.Now we have the keys, the hard graft begins. Clearing the house. We have to remove a load of junk that has been left in the house, before we can start the job of removing the fake floor and assessing the damaged floorboards. We will also need to remove the old wallpaper, artex ceilings and any plaster that comes away during those jobs.
The house has a narrow pavement in front of it and the road is busy. I doubt if we’ll be allowed to put a skip there. The way in to the back of the house is only wide enough for a wheelbarrow at best, so we need to work out where to put the rubble, old floorboards etc. It looks like its going to be a case of filling the garden and then hiring a gang to load it all into a lorry.
The garden is an abandoned hell hole and worryingly, the wall on one side is falling down. It’s about nine feet high and leaning at a crazy angle into our garden. There are butterfly bushes growing freely in the wall. Probably the reason it’s falling down, but it has to be fixed before it falls on someone.
In happier news, I found the stopcock. Bizarrely it is situated around head height in the middle of the partition that divides the basement. We were hoping to get rid of this partition, but there are also electricity cables in there. At some time in the distant past somebody was very good at concealing pipework and cabling. However, this has led to some strange anomalies such as the mains water pipes being in the kitchen ceiling! Better there than ripping up the beautiful old floor in the basement though.
So its going to be a call to planning to flag that we’re repairing the back wall. Followed by many trips to the dump with car loads of junk, old floorboards and peeled wallpaper. Wish us luck, we may be some time clearing the house…
By the way, the sharp eyed will have noticed the house had three floors at the front and four at the back. Does that make the ground floor a basement?