Paddy and Jonny have started pointing the outbuildings. Last week we laid a new concrete floor in the end shed that was the original privy for the cottages. The floor in here was raised up with a large stone slab with holes in it. The ground underneath was full of organic matter and straw. I will leave you to work out how it all worked. We removed the large stone slab and dug out the floor – it wasn’t smelly as it hadn’t been used for 200 years! We then put down a waterproof membrane and a concrete floor. The floor level is just above the level of the drive outside to stop any water running in.
It is always a shame to remove original features, but this space just wasn’t usable as it was – there was a big step up and the floor was porous letting in a lot of damp.
We are using the same lime pointing that we used on the house and to point the flagstones in the patio. This way it all matches. It is amazing what a difference it makes.
This end of the shed was the original (18th Century) privy for the cottages. There was a large stone slab about 12 inches up from the floor. The floor underneath consisted of organic matter and straw. I will leave you to work it out! The slab has been removed and the floor has now been dug out. We have installed a new step and a concrete floor. This makes this space much more usable. It does however mean the door is a bit short.
While we have started pointing the outside of the extension, we have also started on pointing the internal part of the extension. The internal face of one of the walls in the kitchen was built using stone that we reclaimed from demolishing a couple of internal walls in the old part of the property. Since it was raining for much of yesterday, it seemed like a good idea to get on with this internal work. With three people working on it together, it only took a day to get this work finished.
We used the same lime mortar mix (based on Nosterfield River sand and hydraulic lime) as we have used on the outside of the property.
This internal wall has been built using stone from a couple of walls that we knocked down in the existing cottages. We are using the same lime mortar that we are using to point the outside of the building. The chalk marks on the wall are where the electric cables are placed – H + E = Hob and Extractor.
Young Daniel (the HD9 Construction apprentice) showed me how to do some lime mortar pointing. There is a lot of it to do!
Daniel (the apprentice) teaching me how to point using lime mortar. This is time consuming.
This is going to take some time!
It has been cooler today than for the last couple of weeks. There is even rain forecast for the next couple of days.
The builders have taken the opportunity to push ahead on the gable end on the main house as well as getting the woodwork ready for the roofers who return on Wednesday. With any luck, the roof will be back on the rebuilt extension by the end of this week.
The roof rafters are in and the holes have been cut for the two Velux rooflights.
The weather has been cooler today, so we have been able to make a start on repointing the gable end of the main building (in the background).
After pointing the chimneys last week, we haven’t been able to do any more pointing. We have been hampered by the fine weather – if the weather is too hot, the pointing dries out too quickly, cracks and falls off. Not exactly what you want!
The front of the building is in the shade much of the day, so today we have made a start here. The rear of the building which is South facing is in direct sunlight for most of the day. We had been waiting for the current hot spell to come to an end but I suspect that we are going to have to put up some tarpaulins on the scaffold to get some shade.
After doing a couple of test panels we have decided to repoint the property using a traditional lime mortar rather than a cement based mortar.
Re-poininting the stone work makes a huge difference to the external appearance.
We are using a lime mortar to repoint the property. The front of the house can be repointed in this fine weather as it is in the shade for most of the day.
The re-pointing of the building has started. After a couple of test areas were completed, we have decided to repoint the building with Nosterfield River sand and Hydraulic lime. This is a traditional method that allows the building to breathe. The materials came from Womersleys in Heckmondwike that is fairly local to us.
The pointing has been completed on the chimneys so that the scaffolding at roof level can be taken down. The mid level scaffolding will be left in place so that the pointing high up can be completed.
Chimneys now re-pointed using Nosterfield River sand and hydraulic lime.
The pointing on the property is what is called “Weatherstruck”. This is where the pointing is very defined and stands proud of the joint. Apparently, the belief was that the protruding pointing would throw any rainwater clear of the wall. However, this style of pointing is not seen as acceptable as it looks unsightly and can damage the masonry. The pointing is made of a sand and cement mortar. This is also frounded upon these days as it doesn’t breath (allowing moisture out) and is too hard (harder than the actual stone that has been pointed).
All of the existing pointing needs to be chipped out before the masonry can be sandblasted. This is a very tendency job and we have had a couple of men on this job since last week. It should be finished in the next day or so. Much to their relief.
Once the masonry has been sandblasted, a test panel of 1 meter square will be completed using Nosterfield sand and hydraulic lime. This should breathe and will be much more sympathetic to the look of the property.
Before the outside of the house can be sandblasted, all the old pointing has to be removed. This will then be replaced once the sandblasting has been completed.