Our Story So Far

Having thought long and hard about the benefits of extending our home as well as looking at the cost implications, we finally put our application for planning in at the tail end of 2018 and begun our home renovation journey. We began work at the end of May 2019 and after what has felt never-ending at times, we are getting to the final stages. The works have been carried out and we are now decorating and putting in the finishing touches.

What did we have done?

We extended and rearranged the front of the house to enable us to turn our kitchen into a kitchen diner, add a utility room, update and enlarge the cloakroom and still make better use of the garage/store. Although we could have lived in our home without making these changes, we really wanted to have a kitchen were the children could sit and be with us while we cooked.

Having upped my hours at work, I was finding the after-school rush of reading and homework to be too much. I was frantically trying to sort the dinner while reading with the children and sort fun activities out too. Having to try to do this in different rooms wasn’t working so we decided to look at creating a more family friendly home.

Mess and Dust

The build started and all seemed well. With the excitement of it all being new, we didn’t mind all the mess and dust. We packed a lot of the toys up and used the study as a place to store all our shoes and coats and things we didn’t use on a daily basis. We also put a large amount into a container which we shared with the builders.

After a few months, I quickly tired of this though and couldn’t wait for the builders and contractors to be gone. Finally, 9 months on, we are now just adding all the finishing touches to the new build. Although it does also make you want to update and modernise the rest of the house too! That we will have to leave for next year though.

The Transformation

The biggest transformation is obviously the kitchen – the sole purpose of the build. Before it was almost a galley kitchen just a little wider. There was little cupboard space and it just felt like it didn’t really flow. The children were forever under our feet.

Now we have a really lovely and bright kitchen diner with breakfast bar too. We extended the front of the house by almost four meters and it has just given us so much more space. More than looking lovely (I’m biased but I love it!) it really has given us the family friendly layout we were looking for. The children can play or read at the dining end of the kitchen while I’m sorting dinner and it’s made our after-school routine much easier.

Having more space has made me feel like we can host more too. It’s a great space to have friends over. You can all be in the kitchen and no one is left cooking while guests are in the other room.

Wash, Dry, Fold, Repeat

As well as the kitchen, we have also gained a gorgeous utility room. There is enough space for the washing machine, tumble dryer and cupboards but I also love the extra large cupboard which hides away the boiler, water tank and my clothes horse. Everything has its own space now and feels so much less cluttered.


We haven’t quite finished the tiling in the cloakroom but having a large and airy cloakroom seems like a real luxury. There’s plenty of space for the children to wash hands without soaking the entire floor and it just feels like a great size. You don’t have to squeeze into it or feel claustrophobic when you shut the door. A few little changes and this will be perfect.

Unexpected Extras

What I didn’t really think about was the space we would gain in the hallway. Although I knew it would be longer, because we actually changed the layout and we now enter through the front of the building rather than round the side, I didn’t expect it to feel so open.

Originally, we planned to build cupboards all down the wall to hide all the mess. But the more I lived with the open space, the more I loved it. We decided instead to buy a simple storage bench. This way we are able to hide all the children’s school bags, shoes and coats while at the same time giving them the independence and taking ownership of their things.

We also bought a shoe rack and coat rack to put in the recess where our original front door used to be. This is for the adults to use as well as for guests. The whole hallway just feels so light, bright and airy now. There’s no more pushing and shoving to get through the door while dumping coats and shoes at the garage door.

Store Room Vs Garage

While Ed didn’t want to lose the garage entirely, he was happy to make it a little smaller. Because of its new size, we can’t technically call it a garage anymore; however, as we don’t keep a car in it and just use it as store room, it didn’t really matter to us. Once we have sorted the finishing touches to the downstairs, we will look at getting proper storage sorted in the garage but I still think it’s a great size.

I really feel like we have gained so much from this extension, perhaps more than I initially thought we would. I’m so happy that we went ahead and did it but all the drama we had with it also makes me wonder if I’d do it again?

So there you have it. Our renovation work so far!

Before and During

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