The porch foundation is now complete and could make a very nice Japanese water garden, though access to the building could be a little problematic! The scaffolding is now going up and we’ll be getting on with removing the concrete roof tiles and the external timber cladding. Repairs to the frame will then start in earnest. It’s going to be an exciting few weeks!
The new corten steel and glazed entrance vestibule will require a solid foundation. The last week or two has been spent dodging the weather, digging holes, fashioning reinforcement bars and pouring concrete.
This is the last bit of serious ground work to be done, the next step will be to get the scaffolding up, remove the concrete roof and cladding before refurbishing the frame and installing the cottage’s more thermally efficient external cladding. It’s not a great time to be working outside, but this is the right time of year to be installing timber cladding.
The lower ground floor under-pinning and new basement foundation slab have been completed. This gives a solid base to the cottage and provides the foundation from which to tackle the repairs to the frame.
The groundwork team from DPL Landscapes are really cracking on with providing the support the cottage needs. All the existing footings (such as they are) have been retained. It’s a shame all the hard work will not be seen in the future!
The last couple of weeks have been a bit mad. The original plan had been to cast a new reinforced slab in the lower-ground floor with simple “hit-and-miss” extensions to the slab to underpin the surrounding walls. This was to give us a strong base from which to work off for restoring and correcting the timber frame above later on. The existing foundations were found to be weaker and at a slightly higher level than anticipated. The decision has now been taken to retain the existing footings and fully underpin them all round the base of the building. This should have been done three years ago when the building took a bit of a wander down the hill. But it wasn’t, for understandable reasons.
Work is not very pleasant with the rather inclement weather that we now have – but then it is December!
The cottage will now have a much surer footing upon the hill and hopefully, with all the concrete in the ground on adjacent sites, it will not be moving anywhere else over the next two hundred years!
Welcome to our project blogg, who knows how long this will take us, but it’s sure to be hard work and hopefully, fun!
This little cottage on Leigh Hill is to be our family project. We’ve long harboured ambitions to undertake an historic building restoration, but somehow work and family commitments always seemed to get in the way. After a truly awful 2017, with the loss of our mothers, the time to tackle a “project” seemed opportune, especially as I’ve now retired from professional life in London.
28 Leigh Hill has a wonderful history and you can find out more about it here:
Our plans for the cottage are explained in the design statement that forms part of the Listed Building Consent authorising the works.
We hope you’ll enjoy following our progress renovating this historic corner of Leigh on Sea.