Going topless

Another full on day! The sun is shining, it’s Dan’s birthday and the roof is coming off……. This has been a long time coming, it was planned for week 2 before we discovered the state of the walls and corners and before we found ‘The Chasm’. So 5 weeks later than planned, all the steel is in that is required to hold the walls up and together, and Pear Tree Cottage can finally go topless. Just in time for the hottest day of the year so far.

Tom and Dan wasted no time, this was 8am. They work so damned fast.

I wouldn’t want to be on that ladder.

These tiles are covered in bicarbonate of soda from last week. They should be orange, but look grey! We didn’t bother to clean these.

The gable end wall is not too clever.

The lean on the chimney stack is very pronounced. It has moved so far out that the ridge beam no longer meets it.

Tom and Dan decided it was a good idea to support the chimney with some extra scaffolding poles. Crossing fingers and toes this stays upright.

This is the end of the beam above the internal wall, the wall with ‘The Chasm’. This was the first thing that Tom fixed. The beam sits on the top of the internal wall but it was crumbling away. You can see how far the end of the beam is from the external wall! There is a piece of timber nailed to the side of the beam that does reach the wall though so that’s okay then…

The beam at the other end of the same A-Frame, this is the one above Zanna’s bedroom door. The piece of oak that was nailed onto the side (with one nail!) also was nailed into the wall plate with one bloody nail! Dan has shifted this up to get the steel shoe on, and you can see the hole where the nail was. This nail was holding our house together.

The same beam from the inside. You can see the steel shoe going on, it’s slightly tight so the beam needs a bit of shaving so it will fit.

This is the beam above the broken tie beam (which you can just see below here) and thankfully this does still reach the wall plate but only just.

One of the seven purlin ends that need extending on the side of building that we share with the neighbour. You can see why we need the steel angles for these! The other timber is our neighbour’s purlin peeping through the wall. Theirs goes right through the wall, ours barely touches it.

The dream team! Left to right, George (super strong), Dan (expert Carpenter), Tom (Grand Master Stone Mason).

Dan (and Tom’s) birthday surprise! It was Tom’s birthday last week when they were off so we missed it. We also all had bacon rolls mid morning. Yum.

“Happy birthday to Dan & Tom”. 21 again eh?

The skip is rapidly filling up.

The tiles they are removing from the roof are old handmade clay tiles, but sadly are not in a good shape. Water and frost have got in, causing them to crack and break. Many are beyond being salvaged but we are keeping the ones that look okay, they are quite brittle so we will have to see what the roofers think.

These are all modern machine made tiles that the roof had been repaired with previously. They are not right for the house and it is a stipulation in the listed building consent that the roof is repaired with handmade clay tiles. Luckily our roofers found some last summer that matched and they are piled up in our back garden.

The ridge tiles should all be of a round profile, but there was one that wasn’t! Another bad repair? Some of these should be good to put back up as they seem okay. Ridge tiles are much thicker and stronger than the standard roof tiles, so I guess this makes them last longer.

George carrying piles of tiles down the ladder. The roof tiles are surprisingly heavy. I can only carry 2 or 3 at a time (and not down a ladder), he has piles of at least 10!

A good day to go topless.

Cat painstakingly scraping out the remainder of the paint and filler on the old dining room door.

This view has just got even more beautiful than before. The light is stunning up here. We briefly discussed putting a glass roof back on.

Cat made it up here again, she looks pretty happy about it.

Ouch. One of the purlins appears to have split a bit too far. Gonna need more steel.

I think Cat was shouting at me to stop moving around so much.

Timber porn.

More timber porn.

Ingenious use of the old hooks on the beams.

The sunlight coming through from the roof is fabulous, here it is lighting up the colourful stone chimney breast in Zanna’s room.

Standing in the study on the ground floor looking up to the loft through Zanna’s bedroom. No floors!

It’s still looking a bit derelict to be fair.

Many of the old tiles seem okay, we weren’t expecting this.

More food porn. The ripening pears on our little pear tree.

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