So we have completed our purchase and carried out some initial investigations of the property to try and convert some known unknowns – I was most worried about the floors.
The first interesting thing we found was that each lino/carpet was layed over newspapers from the date they were laid – the oldest in the sitting room being 6 months before the outbreak of WWII! Other rooms were decorated in 1950, the late 1970s, late 1980s and late 1990s.
Below are some as-is plans. Our initial thoughts are to change the bathroom to a study with a shower/toilet at the back and the Ex-kitchen into the main family bathroom. We’d also like to build an infill extension out the back and potentially a side extension. The former is for ergonomic reasons only – the kitchen is the heart of our home and at present is too small. The side extension would be for numerous reasons – security being one – but mainly for reducing heat loss through the long exposed wall. This wall would be hard to insulate internally due to the staircase running up against it and externally as the gap between the wall and the adjacent property is already tight and externally insulating would make it too small.
My initial worries about the expanded polystyrene ceiling tiles in the sitting room and snug were also unfounded. All see to come off easily with good plasterboard behind.The first floor bedrooms have a textured finish that may just need a new plaster skim.The top floor ceilings have deteriorated due to leaks in the roof (job 1!) and so may need to come down and replaced with new plasterboard.
The kitchen roof has some old wooden slats that we will replace. The current bathroom has textured plasterboard that is semi-deteriorated and may be replaced as lots of work will be carried out there anyway. Finally the ex-kitchen roof, which we thought might be leaking may just be suffering from a bit of internal condensation mould in the corners instead. We may therefore hold off replacing the rear flat roof – options remain to externally or internally insulate.
Generally good. A few places seem to have blown plaster but otherwise good. One wall is bowing a bit but it appears to be historic – the old paintwork on the banister is not cracked so indicates that it hasn’t moved recently. Whether we tie the walls or not will depend on what happens with the side extension.Initial thoughts for the walls are a mixture of internal and external insulation – hopefully bringing them up to around 0.2 W/m2K.
Aside from the front sash windows they are all good quality double glazing. The ex-kitchen windows being a bit older. An work to these will be purely aesthetic as the energy improvements will be negligible.The front sash windows we hope to restore and DIY secondary glaze – the expense of new double glazing or even triple glazing would not lead to any substantial savings and would cost a bomb. The windows actually have old sliding shutters beneath which we may restore. This would mean we might insulate the wall beneath the windows externally – watch out for details on avoiding thermal bridging.The doors will have to wait on what we end up doing with extensions.
The less said the better! Gas room heaters, night storage heaters, 60% efficient gas domestic hot water boiler and an electric over sink instantaneous hot water heater. These will all be going to be replaced by…..
…probably a top specification gas boiler, maybe a combi maybe not, maybe solar thermal on the ex-kitchen flat roof.