October 2017 and I finally managed to find some time to concentrate on knocking down the two extensions adjoining the cottage. In time these will be replaced with a two storey side extension and a two storey rear extension in oak. My plan for much of 2018 is to work on repairing the old part of the cottage so not only do the old extensions need to come down to give me space and access to work on the cottage but also to provide some of the materials I need for the repairs.
Its important both financially and ethically to reuse as much of the original material possible and therefore rather than simply 'bulldoze' and clear away the old extensions (which would of been the quickest and easiest option) I have taken time to sort through the materials. Anything that could be of use has been kept - this ranges from the bricks through to any wood that can be kept as firewood to keep us warm.
I wanted to reduce the amount that goes to landfill so anything that can be crushed into hardcore and reused (broken bricks, concrete, old mortar etc) is being kept in a pile to be crushed at a later date. All the bricks have been sorted into brick type (modern metric or older imperial) and sorted into condition - the rougher bricks can be used where they wont be seen, and the nicer bricks can all be used for repairs to the chimneys, brick facade, plinths etc.
Ok, so this takes time but so far the amount that has been allocated for a skip is minimal, not forgetting the costs saved in terms of carting away the debris. Hacving said that, i was glad to finish chiseling bricks clean!