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The anatomy of a building

It’s been a very breezy few days on the estuary this past week. However, the scaffold has performed brilliantly and whilst it was a bit noisy (under all the flapping monoflex sheeting), it was possible to get rid of all those modern concrete tiles that have been weighing so heavily upon the frame. The roof structure is now fully exposed and the simplicity of the construction is there for all to see. There was so much re-purposed wood used in the original construction. The aim is to reuse much of it again!

Dominic surgically dismantling the roof, the hard-hat and gloves were essential kit!
The old, shaped ceiling joists appear to be re-purposed ships’ timbers, not surprising given Mr Bundock’s occupation as a shipwright. The rafters look to be more modern.
The chimney stack is not in good condition and will need a lot of TLC. There has been a lot of ugly concrete pointing undertaken in the past.

Up under the roof!

The cottage now has an overcoat. Getting up-close and personal with the fabric is a little upsetting though to be honest, the amount of rotten timber cladding and the appalling state of the windows, did not come as a great surprise.

The old, but weighty concrete tiles are not long for this world. The clean air and guano has provided a nice home for the lichen though.

the next phase of work can probably be described as “surgical deconstruction”!

The weather is a pain!

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!

Our quaint little pool!

Fortunately, the scaffold-roof didn’t go on before all the gales we’ve had over the last few days.

The porch foundations take shape

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.

First it was necessary to remove nearly two hundred years of workshop debris – a few cattle bones were found amongst an awful lot of sawdust, broken bricks and gravel.
The cottage footings go deep into the heavy clay ground, this is quite reassuring.
The excavation for the new porch slab is almost complete, note how the top 500mm of the yard surface is made up of broken bricks and gravel, basically made-up ground.
The shuttering, DPC and reinforcement all in place awaiting the first concrete pour. It is now possible to appreciate the size of the new extension.
Getting the level just right.
Finishing off the perimeter up-stand; in due course this will support the massive weight of glass comprising the majority of the extension’s wall, light should flood into the interior.

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.

Lower ground floor foundations completed

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 basement foundation reinforcement and damp-proof membrane are prepared in readiness for the concrete pour.
The new basement slab.