[singlepic id=74 w=320 h=240 float=left] Never before have I experienced the shear joy of hitting something as hard as you can…and then doing it again and again….and again. The conversion of the old pantry, which was originally a 1950’s lean-to kitchen extension, into a modern bright and open living room / kitchen will be quite a challenge. Work began back in January 2013 when, fuelled from a 2 week stay at Gwalia over Christmas, we were inspired to start knocking stuff down. The ceiling of the Pantry needed to come down so that we could see what we were taking on. Whilst this is normally a fairly simple task, it was made quite a lot more difficult by a decision taken some 30 years ago to use some rather unusual insulation. Above the plasterboard ceiling and below the asbestos roof tiles were millions…and I mean millions…of tiny polystyrene balls. Livy warned us of the havoc they reeked at the time – “It was a nightmare, they got everywhere, we were finding them for years!”. Alas there was no other way. Armed with a couple of crowbars, Henry Hoover and A LOT of bin bags we somehow got through it but the warnings were indeed correct. Never…ever…EVER…think that polystyrene balls make for good insulation.
[singlepic id=70 w=320 h=240 float=right] Now that we’re here permanently we could get stuck into the demolition part of the job. With the ceiling down the next job was to break through the walls to the old bathroom and separate outside toilet. Large concrete blocks and heavy duty mortar were standing in the way and so with a powerful combo of massive SDS drill, sledgehammer and some ever increasing biceps we set to work. No need for the gym now, it was a gruelling work-out. Just holding the SDS drill takes quite a lot of energy so numerous short bursts of action was required. We hired a skip thankfully and so brick by brick, the 12 square metres or so were wheel-barrowed out and down the road. As it turns out we needed more skip than we thought and a week later had to call up the company to bring another one quickly.