the two-day bonfire we had, slowly burning all the non-useable timber and garden waste that had accumulated.


At the end of April Geoff and Sue arrived from Australia and one of the first tasks on the the main living space was to remove the staircase and create the archway into the new kitchen, this was accomplished without too much trauma and a brand new cutting machine was pressed into service cutting out the gap between the rooms. However, before I could complete the archway I realised I didn’t really like it, it looked great when viewed from one direction, but from the other looked completely wrong so a decision was made to cut straight up to the ceiling.


I then had to decide exactly where everything was going to be placed in the new kitchen in readiness for the wiring which was soon to be installed, this involved needing to plan where all the switches, sockets and lights were going to be placed. After plastering we now have a useful living space, and with the added touch of new cornice and roses is beginning to look the part. Now all it needs is new skirting and architrave and then the paintbrush can be wielded.


For simplicity I have missed out some of the sequences of the alterations to the living space, other work was on-going at the same time, new wall in the kitchen and new doorways plus the new staircase to the upper floor, but I shall show you further sequences of events another time! As usual, you can enlarge the photographs by clicking on them!