We’ve done a few small jobs to finish off round the extension over the last few months.
To show a bit of the the history of the site, we decided to keep some of the footings of the original building, which fell down decades ago (and whose previous existence played a big part in getting permission to rebuild). Part of the footings had been cut through for the main drain, and other parts had been damaged by machinery, so we ended up repairing them, using lime mortar.
The extension floor was dropped down a foot below the old ground level, so keeping the old footings meant creating a narrow trench along the side of the building, the bottom of which was lined with anti-weed fabric covered in gravel. Some of the rampant Japanese anemones that used to grow on the site survived, their roots lodged in the cracks between the old bricks, so we left them where they were, and they are flourishing again. As the photo shows, the old footings are at an angle to the new building, because we slightly changed the orientation, to look straight down the pond.
Next, we remade the path from the parking area, re-using York stone slabs, and made steps to the new front and back doors with 900×600 mm Bradstone natural sandstone slabs from Travis Perkins. They were labelled autumn green, but are more of a grey, and when using them previously we found they weathered quickly to a shade not very different from York stone, at a quarter of the price.
Using the same sandstone and new bricks, we then made steps up one side of the extension from pond level to the back garden. Building even a modest flight of steps up a steep slope requires some careful planning, so we measured the site exactly and drew out the plans on paper before cutting the ground. The risers were made from bricks standing on edge, which created exactly the right height.
Next: creating an oak platform by the pond.