Category Archives: stripping out

Preparing for the builders…..

Written by stephen gale

With any luck, the builders are due to start next week, so this week it is all about getting ready and finishing off those last-minute jobs.  And there are a lot of them!

First job today is to collect up all the scrap and take it to the scrapyard.  I had been waiting to take down the porch so that we can add the lead to the haul.  With the porch having been demolished this weekend, it is time to go to the scrap yard.  Our haul today came to £125.  Of which, £30 was the lead flashing from the porch roof.

The temporary orange fencing is becuase some of the corrugated steel sheets are longer than the pickup - even with the tailgate down.

The temporary orange fencing is becuase some of the corrugated steel sheets are longer than the pickup – even with the tailgate down.

Demolishing the lean-to

Written by stephen gale

At the one end of the property is a lean-to.  It houses an old store-room and three outside toilets – one for each of the cottages.  Since numbers 9 and 10 were knocked together in the mid 1970’s, I can only assume that these toilets went out of use around then.  Both of the remaining properties had inside bathrooms from this point.

We removed the stone slates from the roof when we re-roofed the outbuildings back in March (was it really that long ago?).

It is a single skin building constructed using sandstone blocks.  These are now very weathered as is the mortar that holds them together.  It is a fairly easy (if not time-consuming) job to take it apart – block by block – cleaning off the old mortar as I go.  The stones are then put onto the pickup and stacked at the edge of the top field.  I am not sure what we are going to do with this stone, but there is a small wall to be built as part of the garden.  The stone is very soft and I suspect that it is only really usable in a garden wall.

The rain arrives about 2pm.  I work on for a couple of hours and yesterday’s sunhat keeps off the rain today.  There is probably a couple of more days here to completely demolish the lean-to and move all of the debris.

Still, not bad for day 1.

By standing on the back of the pickup it is possible to reach the top of the wall.  The mortar is very weathered and it only takes a gentle tap to loosen each of the stones.

By standing on the back of the pickup it is possible to reach the top of the wall. The mortar is very weathered and it only takes a gentle tap to loosen each of the stones.

The lean-to is taken down stone-by-stone.  Each of the stone is cleaned and then stacked in the back of the pickup.

The lean-to is taken down stone-by-stone. Each of the stone is cleaned and then stacked in the back of the pickup.

A bit more gone

The room with the blue barrel looks like it was used as a store room.  There are three old toilet cubicles on the right.  I suspect that these haven't been used since the 1970's.  Most recently, it looks as if they have been used to store coal.

The room with the blue barrel looks like it was used as a store room. There are three old toilet cubicles on the right. I suspect that these haven’t been used since the 1970’s. Most recently, it looks as if they have been used to store coal.

Rain stopped play about 4pm, but the lean-to is half demolished.

Rain stopped play about 4pm, but the lean-to is half demolished.

Current state of the existing cottages

Written by stephen gale

Well, we are pretty much done in terms of the stripping out of the existing properties. Both number 8 and 10 are now pretty bare. There aare a couple of things left to do here and there, but the bulk of the stripping out work is done. The images below show the current state of both of the interiors of the properties.

I took these photographs as proof that building work has commenced. Once work starts, it is possible to get an exception from paying council tax. Class A exemption (which applies to most major building work) can last for up to a year.  Since there are two lots of council tax to be paid, this is a significant sum of money.

The letter that I received a few weeks ago from the council asked for evidence that the building work had commenced, so that they can grant us Class A exemption. I am not sure what constitues “evidence” and, since they don’t seem to answer the phone in the council tax department, I have assumed that some photographs will do. I emailed them to the council today, so only time will tell (assuming that they respond better to emails than a ringing telephone!).

As you can see we have pretty much reach rock bottom as far as stripping the building back. We will go a little further once the major contractor is appointed and the roof is removed. It will just leave us with the four exterior walls. From that point onwards, we are just putting everything back!

You can still see the serving hatch, although the kitchen has long gone.  There were two bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom.

You can still see the serving hatch, although the kitchen has long gone. There were two bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom.

Downstairs in number 8.  You can just see the end of the soil pipe sticking through the wall upstairs where the bathroom used to be.  And yes, that is a hole in the wall to next door (number 10) where the beam used to stick through into next door.  The two ends of the beams had been bolted together.

Downstairs in number 8. You can just see the end of the soil pipe sticking through the wall upstairs where the bathroom used to be. And yes, that is a hole in the wall to next door (number 10) where the beam used to stick through into next door. The two ends of the beams had been bolted together.

Downstairs in the lounge of number 10.  The fireplace has been taken out.  The floor beams that supported the floor upstairs have been removed.  You can see the ends of the beams (oak) to either side of the fireplace.

Downstairs in the lounge of number 10. The fireplace has been taken out. The floor beams that supported the floor upstairs have been removed. You can see the ends of the beams (oak) to either side of the fireplace.

Downstairs in the kitchen (or what used to be the kitchen) of number 10.  The upstairs floor beams have been left in (for now) as they seemed to be in much better condition than the others in either of the properties.  However, they may not be in good enough condition for the building inspector!

Downstairs in the kitchen (or what used to be the kitchen) of number 10. The upstairs floor beams have been left in (for now) as they seemed to be in much better condition than the others in either of the properties. However, they may not be in good enough condition for the building inspector!

Patio 1 removed

Written by stephen gale

There were two patio areas in the rear garden.  One about 4m x 4m and a smaller one 2m x 2m.  We have removed the fence and the fence posts, so now it is time to remove the patio itself.  To be honest, most of the slabs came up very cleanly and whatever sand and cement was left on them came off with a gentle tap with a hammer and chisel.

The patio is made up of Indian sandstone.  It does seem strange that this has been shipped all the way to Yorkshire when we are surrounded by the stuff.  Still, I guess that is economics for you!

Both patios are made from the same stone, so it looks like we are going to end up with around 20sq m of reasonable patio slabs.  I have no idea what we are going to do with them, but it would be a shame to throw them in the skip.  Ebay or Freecycle is usually a good way to get ride of this stuff, but we need to decide what we want to do with them first.

The smaller patio will have to wait until another day.

We have stripped all of the slabs that made up the patio as well as the stones that made up the steps (looks like these were originally part of a window sill).

We have stripped all of the slabs that made up the patio as well as the stones that made up the steps (looks like these were originally part of a window sill).

The patio slabs (Indian sandstone, apparently) sorted and stacked.  These come in more or less standard sizes to aid laying them out in a consistent manner.

The patio slabs (Indian sandstone, apparently) sorted and stacked. These come in more or less standard sizes to aid laying them out in a consistent manner.

Removing the fireplace in No. 10

Written by stephen gale

Before we start, the fireplace in No. 10 is very similar to the fireplace in No. 8, so this time we know what to expect.  The fireplace surround is made up of stone blocks.  Very 1970’s, although I suspect it isn’t that old.  The fireplaces are actually small inglenook type fireplaces which have been bricked up so that the opening is much smaller.  Small enough to fit a gas fire.  So the job at hand is to remove the stone fireplace surround and then dig out all the rubble in the fireplace.  This good news is that No. 10 is closer to the skip than No. 8, so we don’t have to take the rubble as far.  The other good news is that we have some planks that means that we can barrow the rubble straight into the skip rather than using plastic tubs.  But it is still time-consuming and it is amazing how much comes out of a smaller opening.  The rubble is mainly old bricks, mortar, some rather nice Victorian tiles and a smashed up cast iron fireplace that had been put up the sides of the chimney to make it smaller.  All mixed in with a fair amount of soot.  What I didn’t inhale, I wore.  Yuck.  It took two baths on Sunday night to get rid of it all!  Still, it was a job well done and a job that we don’t have to do again – that was the last of the old fireplaces that need to be removed.

The fireplace in No. 10.  This was probably all the rage 30-40 years ago, but it has to go.  There is a TV stand constructed from the same material to camera left.  It comes apart fairly easily (with the aid of a sledge hammer) and all of the stone will make it's way into the dry stone wall in the orchard.  As long as the sawn edges of the stone do not face outwards, no one will know. Except you, of course, as you read it on this blog.

The fireplace in No. 10. This was probably all the rage 30-40 years ago, but it has to go. There is a TV stand constructed from the same material to camera left. It comes apart fairly easily (with the aid of a sledge hammer) and all of the stone will make it’s way into the dry stone wall in the orchard. As long as the sawn edges of the stone do not face outwards, no one will know. Except you, of course, as you read it on this blog.

The fireplace surround all gone and the contents of the inglenook emptied out.  There must have been 10 or more barrows of rubble in there.  All mixed up with 200 years of soot.

The fireplace surround all gone and the contents of the inglenook emptied out. There must have been 10 or more barrows of rubble in there. All mixed up with 200 years of soot.

The original fireplace revealed.  The two sides are stone slabs on end.  The top is a stone slab laid vertical between them.  The hearth is made up of flagstones.  Like the rest of the floor, although much of it has been covered up with a sort of asphalt material.  Presumably, to keep the damp out.

The original fireplace revealed. The two sides are stone slabs on end. The top is a stone slab laid vertical between them. The hearth is made up of flagstones. Like the rest of the floor, although much of it has been covered up with a sort of asphalt material. Presumably, to keep the damp out.