Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Restoration - Week Six

Suddenly in week 6 we seemed to see huge progress as we almost got our kitchen wall back and new arches were completed on three more windows....... And preparations started inside the house ahead of grouting our big old, very hollow, stone wall.

The south wall of our kitchen is back, completed with an arch above the window
This wall is a tribute to the masons who skillfully built it with a 3 inch curve to match the bedroom wall above. Just a little bit of brick work remains to be finished but that will have to wait for a few days as we wait for delivery of the specially fabricated stainless steel brackets which will be bolted to the undersides of the ceiling joists and tied into the top courses of bricks.

Having almost reinstated the south wall of the kitchen work moved to the other side of the room where the arch of the north window was reinstated.

The north window of our kitchen with its new arch in place

This was a very quick job with work on this arch and the brickwork above completed in less than a day. Attention now moved to the north gable where brickwork and lintels were stripped out of the upstairs bedroom window and the patio door where our new French window will be fitted.

Two more lintels being removed and arches ready to be rebuilt

Within a couple of days the reveals on the French door opening had been repaired, the steel lintel treated and replaced and a new arch built.

The restored brickwork around the opening for our new French door
 So three new arches are in place and a lot of other brickwork was repaired in week 6

In a few weeks the big west stone wall will be grouted to fill in all the hollow, weak areas which make this wall very unstable. Grouting involves pouring a lime mortar slurry into the wall, gradually moving up the wall a little at a time over a period of probably a couple of weeks to allow the progressive layers to harden a bit before pouring the next one on top. So that the mortar doesn't just pour out of gaps in the internal stonework, this had to be revealed in a couple of rooms where it was hidden behind dry linings. This way we can check the state of the stonework internally and point and plaster it in lime before the grout is poured.

Internal stonework on a small bedroom wall is in reasonable shape
Apart from some dampness caused by rainwater penetration and a slightly rotten lump of oak, this wall is not too bad. It wont need much work other than a little pointing and lime plastering before the wall is grouted from outside. A much larger stonewall was next to be revealed.....

Gypsum plasterboard is stripped off the timber studs revealing the stone wall beneath
Plasterboard and timber studs completely stripped
This big internal wall is covered in a mixture of very old cement render with what looks like lumps of lime in it, as well as other areas of more modern cement render. All of this will be removed in the next week to reveal the stone beneath. There is also an area of old brickwork in the lower centre part of this wall. Finally there are also a couple of big holes where stone is missing, offering a scary view of the voids inside the wall. Its these voids which will be filled eventually with grout, giving the wall its strength back AND stopping the wind which is currently whistling right through it!!

So, that was week 6 - a lot happened and there is still a lot more to be done. In week 7 the kitchen wall should finally be finished, complete with steel ties for the joists and work will start on the big job of raking out and repointing the big stone west wall in lime mortar in preparation for grouting.

No comments:

Post a Comment