We’re a family of 6: four teenagers, two parents, a derelict leaky old house and no pets. The current house is an almost-five bedroom house in a suburban plot in Surrey, UK. We bought it as a project in 2000, moved in with our two boys, and have dithered about what to do with it ever since. It was never very nice having been empty for a couple of years before we moved in, and rented out 25 years before that.

Early on, we decided we wanted a really twee olde worlde house on the outside, and a great big modern space on the inside. We quickly found that the renovation route was plagued with problems from rotting woodwork and saggy roof to 12″ foundations and poor sewerage. After many years of contemplating, the arrival of two more children, a new business and a teaching career that has come and gone, we decided to make the most of our pennies and knock the thing down and start again.

This project has been three years in the making, and in 2016 our beloved St Anne’s finally turned from our home of the last 16 years to a site. Hooray!

We’ve been through three builders, four architects, a structural engineer, three quantity surveyors, a buildings surveyor, the Council’s Conservation Team, a soil inspection, and countless surveys about bats, newts, asbestos, trees, historical development and roads. It’s been a long slog, but we’ve finally managed to acquire a brilliant team of project manager, architect and contractor who are determined to have our family of six in by Christmas 2016. [amended–March 2017]

The new house will be about the same size, but situated better on the plot with a garage and drive out to the road and a private garden in the back. We are looking forward in a big way to having a home that doesn’t leak, creak, and burn fuel at the rate of knots.

The house has been empty for almost a year, and the two pics below show the seasonal and structural change between last summer and now (lots of season, not much structure–yet). We’ve had a couple of trees removed and the big (protected) beech out the front has been trimmed.

The camera is a cute little Brinno TLC200. It’s set to take one frame every 30 seconds and to process at 15 fps.