Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Annex 

Our first major project after our first daughter was born was to work on the annex. We decided that as the tree house project was long term and wasn’t going to happen any time soon that this would be a slightly easier and quicker project (so we thought at the time) to help bring some money in.

The Annex was originally a small barn or dairy attached to the house, at some point prior to us purchasing the property it had been gutted and converted into an annex or granny flat. We were told by the previous owner that he was converting it for his mother in law some twenty years earlier and had made a start but never finished it. 

The walls were bare plaster downstairs which had cracked over time and there was a chip board floor with an ill fitting moth eaten carpet. Double glazed doors had been fitted forming an independent access as well as a pine staircase leading to the room above. Where the previous owner had cut away the floor to add in the staircase he had left a large section of plaster missing and not replaced the wall that ran along the stairs. This meant that if you walked towards the stairs from the room above there was a large drop where the edge of the room disappeared into the void made to accommodate the stairs! 

Behind this room was another random room which we made into a twin bedroom.  Our first job was to prep all the areas ready for decoration.  Our builder / plasterer who has now become a good friend James Davies put in a new stud wall to block up the void over the stairs and fill in the gap in the wall where the floor had been cut away. James also plastered the ceiling and repaired the flashing around the chimney to stop a newly discovered leak. 

Once all of the prep was complete the decoration commenced. We are very grateful to Helen's Mum and Dad, Andy and Karen, who helped with decorating, baby sitting and financial help.  Everywhere was freshly painted, the floor in the twin bedroom was sanded and varnished.  We had previously renovated the bathroom but it was time to add in a double shower.  Our previous house didn't have a shower and we had been using a rubber hose attachment and squatting in a bath for two years in that house. We had been in this house without a shower for three years so were looking forward to a decent shower even if it was in the Annex!  I tiled the corner and we had the shower installed. The main bedroom was wallpapered and carpeted and a new headboard for the bed was made from some salvaged cupboard doors found in one of the barns.

After the upstairs had been decorated we turned our attention to downstairs.  We purpose built a kitchenette under the stairs from reclaimed timber that came from the dutch barn that was cleared to make way for the carpark.  We salvaged an old butler sink and some bricks from one of the barns and used old slate roof tiles to tile around the worktop. Lastly we put in new flooring and furnished the whole place. It was now ready to be let. 

The Annex 

Main bedroom prior decoration 

Main bedroom after decoration

Twin bedroom 

Lounge and kitchen before work started

And after


Holiday Let Done !!! We are now open for bookings please book through Airbnb:

Friday, 1 December 2017

First update in FOUR Years!!

Well it’s been a while!! Four years since our last post it’s been a busy four years. Our first daughter was born shortly after our last post and Teifi Tree Life had to take a back seat. She has kept us pretty busy and turned our world upside down but in a very good way so much so we decided to have another and along came our second daughter last January. Even with these two delightful additions to our family it hasn’t completely stopped us progressing with the house and various projects so in the next few weeks / months we will try and update our dedicated couple of readers with what else has been going on in our little slice of South West Wales. 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Orchard

After finding fruit trees (all be it very small) for £7, a bargain, we decided to get the orchard finished, our lone apple tree was looking a bit sad. So to join him we now have a Stella cherry, Concorde pear, Braeburn apple and a Victoria plum.

Hopefully in about 3-5 years we will start to see a harvest.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Fantastic Mr Fox Strikes

Whilst visiting family back in Berkshire/Surrey and leaving the birds in the care of a neighbour it appears Mr Fox paid us a visit and he took no mercy :0(

We came back to find all the chickens gone, just piles of feathers and also Peia the duck was missing without a trace.

It is very sad as they were all settled and we had become quite attached to them.

Randomly the next day whilst Steve was cleaning the car he thought he heard a clucking noise so ran into the garden to see Red the chicken being chased by a fox! Star shot off after the fox whilst Steve tried to catch Red. Some 3hrs later Red was back safe and sound, the poor thing had been on the run all night! but seemed to have escaped harm although we don't know how seeing as she lost so many feathers.

So down to 1 chicken and 3 ducks. Red made friends with the ducks and moved in with them but we needed to get her some friends as it wasn't the same and she seemed a bit depressed.

Apparently there seem to be a larger number of foxes around this year plus there are some more urban foxes around too which are much more cocky, we have actually caught one in our courtyard! I guess this is country living for you and a few lessons learned.

We decided to further fox proof the chicken coop with an outside framework and replenish our stock.

We bought the same breeds as before thanks to Angela and Stuart from Brynheulog rare breeds so we now have 5 chickens and 3 ducks. They have all settled in and Red seems back to her old self again... one of the Frizzel chickens actually laid an egg on the way home so we saw this as a good omen!

Meet the new batch:

Enjoying a dust bath


The house has been leaking water all over the place with all the rain we have been having lately. We know we have a leaking roof over the utility room as the roof is rotten and needs replacing and a lack of guttering at the back of the house isn't helping the situation either, but we still have water coming up through the floor in various parts of the house.

The house is built into the hillside, (that is what Llechwedd means Hen means old) so the first floor is technically at ground level at the back of the house. The original Welsh long house part of the house wasn't that close to the ground at the back but over the years the house has been extended and then then trees have grown up which has meant the ground meets the house at the back. So the first thing we need to do to try and resolve the damp and water leak issues is dig out the back of the house to get the ground level more even.

It is quite scary to see a massive digger out the back of your house inches away form the window...

It has also turned out to be a bigger job than we first thought as our digger friend has dug deeper it appears what we thought was just soil and rock is actually solid bed rock. We were going to add french drains in as well but I am not sure we will be able to now as the rock is so tough. Fingers crossed the digging will be enough, we are forecast more rain tomorrow as we'll have to wait and see if the water still comes up through the floors.

The hay barn finally comes down

The old hay barn was half down when we moved into the house and has been deteriorating gradually. It was always our intention to use the space as a car park for the business and with the all the stormy weather we have had lately it was becoming very unsafe and so we have had the rest removed.

Chimney Maintenance

We have had our wood burner for a year now and we found that when it rained heavily it would shoot down the chimney and make a real mess of the walls and bring all sorts of crap down with it. So we have now fitted a new chimney pot and wire rain cover.

It was also a good opportunity to cover up the other side of the chimney to stop the Jackdaws nesting in it and making a racket.