the old woolshop
Old Woolshop home

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

The Old Wool Shop
Diary of a renovation


This is the story of the renovation of the Old Wool Shop in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

The building is composed of two former shops built around 1914 by the Co-Operative Society. As far as we can work out work out the larger of the two shops was a general store, the smaller a butcher. Years later the shops were used as a golf shop and wool shop by the previous owner.

We purchased the property in July 2004 shortly before it was due to be auctioned. Since then we've been living in the cottage attached to the rear of the shops. Since 2004 it has been integrated with the shops to create one large house.

Latest pictures (07/09/07)
spiral staircase new garage new sofas in TV area

07/09/07 The new garage is rendered and painted so that's all the major work for this year. I'll add another bathroom and partition an office downstairs sometime over winter.

01/06/07 The new garage is built and in use, I'm just waiting for it to be rendered. I've takn a series of pictures of the finished house and I'm enjoying some newly found free time. I've even fitted out the utility room.

15/03/07 I've completed all the finishing touches and sat down for a rest, I'll post some finished result pictures soon. I've now started on the new garage round the side of the house

22/11/06 Kitchen is installed and most of the decorating is done all in time for holidays. We've now got a pantry and utility room although they need some more work and I'm working on plans for the new garage.

28/09/06 Rest complete and we're doing the fiddly finishing jobs. Final decorating and cleaning is a very slow and time consuming job. We've moved in to the new rooms and the kitchen is due to be fitted next week. I'm leaving this to the professionals although I've done all the preparatory work.

26/06/06 Second fix is complete, just need to fit some doors, paint some skirtings and clean up. The bathroom is now a shower room and the back hall, stairs and landing has finally been re-plastered. We're ready for a well earned rest!

18/05/06 First fix completed, and we're well on the way to second fix. The plan is to move in by the end of June. All the electrics are on, the CAT5e network is set up (broadband in every room) and the final joinery is about 60% complete. The next update should show all rooms except for the bathroom complete.

09/03/06 I've installed 100 sq metres of acoustic insulation and its very itchy.
The plasterer starts next Monday and there's light at the end of the tunnel.

22/02/06 First fix is approaching fast, the electrician has laid all the cabling, I have just installed the central heating upstairs and I now have a bathroom to install. The porch is boarded and I need to insulate the 1st floor. Finally, the new doorways are bult in the kitchen and I've had a door casing custom made for the large double doors we salvaged.

13/01/06 The new slate floor is laid, and will be grouted soon. The electrician has started and we need a plasterer, I have loads of joinery to complete and things are moving pretty fast.

16/12/05 60 square metres of reclaimed flooring have been laid at the painstaking rate of 0.6 square metres per hour and I've earned a week off!

29/11/05 I've been installing 20sq m pf space age roof insulation, the new roofer has fixed the leaking roof by replacing all the flashings and the back boiler is heating hot water. This weekend we have 100 sq m of reclaimed flooring to lay (if we get it cleaned up in time).

11/11/05 The underfloor heating is working! The wood burner, back boiler, new condensing boiler and solar panel are all working and we owe the Pot Belly. I've collected the stained glass door and window and am fitting the window this weekend if the weather holds up. I've also completed the electrical plan, bought a period radiator for the new kitchen/diner and am planning the bathroom. I'm also concious that New Year isn't far away and we don't yet have a finished floor...

14/10/05 The underfloor heating and floor joists are laid, I've built the steps between the shops and I'm about to pressure test the plumbing for the back boiler. It looks like I'm going to spend my birthday shovelling drymix...

16/09/05 I've been really busy, hence a lack of updates to the site. The chimney is nearly completed, I've smoke tested it and it draws well. I've started pluming the stove in and the next job after that is the underfloor heating. I've no idea how long that will take, I'm hoping only about 8 days. Another sunpipe has been installed and I've created some extra headroom in the bathroom by replacing the wooden purlin with steel work.

05/08/05 The house stairway now has a balustrade, the walkway between the first floors is complete and there is a new step in the hallway downstairs. I've hung two of the reclaimed doors between the shops and we've decided to replace the sidedoor of the big shop with a tall stained glass window which is currently being made.
We found a beautiful gritstone fireplace on Ebay (photos to follow) and have selected Able Fuels to install a condensing boiler and solar panels. The final piece of the system is the wood burner with back boiler which is now on order. I'm learning how to build a proper firebox and chimney. The layout is now complete, both staircases are operational and there are doors between the house and shops.

05/07/05 Back at work and the basic layout is complete. There's a new staircase and several doorways. The reroof is 90% complete and we have four new veluxes. Both shops have been cleared and the underfloor heating system has arrived, I probably won't get to install this for a month or so because there's still loads of tidying to do next door, i.e. building the stair balastrades and fitting door surrounds and doors to the new doorways.

19/06/05 The new internal layout is nearly complete, we've created three new doorways and are in the process of bricking one back up. I'm also currently rebuilding the staircase in the house to allow access at first floor level between the cottage and the upstairs of the larger shop.

middle - expensive mess