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The End Of The Bungalow

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We had lived in the 1920s timber framed bungalow for the last ten years, which although small, allowed us to live comfortably enough while doing the self build. After we moved into the new house we had three months to demolish the bungalow, which was a planning condition. We found out that the bungalow was stick built in the 1920s for farm workers as a Home for Heroes after the First World War. The main part consisted of four rooms and was constructed from 4"x2" timber, lined with Chrysotile asbestos boards and the outside clad with feather edge timber. It was built on a small concrete ring beam. In the 1950s the outside cladding was obviously deteriorating so was battened out and expanded metal mesh was added which was then rendered in pebbledash. At the same time a brick built extension housing a bathroom was added at the rear. In the 1980s a porch was added along with a full width rear extension housing a kitchen and bathroom. An oil fired central heating system was also added.
























We decided to dismantle the bungalow rather than knock it down as the site is small and the bungalow was less than 0.5m from the new house. This meant dismantling the bungalow in 'layers' and disposing of the materials before moving onto the next part. We took out the carpets, wiring and plumbing and disposed of that. We put all the doors and secondary glazing on Freegle and they were soon taken. While we were waiting for quotes for the asbestos removal we took off the pebbledash.










We only realised how poor the state of the bungalow was when we started to dismantle it. The sole plate had rotted completely in places as had the bottom of some of the studs. 







We then had the internal asbestos boards removed and at the same time I took the asbestos slates off the roof. I was doing that when we had a very hot spell and the glue melted on the soles of a pair of my trainers and working boots, so they went in the bin. I was glad when that job was finished as were the asbestos removers inside the bungalow. Once the asbestos was gone we took off the sarking boards and feather edge cladding. The sarking boards were in quite good condition and went quickly on Freegle but the feather edge was shot so we cut it up and took it to the local tip.







The rafters on the main part of the bungalow were 4"x2" and long and straight and went on Freegle for making chicken runs and animal houses.







The rafters on the extension were 6"x2" and went to make a pergola. The main frame and studwork was taken by a couple of people for different things.








The flooring went to someone with an old basement who wanted old timber flooring. The chimney breast and plinth wall yielded nearly 1600 bricks which someone took for a garden wall. We got homemade jam and some eggs in return.









The last things to go were several hundred concrete blocks so now we just have a pile of mixed rubble left.








We are wondering whether to crush it on site and use it for the driveway and shed base or have it taken away and buy in some type 1.








We're pleased to have been able to dispose of most of the bungalow in a useful way by recycling the materials. It has also helped us by not having to pay for any of the demolition with the exception of the asbestos removal. It has been interesting stripping back the layers and seeing how it was constructed and altered over the years.



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That's really interesting Peter!

Out of interest - have you got any theories as to why the timber sole plate rotted so badly?

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1 hour ago, Ian said:


That's really interesting Peter!

Out of interest - have you got any theories as to why the timber sole plate rotted so badly?

It only seemed to have rotted really badly under windows. The place highlighted in the picture also had the front gutter downpipe above the window side. The window sills were in poor condition because they were extended outwards when the battening and pebbledash were added leading to cracks between the timber. The problem was compounded by the concrete plinth which had been added when the pebbledash was put on.

An interesting experiment I carried out was to block up the two front underfloor vents to improve the heat loss problem. There were two at the rear also but they had already been blocked up by adding the extension with a solid concrete floor. I thought there might be dry rot after ten years but there was no sign which may have been because there was a concrete oversite under the floor and it was very dry.

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Great photos.


It must be satisfying knowing that the bulk of the materials have been recycled else where.

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Great job Peter. Just read the whole blog. I love the fact that you seemed to be very hands on. Good bargain hunting, and recycling. I love the brick slip plinth at the bottom. It gives the place a really solid look if you know what i mean. Proper built, as people would say. I am a huge fan of i beams, and have used them several times, for flat roofs on extentions etc. Solid as a rock. I think i beams are a great way to build a house. If i can pull off my planning, i will be building with i beams. Regards Jim

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