Before plastering of the inside of the return could begin, it was important to source some granite window sills for the two newly formed window openings. These were the two originals:
These spaces below needed to be filled before the new sashes could go in:
I took a spin over to Michael Neacy Archiectural Salvage on the Ardee-Dundalk road, where I sourced two original granite sills:
These lifted quite awkwardly into the back of an old 3 Series, but we managed!
2.5 tonnes of sand was delivered in the course of the lime plastering detailed below, provided by Dalys of Dundalk:
Downstairs in the return consists of one large room, with a new stud wall dividing it nearly in half. The outer construction is of Victorian red brick, which is build upon the garden boundary wall on the right hand side as seen below:
This stone wall is build from coarse rubble and needs a huge amount of straightening with lime plaster before a final finish can be accomplished:
These are the two new sash windows build by Paul Dowdall Joinery, matching the two existing sash windows:
A small amount of penetrating damp exists on this wall due to a high ground level on the opposite side, as well as a lack of external render:
This opening at the end of the return is the only new opening; there is another original opening behind the chipboard on the left side of this image:
These are the new black limestone slabs which were laid about 12 months ago, which will have to be covered during the lime plastering process:
After the floor was protected, the scratch coat of lime could be applied. The function of this layer it to provide a key for subsequent coats and to flatten out uneven surfaces:
One week later, after the scratch coat was applied, a float coat was build up in two layers, which really flattens out the walls. The objective is not to get perfectly perpendicular walls as the stone outer wall is at such a bad slant, however the finish should be neat and straight.
The scrapes in the render provide a key for the final coats:
The final float coat was then applied, before the finishing skim coat.
The new windows and sills now installed:
This is the opposite side of the stone wall supporting the return, which I have since rendered with lime mortar all the way to the ground and the entirety of the wall from left to right:
On the right you can see an original Victorian drain:
Some crockery found during the dropping of the ground level: