Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Restoration - Week Four

The yard at OLF looks more and more like a building site as the weeks go by. This week a delivery of materials for the kitchen wall foundation arrived.

Watch out for those overhead cables - please!!!
Due the Bank Holiday, it was a shorter week this week, so on Tuesday, the first job of the week was to mix concrete and pour the foundation on which to rebuild the kitchen wall.

By Tuesday afternoon, the concrete is in and work on reconstructing the kitchen wall will soon start
Like many things on this project the rebuilding of the kitchen wall will not be straightforward. This is because the wall in the bedroom above is visibly bowed due to movement which must have taken place many years ago, (due to the non existent foundations), which was also the cause of the eventual demise of the kitchen wall below. Before starting reconstruction, a lot of attention was therefore given to making sure that the reconstructed wall will match the curve of the bedroom wall above. Plum lines were dropped from various points on the wall above to create the correct curve along which to lay the bottom row of bricks. The rest of the wall will now be rebuilt following this line.

The first row of "headers" is laid on the new concrete foundation matching the curve of the wall above
Another "curve" was also recreated this week - the brick arch above the living room window. This is arch number 3 out of 12 which are to be reinstated. Another 3 arches which are still in original condition will also be repaired. Gareth and Rick, the masons working on the job this week, continue to impress with their skills in recreating this brickwork around and above the window openings in keeping with the original building.

An example of the skilled work in rebuilding the old window arches

The arch above the living room window opening is complete.
As you can see in the two photos below, there are clear signs of progress. Thankfully the weather continues to be kind to us. Next week work will start on the window on the north side of the kitchen and the southern kitchen wall rebuild will continue. The latest news from our window suppliers is that the windows will be manufactured by the end of next week. However preparation of the finished windows for the paintshop, the three coat process needed for the linseed oil paint, followed by the final assembly of the windows and window furniture means that they will only be ready for delivery in the last week of September. Consequently we will be living with temporary plastic sheeting for a month yet. So, since we are also without a heating boiler until the internal insulation and lime plaster work can be done on the finished kitchen wall and our new boiler can be installed, we're hoping for a mild September!! I sense that our woodburner may be fired up earlier than normal this year!

This week, I will sign off with a look at the progress made on the south elevations over the last 3 weeks. Some of it is hidden behind the scaffold and our hedge (which is in need of a haircut!) but hopefully you get the idea :-)

Early in week 2 there are a lot of holes in the south side of the house!

By the end of week 4 three arches have been restored, damaged brickwork in the gable repaired and the kitchen wall rebuild is under way  (bottom right) 


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