I built my two storey extension for 20% of builder's quotes

This site shows how - step by step from design to completion

Living on site while building


Where to stay during home renovation? Temporary accommodation during renovation, such as living with friends, parents or renting was not my preferred option. As I planned to do everything myself, and I am not an experienced builder I had to accept and embrace the fact that this would not be the world's fastest build. Though it would take quite a bit of effort, I decied to remodel parts of the house temporarily to give us all we needed to live on site while building and to stay in the house during renovation. As I was soon to knock down my kitchen and bathroom, I needed to make some temporary provisions for those two key rooms of the house, but  living on site while building was going to make my life easier and cheaper. I converted the large room created by taking down the wall, into a kitchen and shower / toilet facility.

I managed to get almost everything I needed for the temporary kitchen from Freecycle (now Freegle). Kitchen units, oven, a ceramic hob, sink and worktops didn't cost me a penny.

Freecycle or Freegle are a series of locally based yahoo groups where people offer items that they no longer use for free. It is certainly worth checking your local group.

The pillar was taking the load of the old steels but I needed to block up the remainder of the wall. I chose to use block instead of a stud wall although I did make a stud wall for the end section as this would eventually be knocked through as a doorway once the extension was completed. The area to the left of the pillar was also blocked up.

I built a stud wall at the end of the room to partition off an area for a shower / toilet. The area would be quite small, but enough for a temporary situation.

Eventually I made a fully working kitchen. I plasterboarded the ceiling to help keep it warm but other than that it was perfectly usable. I had no intention of tidying up the details as it would eventually come out again.

I installed a shower, toilet and sink (all courtesy of Freecycle) in the partitioned off area. It is pretty small but perfectly functional.

As I could not get a gravity fall to the present sewer, I installed a Uniflo 4 macerator unit behind the toilet. I diverted all bathroom and kitchen waste via the macerator so that it can be pumped out.

With the dawn of 2010, I now had a perfectly functional kitchen, shower and toilet. As my old Rayburn boiler was disconnected, I installed a Hyco inline water heater to supply the sinks and shower.

The old single storey section of the building was sealed off and I had re-routed the electrics and plumbing. I blocked in and plastered the wall where I took the chimney breast out in the bedroom, and got the bedroom usable again.

I had a few other jobs that needed attending to, but hoped that by the beginning of February 2010 I could start clearing the land outside in preparation for the extension build.

kitchen 2

kitchen 1










kitchen 4

kitchen 3