Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Restoration - Week Seven

The original estimate on this job was 14 weeks, so the end of week 7 signals the half way point. There's still a lot to be done but the weather continues to be on our side and hopefully we are more or less on schedule.

This week attention moved around to the west wall which is the oldest wall in the house. Its stone and made from two parallel rubble walls, the middle then filled with all kinds of soil, straw and other "stuff", much of which has long since fallen down to the base leaving big voids.

The wall will eventually be grouted - filled with a liquid slurry of lime mortar and tied together with about 30 stainless steel "Spiroties" - but first it needs to be stabilised by raking out loose mortar, repairing it where stone is falling out and then repointing it with lime mortar. This was the main job this week and eventually the top half of the wall was completely repointed by Friday.

The first section is raked out and repointing can begin
By Friday this wall will be repointed at this level right to the far end

What a transformation - the repointed section looks great and has some strength

By Friday the top of the wall is repointed and put to sleep under its protective Hessian cover to allow the lime mortar to set slowly 
Even having only been repointed so far, the difference in the strength of this wall is VERY noticeable. After the render came off it could be moved in places just by pushing it! Now its solid again. Once the Spiroties and lime grout go in it'll be ready for the next 400 years :0)

Apart from the west wall some finishing touches were made to the kitchen wall. Specially made stainless steel brackets were attached to the underside of the oak ceiling joists to tie them into the new brickwork more effectively. This wall and these joists are now much stronger than they've been for a couple of hundred years by my guess!

The new stainless steel brackets which will be painted matt black and will blend in with the old beams
Another job was finished off by completing the brickwork above the new arch for our French doors. The Acroprops are gone and all we need is a triple glazed French Door to fill the hole!

This new arch and its brickwork are done and the Acroprops are gone
On Friday, the sun came out and it seemed like a nice time to take another shot of the south aspect with 4 reinstated brick arches and the new curvy kitchen wall on the lower right of the photo. Next week - more repointing of the stone wall!

Another sunny day - let's hope the weather stays with us!

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