Monday, 26 August 2013

The Restoration - Week Three

Although we only had one bricklayer woking on the house for most of this week, there was still signifcant progress. The first two window arches were completed, the brickwork on the top of the North gable was repaired and the foundations for the kitchen wall were dug out - a leaking water stop valve was also replaced along the way!

Over the previous weekend, the first window arch had been covered in hessian sheeting to allow the lime mortar pointing to dry out slowly. On Monday this was removed to expose the completed arch which also sits below a higher, older window arch which was also restored to preserve the history of the house.

The first arch is restored, along with an older arch located higher on the wall
Next was the second window arch on the same South Gable, above which there was also a large section of brickwork to be rebuilt, repairing a crack which we found when the render was removed.

The second arch is in place and work has started on rebuilding the wall above

The highly skilled job of matching and tying in new brickwork to the exising bricks is almost complete above the new arch


The second arch is in place and the new brickwork is looking great. Just the lime mortar pointing to be done to finish it off.
As you may have seen in last weeks blog post, the kitchen wall on the south side was completely removed for rebuilding. Before starting to rebuild it, it was decided to investigate what kind of footings lay beneath the bottom course of bricks. This was a wise move as it soon became clear that the foundations on this section of wall were nothing more than some rubble stones - a clear explanation as to why this wall had been bulging!! In the process of digging out a trench for a new concrete foundation we also discovered that stop valve controlling the incoming cold water supply had a serious leak and was threatening to flood the newly dug trench for our foundation, so unfortunately work was held up until the plumber arrived to fit a new stop valve. The trench will now be allowed to dry out a bit and probably deepened before pouring the concrete foundation - hopefully in the next few days.

Having uncovered a very "dodgy" base below the old kitchen wall, a trench is dug to take the new concrete foundation. The large rock in the foreground was the only stone of any significant size -perhaps a remnant of an older stone foundation? Another unsolved mystery!
So that was week 3 - the weather forecast for the coming week is looking good so hopefully more progress can be made on rebuilding window arches and the kitchen wall. The first of the new windows should hopefully also be arriving sometime in the next couple of weeks. We really can't wait to see these going in, not only because they should look great but it will also be brighter inside the house when the temporary plastic and plywood can come down!

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