All four corners

Tom has all four corners of the house to strengthen and repair. After our discovery of the earlier steeper roofline, we now know why the corners of the walls are cracked and crumbling away. They were built at a later date, but very badly and with small bits of stone, not large coursed stone, and most of the corners are NOT TIED IN. This requires a lot of Tom’s expertise and time, but he is taking it all in his stride and cracking on with it, excuse the pun. This is the front corner of Zanna’s bedroom.

Tom carried on with the repair work right around the front wall across the top as this was in a very bad state too, with crumbling, loose stone.

Tom removed the mother of all cobwebs with a technique similar to making candy floss. We were sure this was holding the wall together it was so massive and had clearly been there a long time…

The hole through to the study below, this floor has yet to be fixed with the steel angles along the joists, so it is still very wobbly (and hole-y), I wouldn’t want to be up a ladder on this bit of floor…

The mortar that is holding our house together. Tom’s getting through this!

Cat’s training wall is so nearly finished…

Cat has saved the best for last, the low bits, I bet her back is sore, but it’s looking good.

This work horse has been very busy cutting stone the last few weeks, so I thought it deserved a mention with a portrait.

Another hard worker, it’s barely stopped working in fact, so also worthy of a mention and a portrait.

Dan was off with a temperature today, he stayed away for obvious reasons, so Tom was on his own. Hoping it is just a stomach bug and he will be back very soon! It made us realise just how f***ed we would be without Tom and Dan!

We were due to have the house soda blasted this week, but have managed to delay this until Monday next week. Dan has a lot of flooring to build in the loft before the soda blasting can be done. We had so much to do to be ready even for this week, (expose everything that needs to be cleaned up, timbers, stone walls etc.) so to delay a few days takes a bit of the pressure off.

This window has looked better! The cement on the outside has been removed from the stone window surrounds, so we can see quite a bit of daylight through the window frames.

Close up of the front wall showing the steel bars that Tom installed last week. They look like very long drill bits.

These are the steel bars that span right around the corner of the gable end and the front wall.

We have had a wasp problem in the house as long as we have been here. Last summer I would find at least one inside the house every day, I even found one on my pillow once and I am terrified of wasps (due to childhood trauma involving our older sister, some red and white checked flared trousers and a green grocers). We had a few wasps nests in the loft space, one that was pretty large, but we had to get rid of them this week as we needed the loft back.

The short beam above Zanna’s bedroom doorway, awaiting its steel shoe.

This is one of the few beam ends that is actually still sitting on the wall, but not by much.

The sad looking gable end wall. You can really see how much the stone has been eroded by the cement.

The first pile of stone that Colin found for us last week. This will help a great deal but we still need a lot more.

This is the bottom ‘coping’ stone from the top of the gable end wall. I never knew until now that this is one whole stone (the long stone at the top of the wall) and acts to stop all the other coping stones from just sliding off the roof. Ingenious.

The top of the gable end wall where the coping stones have been removed. You can see some of the lead flashing that covers the gap between the wall and the tiles, except our lead flashing is in fact vinyl/plastic…! We will be replacing this with the real stuff.

We have had over 4000 handmade clay roof tiles sitting in the back garden for a year now. Our fabulous roofers, Pete and Roger, found these for us last year. Most of our existing roof tiles are beyond saving, so they will be replaced with these.

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