All posts tagged: building

Garden landscaping

Time for the BIG garden overhaul – The landscaping has finally begun!

It’s time. Finally! After 6 years of being in our normal, average sized, 1960’s semi-detached, family home, we’ve done all of the big building jobs inside. Which can only mean one thing; it’s time to tackle the outside! And it couldn’t have come at a better time as our driveway was falling apart. Let me walk you through some of the garden projects we’ve done to tart up the space whilst eagerly awaiting the big overhaul. Back in 2015 You can see what a bad state the driveway was in then, another three years on and it was becoming, well, embarrassing. Summer 2015, The Chalkboard Wall The outdoor blackboard worked a treat to disguise that ugly concrete brick wall for a few years, but after the loft extension in December 2016… … our outdoor space took a hammering and was completely neglected during the epic 17 week build. I gave it a little budget revamp as part of the #UKHomeBlogHop in Summer 2017. It got us through Summer 2017, but 2018 was the year we …

Valchromat – It’s not just MDF

You guys already know all about my love of raw materials. I think half of our interior is made from plywood, OSB and bog standard MDF. Like this: Built in MDF shelves. Left bare, because I liked ’em like that. My dad, (actively) did not. Birch plywood featured heavily in our recent loft conversion. Varnished, bare and stained black. Oh and the poplar plywood floorboards. Don’t forget those. Orientated Strand Board (OSB) has been used in a few projects now too. The first being in my home office, 18 months or so ago where I made my own desk top. Still going strong and getting better with age…. ….and again in a commercial design project where it was used for bespoke wall units, a conference table, standing desk and modular display/room divide. I think it’s fair to say, if I had the choice of having something built from solid oak or walnut, you know, something proper posh and pricey or something from ply, MDF or OSB… i’d go for the underdog. You can make your …

Open plan landing and staircase

Banisters, balustrades and building regs

So where were we? That’s right, we were here. Awaiting new carpets, a banister and handrail. I did not want a banister or a handrail. But the building inspector does. And I guess it’s not that realistic to keep it like this forever. Even though is looks so purty. After mulling over several ideas (metal, glass, A.N. Other, you can check out all of my ideas here on Pinterest) we stuck with what we knew and also what we liked best. Timber. Not just any old timber though. Two 24mm sheets of birch ply laminated to form a 48mm depth board and then ripped into cross sections. These lengths would become our “spindles”. We fixed a timber baton to the ceiling to make sure the top of the spindle, once screwed in, aligned itself vertically so the bottom of the spindle attached perfectly to the side of the staircase stringer. The baton was filled and sanded back several times, then caulked and painted over in emulsion to make it appear part of the plastered ceiling. …

The Open Plan Work Space – Final Reveal

Here it was pre Loft Extension.  In our box room, which was less than 2 x 3m. It was the perfect spot for me to set up Making Spaces HQ. It really wasn’t big enough to be a bedroom. In fact it wasn’t really big enough to warrant its own door, so we took that off over a year ago anyway. Top Tip. If you’ve got a door you never ever close, get rid. Give yourself another square meter of space instead. And a better view. And more natural light. Go on. Our 1960’s, 3 bed-semi had a very traditional layout, pre-build. Our plan was to incorporate the small, box room into the landing area, so it looked something like this: If you’ve been following the build, you may remember we were sacrificing our box room in order to accommodate the staircase of our dreams. You can read more about that over here. The plan was to keep our landing open plan, light, spacious and my office would simply sit exactly where it was before. I do …

The Pre-reveal – The Loft Extension Wk 16

Week 16? Is it? I’ve lost count now to be honest. It feels like we’ve been living in another universe where time as we know it doesn’t exist. We were hoping to be done for Christmas. And we should have been really. Easily. But we weren’t. And it was fine (it wasn’t, but you know what I mean). So the project continues into 2017 and every time I think we might have just one more week left to wait, something crops up. I’m fed up of waiting for the final reveal post now, so i’m going to have to write this Preveal post, just to satisfy myself really. Oh and to keep you guys up to date too I guess. And if i’m being totally honest, to thank all the brands that are working with me for being so patient throughout this whole project. I’ll be giving them a little shout out so you know who they are… First off, some slightly better photos of the staircase. Instead of a landing balustrade, I really wanted boxed in …

The Loft Extension – Wk 8/9

As you can see, i’ve been keeping really upbeat since my last loft post. Full of the joy of life I am. Honestly, i’m a pleasure to be around right now. View this post on Instagram Week 8 in the loft conversion house. Losing the will to live. Just like Bernard the orange plant. Will it ever end? Will it? Will it? A post shared by making spaces (@makingspacesnet) on Nov 13, 2016 at 5:18am PST We’ve just finished week nine and if i’m honest, I thought we’d be done by now. Not 100% done, but I thought the actual build would have been winding down. Alas, that is not the case. Things here are continuing to move slowly, but we’re certainly moving now. And there is a teeny tiny sliver of light shining at the end of a long, dark (and snowy) tunnel. That’s me sounding positive btw. The plastering has finally commenced (hooray!) and our plasterer has been busy working his way around the bedroom and all the way down our new gable wall. …

A mixed bag. The Loft Extension – Wk 3

So what’s happened since last week? Well as the title suggests, it’s been a melange of loft extension based events. There’s been a lot of banging. MY WORD. So much banging. But banging means progress, and progress is good. Dormer tiled, old loft boards and joists ripped out, new joists fitted and another steel hoisted up for something or other. Something structural. Whatever. When can I get in? At this point i’m feeling pretty redundant, I just want to get up there and start waving my arms around showing everyone where things are going. So, to prevent me asking “is it done yet?” every 90 minutes, i’ve been keeping myself busy by placing orders for some of the key pieces making their way into our soon-to-be new rooms. Bedroom mood-board recap And my very first piece for the bedroom has arrived. Well apart from the brick wall, that’s already there. See the two ceiling lights either side of the bed? They’re going to be the bedside lights. These actually: Maria 180 lights from Urban Cottage Industries …

And we’re in! The Loft Extension – Wk 2

So where were we? (catch up on Wk 1 here) That’s it, the dormer was up and the new roof-line was ready to tile. Blimey, so much has happened since then. Come see. Phone pic Ta-da! A newly tiled roof with gable end. Going to take some getting used to the new house shape. The aluminium windows for the dormer have been measured and priced up. Our first quote of over £4.5k made me cry a little inside. Then punch a cushion. I know aluminium is expensive. I do know this. But £4.5k? That’s a car right there. Which reminds me, the quote for the windows came in the day before my car failed its MOT which cost me £700. **sigh** What do they say? When it rains it pours… something like that. The windows, however were something I wasn’t prepared to compromise on (along with everything else). They needed to be big. The bigger the better. And these are going to be just that. Luckily, we got another couple of quotes that came in as …

The Loft Extension – Wk 1

Operation Loft Extension is now officially GO. Levels of excitement are at an all time high here at Making Spaces HQ. I’m super busy working behind the scenes on this one and i’ll be showing you the whole process from start to finish over the next few months. Here was the space 10 days ago, just before we flew out to New York. The loft just about emptied and ready to rock. You can see it’s got a good head height. 2.9m to be precise with a floor area of around 5.5 x 8m. Spot the rather sexy exposed brick wall in there? Well obviously that’s staying. One week later: Day 1. Scaffold up, kettle on and materials everywhere. Day 2. The framework for the rear dormer starts to go up.   Day 3. The new roof steel gets lugged up to the top and positioned to give us the new roofline. We’re switching from a hipped roof to gable end, negating the need for two dormers. Day 4. The roof goes up over the dormer. …

Don't Move – Improve!

So you might have heard me mention recently, we’re converting our loft. It’s kind of a big deal for us. We’ve played around with several extension ideas since we moved here, discounting a loft extension at one point because we needed it so much for storage. (rubbish phone pics) We definitely, didn’t want to move. We already knew when we bought this place four years ago, it was a little on the small side. We were seriously lacking on the guest bedroom front and resorted to lugging a mattress downstairs for friends and family to sleep on our living room floor. And you know what. It sucked.   Well no more. With the help of our amazing parents and the savings we’ve been squirrelling away, we finally decided a hip to gable loft extension is the best solution to all of our space problems. And it seems we’re not the only ones. More and more people are extending their homes and improving their living spaces to avoid the alternative of moving. In fact, since we got …