Thursday, 23 April 2015

Major Work Starts On The Return

My main building/plumbing/carpentry contractors are back after a few months departure, the guys behind virtually all works on the house. EcoIsle. They've set to work at a hectic pace on the two story Victorian return of the house.

After just three days, the return is already transforming into another finished section of the house. Built circ. 1900, the red brick return likely replaced the original 1820s stone built return, possibly due to subsidence. It's a single brick layer, non cavity construction, two story structure with one-over-one sash windows and an accompanying 1950s/1960s single story lean-to extension.

Like the rest of the house, it has a protected status so must be treated with care. Repairs and renovations to the exterior and interior need to be sensitive to the character of the building, with original materials and techniques used throughout.

The plan is to divide the small area into a small bedroom and a small toilet. The layout will essentially be exactly the same as it was, with the bedroom in the larger space to the rear and the small toilet out on the landing, protruding slightly into the bedroom, just like the hot press used to (since removed).

This was upstairs in the return before any works began, a small bathroom. All the wood was carefully removed, stripped, sanded and re-installed in the new bathroom upstairs in the main house:


The return stripped back:







New floorboards arrived to replace damaged and missing boards from where pipework passed through to the ceiling below:


Each floor board had to be shimmed and cut individually to make them the correct height, width and length:





The door to the bedroom is of course being retained and will be copied and rebuilt as the new bathroom door:


Lots of material has arrived for the works, including tonne bags of sand, insulating board for the ceiling, slabs, 30 bags of St Astier lime mortar, timber etc:




Installation of Kinspan insulated board on the ceiling:



Electrical and slabbing completed very shortly, one after another:





Downstairs, all remnants of lime/gypsum plaster was removed from the brick walls (plaster had been removed from the stone wall to dry out about 18 months ago). All plaster in this room was in an appalling state and was salvageable:






Wiring for an outside light:


Some of the window heads require attention and will be repaired over the coming days:


Skip number...five I think?...arrived today, the works are generating a lot of rubble and waste:


As mentioned above, Gutex wood-fibre insulating board will be used on the walls, to maintain the breathability of the structure. To attach this to the wall, they first need to be finished with lime render in order to give a flat, level surface to attach to. So two heavy coats need to be applied to the red brick walls.

This is the very first coat:






The first floor rear room of the main house was also started, as all of this plaster had to be removed for the same reason; it was in terrible condition:






After just 24 hours, the second coat can be applied:








And the rear first floor room once more:




And the first video in a while! Paddy applying the second coat of lime:


I was also doing some radiator hunting for upstairs in the return, Period Homes in Newry are worth checking out:


I'm having this radiator below cut in two, to place under the two upstairs windows:



More very soon!

























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