Friday, 26 February 2016

Heating & Window Work

Before the floorboards on the ground floor can be laid, the heating system (including the ground floor underfloor heating) needs to be fired up for the first time. Before this can happen, a new oil boiler and oil tank is being connected up to the thermal store based-system.

I settled on a location for the tank and boiler in the back right corner of the garden and laid a foundation for each over two days:

A simple combination of one part cement to five parts gravel/sand mix, laid on a bed of two inches of gravel.

Three days later:

The small slab for the boiler:

The trench being prepared for the 13 metres of Microflex insulated pipework leading back to the house from the boiler. It consists of a large diameter pipe with both an insulated flow and return pipe housed internally:

Yet further evidence of a stone based foundation of some description, likely for an old out house:

There was a bit of an issue with damp coming through the stone wall that makes up the ground floor of the red-bricked return. Turns out there is a small disused patch of land directly behind the stone wall, which was completely over grown. I climbed over the garden wall and spent an afternoon clearing someone else's garden.

This is the back side of the stone wall that makes up the lower section of my return. The stone to the left of the picture was completely covered in foliage and ivy; it was so bad I could barely get the ladder down into the garden. The walls were soaking wet:

I also dropped the ground level about ten inches, pulled the ivy from my roof and fixed the guttering.

I originally had planning permission to knock the small 1950's lean-to extension at the back of the return, however have since decided to keep it and have two new sash windows made and installed to open up the interior space. The sashes will be made by a local joiner to match the existing original sashes exactly. One of the windows will fill an existing opening, the other will position in a new opening at the end of the extension:

The opening below was present when I bought the house, however was much smaller with no arched head and had a horrible 1950's timber frame installed. I since had it heightened, widened and the arch installed to match the others, however it transpired this opening was six inches wider than the other openings as a result of not being specific enough with the builders:

One of few times in the project where work has had to be undone, so all is good. I had it re-sized to match the other openings and it now looks great:

New windows are currently being made to fill both of these openings.

As the heating it to be turned on shortly, I had the final window of the main house fitted at ground floor level, which will make up the kitchen window. Again the original sashes were retained, new ropes and pulleys installed, correctly weighted and then draught-proofed:

The new lime render still looking fantastic:

Further update 02/03/2016.
Boiler installed and pipework laid:


  1. The new lime render does indeed look fantastic

  2. We have been following your project with great interest as we are undertaking a similar project with the same challenges on a listed house in County Mayo. We have internal lime plastering work to undertake but are having difficulty pricing this and estimates are hard to pin down in terms of time and cost. Do you have a guide per square metre based on your own experience. I can forward my email if it is not visible in comments. Kind regards Peter

    1. Hi Peter.
      Best of luck with your project. Unfortunately I have no real useful contacts for you seeing as you're on the other side of the country, however I have no doubt there are plasterers who still deal in lime on the west coast. I don't really have any prices for you, as my plastering jobs have been somewhat start-stop and part of bigger jobs so it's hard to separate the plastering costs.

      Lime plastering isn't hugely more expensive than regular plastering, however there is a lot more material and labour required and waiting time in between coats. It also depends a lot on what your walls would be like and how much correction they require.

      It's worth getting two or more quotes if you can.

      Best of luck.

    2. Hi Peter,

      I too am embarking on renovating - it's an 1820's townhouse. I enquired with the plasterers about lime render only today; €19-20 per sqm for standard sand cement/gypsum plaster and €50 sqm for lime. The cost, as Stephen accurately says, is due to materials (fibre to bind mixture), labour due to work ability and lime coats require 3 days drying period for each coat. Depending on how bad the walls are depends on the volume of materials required.

      I have been considering hemp board as dry lining to the internal walls, it might be worth looking into if you are seeking to improve thermal performance.

      Hope that helps.

      Stephen, can I say thanks for the blog, it has been a great starting point for me and I'm sure others. Your place is looking great.

      Thanks again,

    3. Glad to be of help! Best of luck with your home.


    4. Hi Mary

      Many thanks for this information which we will find very useful when gauging the prices we receive.

      Most of our work is repairing damage up to the one metre line where damp has loosened the original lime plaster. However, we will have one room which has been stripped back to the stonework and another room were part of a wall had been studded with plaster board allowing dampness to transfer from the outer wall.

      Our house is listed so internal is not possible and would interfere with the original features which are in good condition.

      Good luck with your own project - we have found it challenging but has great satisfaction when it all comes together.


  3. Home Renovations during a Home Appraisal-Can it be done?
    lubbock roofers

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you must watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Win your ex back with TEXT messages?