Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Restoration - Week Ten

Another week goes by and further progress has been made on our project:

  • More windows have been fitted and glazed.
  • The new kitchen wall has been lime plastered and the temporary  plywood wall in our kitchen has finally been removed after almost 10 weeks.
  • Grouting of the stone wall has continued and about 3 tons of grout has now been used.

Having windows back in the house instead of sheets of plastic seems like a luxury after so many weeks. All the windows on the south elevations are now in and only the new door needs to be installed on this side, once the brickwork is prepared.

Five windows fitted on the south side with just the door to go.
On these south elevations we opted to install storm casement windows which are a more modern design, intended to withstand the worst weather. This will be a help on this very exposed side of the house although not entirely in keeping with a house of this age. So they're a bit of a compromise but since the approach to the house and the main gardens are on the other side, these windows are seldom seen from the outside. On all the other elevations the windows are flush casements, which had to be hand finished but are much more in keeping with the building.

Ben finishes glazing the French door which is a flush casement design, like the windows on all elevations apart from the south side.
The French door and one of the bedroom windows are fitted on the North gable
In last weeks blog we showed the internal kitchen wall ready for the plasterer. A base coat of lime plaster with a mesh was completed on Monday and the top coat applied on Wednesday. This lime plaster has a lovely texture and the edges of the window reveals have been nicely rounded.

The plywood partition is removed revealing the beautifully lime plastered wall and the new window.
While the plasterer was with us he also applied a scratch coat of lime render to the south side of the lean-to where we wanted to cover some ugly modern block work. This will get its top coat later on when the plasterer will return to do some internal work.

The scratch coat of lime render is applied to the lean-to
Grouting continued on the west wall this week and by Friday, the total dry weight of lime grout poured into the wall came to 3 tons - that doesn't include the water, so the total tonnage poured into this wall so far is considerably more!! By Friday, the grout was around first floor level.

By the end of the week, John and Stuart have worked their way up to first floor level where they are pouring yet more grout into the wall. 
Pouring grout into an old stone wall also has a side effect, the grout can pour out of the wall on the inside of the house! With this in mind we had already removed some internal dry lining to expose stone work inside the house. Despite pointing the more obvious holes, the grout still found its way through in places and fast work to plug holes with lumps of clay was needed from time to time.

Lime grout leaks through small holes inside the house

Other jobs this week were to stitch some brickwork between the south gable and the south wall as well as starting to point with lime mortar below the newly installed windows. 

Brickwork is stitched at the join where the south wall meets the gable wall

Nice to see some finishing touches around the new windows!

Next week we hope to continue reinstating brick arches above the remaining window openings and fitting more windows. As well as that our boiler should hopefully installed by the end of next week before the night get too cool! We've been lucky so far with the weather but its got to get colder soon!

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