Saturday, May 22, 2010

I will have a second post!

I have peeked in a couple of times and been rather shy of the followers I don't know. It is a responsibility to have followers. Like house guests, are they comfortable? Are they enjoying themselves? Have they had enough to eat. . .  well, maybe not that. However I realised that I have fallen down as a hostess and would like to welcome you all!
My son also told me this morning that 80% of bloggers only make one post. I think he said 80% anyway and if he corrects me, I'll know that he is reading.

I haven't been able to work much on my cottage as real life and work keeps calling. Of course that will make it easier to catch these pages up to where I am now.
Choosing a house was the hard part. I couldn't design my own, having never seen a thatched cottage I knew I would make fundamental errors. I knew I wanted timbering as well and at the beginning of thinking about it had a very Victorian picture in mind with lots of black timber against sparkling white walls. Then I saw the one I wanted! It was being advertised as a ready made cottage in a dolls house magazine and was love at first sight but alas, I couldn't afford a designer house, not to mention the shipping expenses from the UK. A bit more dreaming and a bit of idle internet browsing led me to plans of a cottage almost identical to that of my heart's desire. Excitedly I bought the plans and the recommended windows.
The plans arrived and were almost all I dreamed of . . . with just one major problem. I really wanted my house to open from the front rather than be open backed. Studying the plans I realised that the structural strength of the dormers relied on the roof and wall being one fixed unit. Working them as they were and modifying them with cuts and hinges would have been possible but would have made the front wall vulnerable. I noticed a couple of people selling this house on ebay and obviously they had felt the same as I for they had made adaptations to make it front opening. Both people were generous enough to share what they had done, the pros and cons and even send extra photos to help me which was really appreciated although I will be trying a different method. The dolls house world is like that. Everyone is eager to share from their experience.

After a lot of thinking and staring at the plans I started to see ways to get what I wanted without compromising strength too much.  Of course once you make one change you think of others and it has turned what is probably a fiddly but straight forward build into something far more complicated.
Because my 'family' has 4 children I really needed more than 2 bedrooms . . . then there was the Chrysnbon bath set I fell in love with. For months I fought it, deciding my 'family' could make do with a tub in front of the fire. A bathroom was out of the question! The bath set won, so I then had to find space for a bathroom as well.  Reading and researching the 1940s showed me that many older homes still had a 'back kitchen' or scullery where the washing up was done separately from the main kitchen where cooking and eating took place, therefore a scullery would be essential.  I had to start building before I found more to add!

Building commenced at the end of February this year. A side extension would hold the 3rd bedroom, the bathroom and a scullery and a small larder off the kitchen. The front would open and to add strength to the dormers, the wall either side of each window was angled rather than cut off square at the middle of the window. There would be a kitchen and sitting room downstairs and 2 bedrooms upstairs with the 3rd bedroom in the extension accessable from the second bedroom with  the scullery and bathroom below.

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