Back in March, in the freezing cold, we demolished Venici - our much loved, but damp and decaying beach house in West Wittering, East Sussex.
Venici's roof was leaking badly, there was rising damp everywhere, the plaster had blown, the electrics and central heating were both dangerously unreliable, the double glazing was so full of internal condensation that we could hardly see out and we couldn't open the doors to the sea because the locks had been corroded in the sea air.
The cost of repairing the house seemed ridiculously high, but the thought of taking out a new mortgage to finance a new build was equally daunting. But we took the plunge and have had no regrets. We've got a beautifully designed house thanks to Richard Hawkes and Chris Simmons at hawkesarchitecture.co.uk and the build has gone amazingly well thanks to our fantastic builder -- Trevor Barnes of harrybarnes.co.uk.
Trevor, his on-site project manager Andy Smallwood, and their great team including Martin, Peter, Harry, Cliff, Paul and others have all been superb throughout the project. Quality work and a pleasure to work with. If you ignore the extra costs relating to changes Helene and I inevitably asked for, and ignore the delays relating to the Austrian-built triple glazed door/windows which took some time to get commissioned - then we are on budget and on time! So just 6 months to demolish and re-build - not bad!
Now all that remains is our formal completion meeting with Trevor and Richard this Friday. OK, it's Friday the 13th, but I'm confident there won't be any nasty surprises.
Oh and the other thing that remains is for the kitchen to be built, and also 2 sets of bunk beds, some external shutters, a 2m by 3m wooden sliding screen and a few cupboards. And the only problem is that I'm building them. My later blogs may be a bit less positive .....