The original kitchen is in a poor state. The causes of damp included a badly leaking gutter, missing flashing, high external ground levels, a rotten window frame, leaky pipes, trouble with an external drain, and waterproof coatings inside and out. I’ve fixed some of those things and the rest are on the to do list.
The modern short term thinking way to fix all of this damp is strip the plaster and replace with tanking plaster rather than fix the thing that caused the problem in the first place. That is what had been done here and it was a pain to remove.
Digging a trench to lower the ground levels outside worked a treat. Unfortunately I didn’t go all the way to the end of the wall because there was a drain in the way. I’ll need to lower the drain before doing much with the kitchen as the wall is still wet at the base around there.
Fixing the damp patch won’t be straightforward. The drains have been botched and will need to be done properly with an inspection chamber. As usual I’ve started off by digging a hole for myself.
The internal wall of the kitchen is the external wall of the original building probably dating from the 17th century. It is still there and remarkably well preserved with the wattle and daub and even a convenient door opening that someone, probably a Georgian judging by the decoration, hacked through.
I have a deadline at the start of next year to complete the building regs for change of use so had better make a start on them. Doing the kitchen first will free up the snug for use as a living room later on.
The kitchen and snug will probably take a few months so it made sense to put some time into building a temporary kitchen. I’ve partitioned off the barn with the iffy roof.
It might be temporary but I think it is an improvement over the current kitchen – it has a radiator, plenty of lights and an extractor fan. The OSB board was surprisingly inexpensive and I might use it to partition other areas of the house as work goes on. The temporary kitchen might make a good temporary office later on so will probably stay in place until I get around to fixing the barn roof.
The temporary sink is in a corridor where there is a water supply and drainage. I used copper pipe because I wanted to learn how to solder, but the pipe will be very temporary as it passes through a door opening where I would like to install a door in the future.
I’ve been insulating again, this time in the crawl space in front of the attic. I haven’t been enjoying it so it has taken a very long time while I have found lots of ways to avoid doing it.
The attic is supported by 8 inch joists below which hangs a domed ceiling with lath nailed on to wooden supports with a curve cut into them. It’s not often you see a domed ceiling from above so here is a photo..
The attic and domed ceiling were constructed in 1910. The room that was there before is still there in parts with a wide bricked up doorway and Victorian looking wall paper. I’m not sure what the layout was before 1910, but the extent of wallpaper suggests this area might once have been a corridor.
The ceiling underneath has been vandalised by plumbers and electricians over the years but is remarkably intact with it’s original wood mouldings. A false ceiling was added below, probably in the 1950s or early 1960s.
I had been wondering why the false ceiling was added. It would have been a pain to redecorate without a scaffold tower, but it turns out the thermal design was terrible with a huge area of lath and plaster forming the only thermal barrier between inside and outside. It must have been a bit chilly in there.
I have a scaffold tower and have added insulation up to 1m thick in places which should hopefully sort out the thermal issues. I think a domed double height ceiling would be nice.