It's been a while coming but the outside is finally being painted. The new extension is particularly challenging, as it is rough pebble dash, in keeping with the rest of the house but, having never been painted before is something of a sod. It's amazing how a bit of paint brightens up the exterior appearance! I think it'll look really nice when it's finished, hopefully within the next week.
Making a start
Painting the black bits makes a surprising difference...
Nearly done... just in time for my birthday party!
Another issue with the back of the house being the de facto front nowadays is the utility room, added some time in the 1990s. It is a natural "junk" room but it's also, now, effectively the principal entrance.
A partition has now been built, dividing the utility room in two and creating a short hallway, convenient for wet clothes, boots, etc. between the back (front!) door and the kitchen. The untidy electrical distribution/meter area has also been boxed in to make it less obtrusive. Some plastering, a new paint job and LED lighting completed the project. At the same time, I took the opportunity to replace the horrid fluorescent tube lighting in the kitchen with LEDs. The entire house is now LED lit.
When Pennine View was first built the front of the house was on the south side, looking out over the fields towards New Mill Flatt, on whose land the cottage had been built for the farmer's family. It was before the days of widespread car ownership and so the back of the house opened out onto a back yard and not much else.
By the 1970s the bungalow had been extended with the addition of a kitchen to the north side and the back yard had become a car park, with a rather awkwardly offset entrance made in the hedgerow on the northern edge of the property. With most people now arriving by car, the back of the bungalow had now effectively become the front!
The old gate was at an awkward angle to the driveway and not especially wide. Improvement was called for. The new gate is 18" wider and the awkward angle has been more or less removed, making access considerably easier, especially for larger vehicles. New gateposts had to be erected and the opportunity was taken to reverse the opening, further improving access.
With the new gate installed the road side access was tarmacked and new limestone chippings laid on the drive side. The result is quite pleasing!
... Pennine View was a completely different home. What started out in June 2013 as a relatively simple, if quite substantial extension morphed into a much wider ranging programme of improvements to the rest of the house and its grounds.
Most of the work was completed by autumn 2014 and nothing much happened during the winter, which brought a little snow.
The intervening six months gave the new landscaping time to settle in and afforded the grass seeded areas the opportunity to become established. A few minor cracks started appearing in the plaster, mainly around the join between old and new and the pointing work on the patio suffered a bit during the winter.
With the arrival of spring the final touches are now being applied. These are:
Adding a wall to the utility room, to create a hallway for the back door into the kitchen
Installing LED down-lighting in the kitchen and utility room
Fitting a new wrought iron gate at the side of the bungalow and improving the wall behind the summer house
Fitting a new, wider front gate, straightening the access line into the driveway and generally tidying up the front of the property
Fixing those cracks
Reworking the pointing on the main patio area, which suffered a bit during the winter frosts