The House


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The House

Our biggest project for the past year has been major alterations to our house. The primary purpose of the alterations was to make our three bedroom bungalow more "wheel chair friendly" for Robert .

As it was

The original house had been extended by the previous owners with a flat roof extension for a new living room along the back. The result was one large bedrooms (the original living room, one medium sized bedroom (the original master bedroom) and a sort of bedroom with attached "study". The "study" was a bedroom in the original house but, after the flat roof extension, ended up with no windows.

We were aware of most of these limitations when we bought the place, but saw that it had a lot of potential for alterations… In about August 1995 we bit the bullet, selected an architect with building work starting the week before Christmas 1995. Little did we know how much hassle it would be.

As it is now

As things proceeded, we discovered we had made a BIG mistake with the architects. They were incompetent, unreliable and indeed a positive liability. In the end Stuart did probably 95% of the architect's job. We feel we should try to recover most of the fee, but at present simply do not have the energy to pursue it, especially since there are still lots of things which need to be done urgently to finish the house off.

Anyway, our final design gave us

We had originally hoped to make use of the original loft space as an extra bedroom, enabling us to then form an opening between the living room and computer room, but the money tree and the silly way the British do their foundations thawted us. Put simply, it would require a lot of steel work because the internal walls in our house are not able to be load bearing. The only reason we could make use of the new loft space over the original flat roof extension was that it was an extension and thus had two external walls to bear the load… Maybe one day, as there is a huge amount of space up there.


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Stuart Dalziel , last page update: 1 January, 1997