The past month has been spent stripping out, removing wallpaper, preparing for the electrician and plasterer.
We have now had the house completely rewired to remove all the odd additions and patches the previous owner had made, and to upgrade the wiring and replace the switches and outlets. This will make it easier to reconfigure lighting and the new kitchen, if not just for peace of mind. It also gives us the opportunity to have the layout of switches, sockets, TV points exactly how we would like.
The most significant work to be undertaken to the exterior of the building is the replacement of the existing single-glazed windows with new double-glazed units, as well as the replacement of the two external doors.
We initially obtained quotes for conventional uPVC units. However, many of the properties still owned by the trust have recently had new timber windows and doors fitted, to reflect the original Erskine designs from the 60s-70s, and for a consistent appearance across the estate. The bright colours and routed details do look good:
The weatherboarding needs repainting, so we plan on taking the opportunity to match the new paint job on the adjacent properties, which reflect the colours of the original scheme. There is some repointing to do where the existing timber sills and sill bricks haven’t sufficiently directed rainwater away from the building. New windows with larger integral sills should solve this issue, meaning the mortar should last longer.
In July of this year I purchased a neglected property on the Byker estate in Newcastle.
Like a lot of mid-century social housing, the layout is very generous, and there is a large amount of storage space.
There was a lot to disincentivise potential buyers; the property is still single glazed, the heating system needed recommissioning, and there is extensive decorating to be undertaken throughout. The property is also listed which potentially restricts alterations to the exterior of the building; it also requires the administrative hurdle of listed building consent (LBC).
I like the unusual nature of the property; the Byker houses appear very modern, but still feel very much like a traditional British house; with a touch of Swedish vernacular. There is a lot of potential here to do something homely yet modern.