Gable Undercloak

The front gable has an 8 inch overhang.  Originally the roofing battens were exposed but now the roof has been felted. I wanted to add some sort of cover under the felt and hit upon the idea of ply secured by strips of wood about the same size as the original battens.

undercloak

I think it turned out quite nicely.

undercloak-painted

The plan was originally to sort out the timber frame in the other gable before completing the paint.  The new plan is to finish the paint, install the remaining leading, repair the paint, then ruin it all with dust when the timber frame goes in.

The leading was out of schedule partly because I didn’t notice a tiny crack in the original leading until I was just about ready to start painting.  It’s on now and just needs rendering in place and the paint touching up.

oriel-leading

Black and White

The first coat of linseed paint has been going on over the weekend.   I quite liked the natural wood but it will last a lot longer with UV protection and some oils.

Linseed paint doesn’t crack or peel (unlike the modern gloss paint that ruined the timber), and is breathable so the wood should remain well protected.   It should only need nourishing with boiled linseed oil every 15 years.

first-coat-linseed-paint

The window frame used to be white but I’ve gone for black for more of a Tudor effect.   I still haven’t finished the first coat – The edges take a long time so it will probably end up taking 2 full days per coat.  It’s starting to look nearly finished now.

front-linseed-paint-first-coat

Rotten Timber in Chimney

It turns out the new gable timber frame is due to arrive at the start of October (the old one was rotten) but before the frame arrives there is a lot of work to do.   There are two beams that pass right through the chimney, but beetle infested wood isn’t great structurally so needs to go.  Some unusual use of acro props with a strongboy at each end (I’m working higher than the longest acro so can’t use the ground for support) will hopefully dissuade the chimney from falling over while the beams are cut out.

acrow

It seems the timber frame is earlier than the chimney, and was much modified when the chimney was added.  The brick size and English bond pattern used in the chimney are characteristic of the 17th century.  The first records of a pub on the site are from 1646, but I don’t know whether the building had a previous use, or whether they decided shortly after building it that a brick chimney might be nice.  If I can find any wood that has survived the beetles I’ll hang on to it so I can have it dated at some stage.

beam-through-chimney

When the chimney was built 2 inch thick brick tiles were added to either side of the timber beam in order to support the chimney brickwork.  The tiles on the inside were still supporting the chimney so I left them in place and replaced the timber with bricks before putting the external tiles back in place. The mortar will look tidier and match the rest of the chimney after brushing.

bricked-up-chimney

Further up the chimney a 2 inch thick beam was removed and replaced with tiles so I could retain the tiles on the outside.   This section is near the top of the 9 inch part of the chimney so had a course of bricks behind.

chimney-top-beam

Limewashing the Facade

I am using Pozilime from Ingilby which is limewash with a few additives that allow it to stick to masonry paint, and will use normal limewash on the new lime render.  Limewash is weird stuff – it is transparent when applied thinly and then goes white a few hours later as it dries.

limewash-drying

It looks magnificent even after just the first coat. Later after 4 coats it looks much the same but has finally covered the old paint.

It is so nice to rid the front of the magnolia paint.

limewash

Preparing the Facade for Paint

I’ve spent a week on the front of the house getting it ready for paint.  So far I’ve finished stripping the modern gloss paint from the wood and mostly sanded it, applied the final coat of render to the oriel window, and made a small repair to the timber frame just above the middle of the window.  The old timber was chiselled out at an angle so water doesn’t run into the joint.

bay-before-roof

Gaps in the timber have been filled with linseed putty. The frame is far from perfect, but is generally sound. The wood will be finished in Linseed oil paint which doesn’t crack in the sun and is breathable unlike the modern gloss on the downstairs windows which needs stripping and repainting after only 2 years.

linseed-filler

After 4 months boarded up the windows are just about back in place in the oriel window.  I used linseed putty which turns out to be easier than modern stuff when you get the hang of it, but time consuming to apply.  The glass looks very much older than 105 years, but I suppose that was the original intention.

windows-fitted

There used to be a big hole in the sole plate of the timber frame.  I think the pegs rot out, water gets into the peg hole, then after further years of neglect the frame rots.  For that reason I’ve replaced all of the broken pegs.   A piece of Edwardian softwood recovered from the attic made a perfect repair.  Angling the bottom and knocking it into place should provide good support for the post.

The silicone sealant between the frame and the plinth didn’t do the frame any good.   I’ve scraped out the damp loose stuff and filled the gap with lime mortar which should allow it to dry out.

sole-plate-repair

All of the various gaps have been filled with lime on the infill panels and linseed putty on the frame.  The strategy is to use breathable materials to keep the frame dry, and use them to seal gaps to keep water out in the first place.  The first coat of limewash will go on soon.

Rendering the Oriel Window

I had the idea of rendering the exterior and plastering the interior of the oriel window at the same time because I was using the same lime mix for both.  This was a bad idea – making the exterior watertight before messing with the interior would have been more sensible.

The oak window sill (needed to go in before plastering) was made by Cardington Joinery and is marvellous.

oak-sill

The timber above the oriel window was originally in-filled with brick then roughcast rendered (in a very early use of portland cement – yuk).  I wanted to reduce the weight of the window because the lintel over the window below has a pronounced bend.  Woodwool board would have been an ideal infill but it isn’t widely available and delivery would have cost £100 for the £6 sheet I needed, so I went for lath.

In hindsight the span is slightly too long for lath and it bent when the wet lime render was applied.  Then it sprung back as it dried so I might end up with a feature bulge.

lath-oriel-window

It didn’t go well.  The lime failed to set and after a week was soft and crumbly.  I suspect I let it dry too quickly, or it is possible the mix or some component was wrong.  Whichever It needs to come off and be done again and I’ll experiment first to make sure I have sorted the problem,

Plan B is back to the original plan using wood wool board.  I only needed small sections and used offcuts pulled from Anna’s skip.  Thanks Anna.

woodwool-board

The lime failure turned out to be my fault.  The plastering sand is washed so is poorly graded and needed about 1:1.25 lime to sand compared to the 1:2.5 ratio I tend to use for mortar.

The new render was much stickier than the old, and the wood wool board turned out to be very much easier to render than lath to the point where I hardly dropped any plaster when doing the ceiling.   The first coat went on nice and flat and will dry (and be wetted) for a week before the finishing coat.

first-coat-render

Next job will be fitting the windows.  But I can’t do that yet as I need access to tend the lime plaster inside.   Next job might be getting ready for the limewash and paint on the front as that needs to be done in the summer but it is already Autumn.

Wood Store

We have about 10m3 of wood from the Willow trimming and Cypress felling last year.  It has been knocking about in log form to allow it to dry sufficiently for splitting.  The Willow (trimmed outside growing season) is already dry enough to burn but the Cypress will need to season for another year.

I bought an electric log splitter (Forest Master FM10) and it is brilliant.  It got through all the logs in a day and a half over the weekend.

wood-pile

The log store will need to be enormous to hold all of the wood.   This one is going to be 7m long.  The ends borrow some features from the house timber framed gable, and I’m aiming for exposed rafter ends.  The wood is the same price no matter how nutty you get with the design, the dimension are intended to result in near zero wastage.

frames-in-progress

It has been raining all day, otherwise the log store would have been up by now.  It was only supposed to be a weekend project.

It only rained for half the next day but I decided I like rain and got on with putting up the frame.   It didn’t end up quite zero wastage as I cut some of the rafters the wrong way around. Later on the middle parts of the frame got uprights to match the ends as they make it easier to stack the wood.

wood-store-frame

It took another day to nail the roof on and cut some pallets down to stand the wood on. It rained heavily before I finished the roof and the timber frame stayed dry with all of the overhangs and drip edges working as they should apart from a cock up where the feather edge board is joined which ought to have had a little gutter rather than a frame underneath.

Now I just need to finish off the trim at the bottom to prevent willow leaves from blowing in, then fill the store with wood.  It occurred to me it wouldn’t take much longer to make a car port when the tent needs to be replaced.

wood-store-2

It took a further couple of days (between rain storms) to stack the wood store with wood and tidy up.   The size turned out to be quite a good guess with space remaining for only a few more logs.  It is a much more efficient use of space than the pile of wood that originally sat there.

wood-stacked

If it ever stops railing I’ll get back to painting and rendering.

Wood Burner and Lath

I’ve been a bit quiet over the last couple of weeks.  I ran out of things to do so spent a whole week getting organised and ordering things.

One of those things was a bit of a luxury – a Clearview 500 wood burning stove.  The installer did a neat job and the stove is fabulous.

stove-1000

Other things included oak lath for the oriel window and, after half a day trying to nail it in place, a nailer.  The nailer is fantastic and the rest of the lath went on in less than an hour.

nailer

More on the window later – A new oak window sill is on it’s way from a local carpenter.  Once that is in place I can finish the plastering, then after the linseed oil paint arrives I can install the windows and finally remove the boarding.   The lime paint should arrive at the same time so I can finish off the front of the house in a colour other than magnolia.

New Bay Window

The original upstairs bay window was rotten and couldn’t be saved.  (It turns out it is an oriel window as it doesn’t touch the ground.)   The new window frame was made by my cousin John and was installed today.

The profiles were recreated using spindle cutting tools modified to exactly match the original, and further mouldings were guesswork based on old photos of the originals.

new=bay-top-detail

But the frame isn’t an exact copy of the old one.  It looked nice but It would be mad to copy something that only lasted for 100 years.  We’re having another go at it.

The original wood (a slow grown redwood) is resilient and would have been fine but it isn’t easily available these days so we used Douglas Fir.   The window will seal only to the inside face of the frame, and if (when) that seal cracks water will be directed into channels and some holes to a ventilated space below the window cill.  There are no horizontal surfaces – everything sheds water, and there are drip features and overhangs all over the place.

bay-detail

I like old stuff and conservation, but mostly that is because I like quality of workmanship and materials.  I think this is the best bit of the house.

There is still some work to do.  I’ll need to fit the crittall openers and leaded glass, then fill the remaining bits in lime to keep everything breathable.  Then secondary glazing to keep building regs happy.

new-bay

While measuring up for infill panels later I found I couldn’t measure as accurately as the window frame has been made.  It must be to 0.1mm tolerance.

Cavity Stud Wall

On the other side of the rotten timber frame is the main bedroom.   It’s a bit dingy in there as the window has been boarded up for the last few weeks.

To avoid too much more inconvenience I’m building new stud walls on the inside before removing the outside wall.   There will be a 25mm ventilated gap between the stud wall and timber frame on the outside wall which will help keep the timber frame dry.  The studwork is 3 by 2 with 75mm Celotex infill.

stud-wall

Exposed beams in the bedroom were plastered fairly recently, presumably mostly in the 1970s when old looking things weren’t fashionable.  The beam on the outside wall was plastered much earlier in lime, and it was this plaster that was holding the wattle and daub infill in place.

hole-in-wall

I don’t like plasterboard but it seemed cheap and convenient and would be at the back of the wardrobe so hardly mattered.  But It’s messy to cut, fiddly to match to oddly shaped walls, there is huge wastage, and the filler sinks and needs doing twice.   Next time I’m going to splash out on lath and plaster.

plasterboard

Installing the stud wall lost 4 to 5 inches of space from the alcoves.  The pole supporting the curtain that hides the wardrobe now has an industrial looking extension to bring it forward of the chimney.

curtain-rail-hanger

Finally, 6 days into a 3 day job, it’s all finished.   The plastic sheet covering the room was very effective at containing the mess.  The room will be decorated properly at some point when we get around to decorating, but I need to remember to rebuild the outside half of the wall first.

completed-wall

Well that was all very boring.   It’s the other side of the wall where the action is going to happen.

wal-rubble

Attic Insulation

The exterior has been progressing well.  Another week of pointing should get it to the point where it can be finished without scaffolding.  The new bay window should arrive soon so I can get on with the front of the house.

It’s raining today which reminded me this is not a restoration project but a building regs change of use project involving insulation throughout the house.   The walls of the attic need to be 100mm Celotex, the pitched roof 140mm Celotex, and the loft space 300mm Earthwool.  Previously the space wasn’t insulated at all so it’s gone from one extreme to the other.

loft-insulation

The Celotex is so thick it can be used as a structural material.   I’ve added a large cupboard on the side of the attic with the walls built with Celotex with the occasional bit of 2×2 where it needed extra stiffening.

roof-cupboard

I don’t believe the insulation spec required by building regs will pay for itself in fuel savings before it is replaced again, but it is forced by legislation.   A lesser insulation spec using natural materials might have been better, but we do not live in environmentally friendly times.

Crittall Frame Restoration

Following on from the last bay window post.  It seems a bit mad to be restoring Crittal windows in a building that isn’t listed and I don’t have to.   The reason is I like the faceted effect of the leaded glass and don’t want to replace it with double glazing.   I am under building regs instruction to improve thermal performance so will have to fit secondary glazing however I mount the leaded glass.

I’ve had the Crittall frames sandblasted.   BBS of Bedford did a super job.  Anyone planning to do this should first remove the handle first as it turns out to have brass fittings under the caked on paint.  The hinges are also brass.

shotblasted

The windows have a fascinating construction.  The frames themselves are brazed together, then the brass hinges are screwed on, then the bars to the right of the photo which create a flat external mounting face screwed from the inside of the frame.

The frames weren’t that bad – only the bottom rails were starting to get a bit thin in places.

rust

The frames from 1910 are mild steel so can be welded.  I built up the edges with MIG then ground down to create the original profile. I think the edges need to be welded as they will be sensitive to knocks, but everything else can be done in car bodyfiller.

I’m using Bilt Hamber Electrox primer which is 90% zinc by weight.  I keep nearly dropping the pot as it is unreasonably heavy.  It offers some cold galvanising protection which I have found to be very effective on previous car projects, but it does need the shot blasted surface to stick well.

welded

The screws holding the windows together are 1/4 inch Whitworth.I bought some old stock screws from eBay still sealed in 1945 packaging.   Some had become a little rusty but there were enough good ones for what I needed.

screws

The leaded glass was rebuilt by Fraser of Tempsford Stained Glass who did a fantastic job.  Most of the edging needed to be replaced, a couple of glass panes were changed, and he soldered in some new wire ties to attach to the glazing bars.

glass

The frames and glass are going up to Sheffield and a replica wooden frame and bay window timbers will be built around them. (Because I liked the original frame profile too.)

The handles and catches are nice too, but I was missing one of each.  Rather than do any lime on the hottest July day on record I’ve started to make up some new ones. The handle isn’t finished yet but I’ve done the tricky bit.

window-hardware

Later here is the (nearly) finished handle.   I’m quite pleased with it.

new-handle

Timber Frame Rot

The Salutation has the impression of a smaller building in the north gable.   There are probably parts of the original timber framed building probably dating from around 1650, though it turns out very little of the current frame is in the same place as it was first assembled.

It has been hidden by render since before cameras were invented so we don’t have any photos to show what it was like.

north-wall-render

I had been tidying up the edges but tidied a bit too much and knocked some of the render off.   Underneath a lot of brown dust came out revealing wood in very poor condition.   A little more knocking and some of the original frame was exposed complete with wattle and daub infill panels on the first floor. (The frame has brick infill above and has been completely replaced with bricks on the ground floor).

Thee timber frame passes right through the chimney.  I think the frame was modified to accept a chimney which was added later.  Structurally it seems a poor idea to hold the chimney up with beetle infested wood.

initial-explore-timber-frame

In for a penny, in for a pound.   It isn’t the neatest frame in the world and would probably never have been exposed.   The wattle and daub infill is flush with the frame and there is no sign of whitewash so it was probably rendered from new.

The earliest layer of render we found was lime on lath, but the Edwardians appear to have added a layer of cement render which prevented the wood from drying, then more recent muppets added waterproof paint.

timber-frame

I haven’t uncovered the whole of the top of the frame yet as the render appears to be performing a structural role.  The other side of the frame can be seen in the attic photos.

top-frame-stripped

The whole frame is completely rotten (apart from a single post and the beam above the first floor which are merely half rotten).   The frame has been soaking wet for a very long time and a screwdriver can easily be poked all the way through any of the timbers.  The wattle has rotten away completely and the infill panels are loose.  There is very little that can be saved.

rot

The frame has little structural importance as the rest of the house seems to have already learned not to rely upon it.   This is going to be one of those tricky decisions, and possibly an opportunity to tidy up the north wall which has long been very ugly.

Further examination of the frame reveals there is nothing left.  Even the solid looking timbers bend remarkably easily and can be poked away with a screwdriver.  Concrete block and render would be the quickest way to sort it, but I’m toying with the idea of dramatic reconstruction with the timber exposed.

failed-joint

Waterproof Paint Causes Even More Damage

Most of the stuff I’ve been doing on the house has involved removing waterproof paint.  That’s not for eco or idealogical reasons but because waterproof paint has caused some very expensive damage very quickly.

The problem is it is waterproof.  When it cracks water will get in but can’t get out again (because the paint is waterproof).  This isn’t just an old house problem – it’s also the reason why wooden windows don’t last more than 20 years any more, where previously they were good for hundreds of years.

For some reason I have the ends of oak beams sticking out of the north wall.   The ends were clearly fairly flat before they were gummed up with cement and waterproof paint maybe 20 years ago.  The paint was still flat on the outside until I prodded with a screwdriver and made a hole.

painted-beam-end

Underneath the paint the oak has rotten.   Fortunately it’s only the outer inch that has gone.  Oak is a wonderful material and resistant to abuse.  But even oak can’t stand up to being sodden wet for 20 years.

rotten-beam-end

Let’s just be thankful I don’t also have a 17th century timber frame under the modern paint (which was rendered in 1910 in an early use of cement just for good measure).

Oh wait,  hold on – it turns out I did have one.

rotten-oak-post

I wonder if the people who peddle waterproof paint as the solve all for preserving your building will offer to pay for the repairs.   Of course they won’t – the guarantee on the most posh ones is only for 6 years, and that only covers the paint not what it damages underneath.

The building did perfectly well for the previous 400 years using breathable materials like lime and linseed oil.  Modern paints and cement have turned the original wood to dust.

Crittall Windows

All of the windows in the front of the house are leaded and the slightly different angles of the glass reflect light in a wonderfully faceted way outside.  They all match, and they are all 105 years old.  How mad is that in this day and age for a window to last for over 100 years?

I’ve mentioned some issues with the upstairs bay window.  Due mostly to ill treatment and lack of maintenance the rot is only held together with paint and there isn’t enough wood left to save.  But I’m not going to be the one to get rid of the windows.

upstairs-bay-inside

Some maintenance is necessary though. The opening windows at either side were made by Crittall and are steel framed.  They were screwed to the wood frame by 2 screws through each edge of the frame plus several more screws all around holding a spacer bar.  We’ll need to add secondary glazing for building regs as they aren’t great thermally.

All of the glass needs to come out of the frames for maintenance.   I have been advised to stick some ply to the glass with silicone sealant to support the leaded light when it is removed from it’s frame.   However the leaded glass repair guy has suggested next time I want to get windows out I should get him to do it.  Presumably there is a better way.

ply-glued

Only the bottom of one of the opening windows has any real damage to the metal frame.   Condensation running down the inside of the glass has rotted the frame and caused the glass to push outwards and upwards.  The lead will need a little repair but I think the metal frame might be OK.  Condensation won’t be a problem again with secondary glazing.

I think there were once similar opening Crittall windows on each side of the big bays.  Those have since been replaced with plain glass with stick-on lead.

window-corrosion

More later!   My cousin John will be making a new wooden window frame to match the original profile together with a new bay to put it in.  My job is to fix the Crittall windows and send him some dimensions. More likely I’ll sub out the fixing of windows and get back to pointing.

With the windows removed and some of the frame fallen off the window is not at it’s best.

boarded-window

I’ve taken a section from the bit that fell out to send to John who will try to make the new frame look similar,

section

Next – restoring the metal frames and leaded glass.

Re-building a Window Arch

I’ve not posted much for a week as I’ve been doing boring stuff, mostly pointing.  I want to get most of the scaffolding down soon and it’s mostly pointing holding that up.  I can manage about two square metres a day of pointing when it’s just wall, but tidying up 20th century bodging (cement or carnage from the boiler installing muppet) slows progress,

Today I was sorting out Georgian bodging and a loose arch above the north window. It is a very shallow arch and the pointing had eroded badly on the vertical joins causing it to come loose.

failing-arch

The wood board is a former for the new arch supported from the window sill by 2×2.   It’s set at a lower level to catch any bricks that might fall when I remove the arch.  After raising I screwed it to the window frame to hold it in place.

I did a trial fit of the bricks to figure out the spacing, then marked the joint positions on the board to make sure I had enough room for a brick when I got to the middle.

starting-arch

The arch only really holds itself up.  There is a wooden lintel holding up the inner wall, then a course of header bricks bridging over the arch to help support the outer wall.

The joints are tight at the bottom of the arch.  I built the arch with a finer sharp sand and have recessed the joints a little to allow pointing with sand that matches the rest of the gable.

first-course-arch

The arch is finished bar pointing.  Another photo soon unless the wall falls down or I get distracted and start doing something else.   Several weeks later it looks like it has always been there.   I’ve also replaced the silicone sealant around the window with lime mortar, though I will also need to replace the window with a sash for building regs fire egress.

finished-arch

Timber Frame Stripping

The front of the house is half timbered with a timber frame on the first floor.  1930s semi detached house builders adopted this feature along with many other Edwardian features, however this frame is structural and holds the roof up.

The timber frame has been poorly maintained and repairs like replacement lead on the snug bay window have caused issues.  I’ve been removing the paint to assess the condition of the wood.  The layers of modern gloss paint had cracked and were allowing water in.   Of course the paint was waterproof so the water couldn’t get out again.

puddle-on-bay

The wood appears to be a slow grown softwood similar to Scandinavian redwood.  The finish is generally very well preserved without UV damage which suggests it was painted from new.

wood-1

Photos of the original paint finish are only available in black and white.  Most of the original paint has been stripped previously, but there is some left higher up the building. The white was the original finish to the windows.  It was a linseed oil paint with a lead pigment.  The next coat was green.

original-front

The rest of the timber was also re-painted green but below that is a very thin mid brown coating with the grain of the wood visible through the pigment.  Below that (and visible through the brown) are brush marks and I wonder if they aren’t a faux wood grain.  It is possible the original finish was linseed paint with a brown pigment and a wood grain effect to make the softwood look like hardwood.

original-paint

The timber frame isn’t as bad as I feared.   In many places what looked like rot turned out only to be cracking and peeling gloss paint.

Figuring out how to re-finish the wood will be a challenge.   The Edwardians left the lime render unpainted which would have aided drying of the wood.  I can’t remove the modern waterproof paint from the render without also removing the rough cast pebble finish.  I’m guessing a linseed oil based finish to the wood, maybe with some pigment to keep the UV out will be the answer.

stripping-front

Front Roof

The front roof appears to have last been re-covered in 1910 using tiles reclaimed from an earlier roof.   The tiles were mounted on steel nails which had corroded causing the tiles to slip.  The roof leaked but local repairs weren’t sensible because of the risk of disturbing surrounding tiles.

old-front-roof

The tiles and batons were removed in a day, and the roof covered with a tarpaulin to keep the rain out.  The tarpaulin made a lot of noise in the wind but was quickly replaced with felt and new batons.

front-roof-tarp

The roof structure was good.  Part of the facia board was replaced but the main timbers were fine. The roof was very well ventilated and the leaks must have dried quickly.

From the street the house looks as sorry as it is likely to get.  Later with the roof and chimneys fixed the house has started to look finished above the plastic sheeting.

roofing-in-progress

The original tiles have been retained where possible, but around 10% were replaced with reclaimed tiles mixed in with the existing.   There were already three different types of tile mixed together on the roof from where people had done much the same thing in the past.

front-roof-tiling

People will be wondering what we did as the roof looks like it did before.  Hopefully it won’t leak and shed tiles any more.

new-roof

We have breathable felt below the tiles, and the tiles are secured with aluminium pegs with the slates at the rear secured with copper nails.

Rot in the Bay Window

I’ve had countless calls (well, none is countless) saying we’re bored of the brickwork, roof, and random history.  Can we see a bit of timber for a change, and in particular was it a good idea for someone to tidy up the beautiful timber on the first floor bay window by nailing planks of wood to it in such a way that water was directed in but couldn’t get out again?  Then for good measure mess up the leadwork to make sure any water travelled behind the gutter.

planked-over-timber

It wasn’t an especially good idea to nail the planks of wood to the bottom of the bay either.  The main timbers behind the bay look good, but the window will need to come out to be rebuilt, and the bay window timber frame will need to be rebuilt.    I want to keep the window as it matches the grand bay windows on the ground floor, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep very much of it.

rot-bottom-of-bay

The joinery on the bay window looks fairly straightforward.  There don’t seem to be any fancy joints, just bits of wood cut and nailed together.  The timber frame holding up the roof behind is fine but the bay will need to be re-made.

render-panel-removed

Some time later we removed the windows for restoration and installed a new bay window frame.

Chimneys

Another lovely sunny day.  The roof has been felted and battened and tiles stacked ready to go back on.  But the roofers are not here.

village-from-roof

We noticed some problems with the chimneys which will be much easier to sort out while we can still climb on the roof.

The top of the north chimney had been rebuilt in cement at some point and I guess the bricks became too wet and spalled when the flaunching failed. I’m replacing them with modern bricks and cement.

spalled-bricks-north-chimney

I didn’t have any bricks that matched so the barbecue is now a course of bricks lower. The Jackdaw who lives in the chimney was very tolerant and her chicks are still getting on well.  I had to be very careful to prevent debris from falling into the nest.

flaunching-north-chimney

I am not entirely sure what was holding up the south chimney, but amazingly none of the bricks were loose.  One had spalled hence the hole.  I probably ought to have completely rebuilt this chimney in hindsight as it also leans by around an inch.  Instead I replaced most of the mortar with the bricks in place.

south-chinmey

The top of the south chimney had been repaired in cement but the bricks were loose rather than spalled and I can put them back in. We had a hold up due to a reclamation yard sending a chimney pot far different from their photos, and this caused a great deal of annoyance and last minute searching for chimney pots.

south-chimney-pots-removed

I had a bright idea and cut the top off the poorly matching chimney pot.  It’s a good match now.  Just some fiddling to get the cowl to fit properly and the chimneys will be finished.

south-chimney-top

The roofers had lead specialists came in for a morning to weld the fiddly bits of leading above the chimneys with appropriate falls, then the roofers neatly cut and fitted the leading and pointed it in lime.  Though if you are doing the same thing look up soakers on the internet – they might have been a better way to do this leading.

chimney-leading

We’ve not had enough historical chimney interest in this post.   In photos taken from the church you can see the chimney in the previous couple of photos had been removed and rebuilt on the other side of the attic window in 1910.   I turns out the bricks from the original building were re-used.  I found a very sooty brick behind a facing brick that had spalled in the gable.  The size and colour of the brick match the opposite chimney.

sooty-brick