We last saw Tom and George on a very cold December day at the end of last year when they had run out of good weather to finish the lime pointing on the outside walls. Well now they have a couple of days in between jobs (they are crazy busy!) to come and finish up.
For reasons due to the pandemic and Brexit there is a big shortage of building materials in the UK, along with massive price hikes, with some things as much as tripling in price due to the high demand and low supplies. We couldn’t find anywhere locally that had hydrated lime in stock but luckily Tom had a couple of half used bags which should hopefully be enough.
The front wall where the grape vine used to be now needs to be repointed to match the rest of the wall (it was hidden behind the huge plant before).
George is now an expert in lime pointing. Tom trained him up on our house last year.
Tom is finishing the garden wall which he had to abandon half done last winter. Lime pointing cannot be done if the temperature is below 2 degrees as it will not dry, and if the frost gets into it (as it did in places here) the mortar will disintegrate to dust.
Our pile of stone is now a little smaller and tidier.
The wall repointed and waiting to be brushed back once it has dried enough (should be quite fast in the current heatwave!)
One of our new flower pots that we planted up last weekend to brighten up the front of the house.
Our amazing marguerite’s have thrived from being neglected during the building work and have multiplied everywhere.
The weeds are also thriving.
Tom has been busy removing the epic pile of left over timber that had become a feature on the back garden patio.
George has knocked out all the lime pointing that got caught by the frost and is repointing it (again).
Tom is laying the weed proof membrane on the front path.
Next is a layer of hardcore, followed by the slate chippings.
It was around 30 degrees today, so apologies for George’s state of undress.
Tom is brushing back the lime pointing on the garden wall.
The first of the slate chippings are going down. We’ve been waiting over 6 months for this path to be finished. This makes me very happy!
These chippings are, of course, really bloody heavy and there are 3 tonne bags to be moved and distributed around the front and back of the house.
The lime pointing on the front wall has been brushed back and finished and the stones cleaned up with a wire brush.
Looking very smart.
Tomorrow Tom will be finishing bits of lime pointing inside the house, so I spend the evening taping and wrapping things up and putting dust sheets down. Jasper just wants me to play.
Am I in the way?
There was a massive gap here between the dining room and the sitting room floors. This is a temporary fix as in phase 2 this floor will be dug out and lowered in the dining room.
The old front door step.
A corner of the study that was just dried out clay has been covered with lime. Tom has also filled in the holes that we left for the radiator pipes with concrete.
Tom pointing the edge of the wooden floor in Zanna’s bedroom.
There was a very large muddy hole in the floor here (the dining room fireplace), so Tom has temporarily filled it with concrete.
The edge of the wooden floor on the landing has been finished with lime.
This will need to be left for a few hours then brushed back with a damp sponge. I will do this for all the pointing inside later on this evening as Tom will have left by then.
A hole filled that has the electric cables in for one of the lights in the sitting room.
The edge of the sitting room stone floor where Andrew the plumber had to dig out the mortar and move the pipes after the first plumber put them in the wrong place…
A huge improvement.
Tom spent quite a while this morning fixing our front gates. They have never shut properly as one of the hinges had dropped in the stone pillar. This has apparently really annoyed Tom all year and he wants to fix it before he goes, so he has! They now shut! He has also fitted the old iron gate stay into a piece of stone and it looks very smart indeed. Thanks Tom 🙂
Once the lime mortar has gone off after a few hours but is still a bit soft, I brush it back with a damp sponge to soften the texture.
Shortly after this photo was taken Jasper ‘accidentally’ dropped his toy in the bucket of dirty lime water.
The slate is COVERED in a pale grey dust which is getting walked into the house and is hiding the lovely blue and orange colours of the slate, so I wash it all down with the hose. What a difference!
A very satisfying job.