I had a good idea of the changes we would like to make - I had created some 3D CAD models in a super(and free) bit of software called Sketchup, so we were confident that the designs would work - both aesthetically and in practise.
I contacted a Structural Engineer and a Builder (both local - I like supporting local tradesmen and the economy) some weeks before work was due to start - I arranged a start date that could be delayed if the sale of the Cottage didn't happen on time. The Engineer was able to visit just after we completed, meaning the building could start less than a week later.
Day One of Building was very messy and dramatic - the internal wall had gone before lunchtime, and a steel beam (no longer called RSJs, I'm told...) followed a day later.
The stud wall for the new bathroom was next - I had quite fancied building this wall but we had plasterers on site anyway, so it seemed silly not to get it done in one hit.
Finally the openings for the french doors and the bathroom window were made - I think it will give the house a much more balanced look in due course.
We are currently waiting for delivery of our new doors and windows - the installer took pity on us having to live with a boarded-up house, and rushed our job through. I hope that we will have delivery inside a fortnight - fingers crossed!