On the plus side an architect visited today and we got on well. He reckons the design, planning and approval process is likely to take 6 months. The main thing I want to do is make the void into a room. The void was formerly a double height ceiling to the front room with the tall bay window. The double height room was created in the 1920s when the mock tudor frontage was added and the upstairs room was removed. It was blocked off with a false ceiling at a later date. The only access is through a small hatch in the downstairs ceiling.
It is almost possible to stand up in the void and it takes up about a third of the upstairs space. It would be much more sensible as bedroom and bathroom but the floor would need to be lowered slightly and the ceiling raised, and a window or two added to the front. The architect has suggested I arrange a meeting with the conservation officer before we go too far.
Fast forward 7 years……. Removing the false ceiling and getting a ballroom
The water damage in the upstairs front room had caused some plaster to fall off the wall. Behind the plaster there was a suspiciously old piece of wood. That part of the house dates from approximately 1650 and would have been built originally with a wood frame and mud. The mud was replaced with brick but there is evidence in the roof space that some of the wood frame survives. This bit appears to be in good condition but some other bits are a bit suspect. I’ll expose what I can to check on condition.
5 years later I exposed the beams
The roof isn’t lined, so water backing up behind the moss in the gulleys had been finding it’s way inside. The upstairs room fronting the street had some water damage. Clive removed the moss with a broom taped to some waste pipe.
We had the heating on full with some windows open to try to dry the building out. That worked well, but then a couple of days later we came home to find a burst pipe and a flood downstairs. The VAX carpet cleaner we bought for the beer smell sucked up the water and we removed the underlay. There’s not too much damage and the place should be dry in a week.