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:

Monday, 1 February 2016

Limecrete Slab Complete

The final layer of limecrete was finally laid on the ground floor at the beginning of January. The battens in the hallway were first shimmed up ever so slightly, to account for the height difference between the original floor boards being relaid in the hallway, compared to the reclaimed boards which will be installed in the adjoining front room.

The limecrete could then be poured around all of the battens. Unfortunately some cracking was inevitable due to very small surface area of the individual sections, however the main objective is to fill the sections with limecrete to remove an otherwise insulating layer of air between the floorboards.

The hallway has since been poured also and the drying time is approximately four weeks, which should be complete at the beginning of February. The floorboards will then be taken inside, stacked neatly and the underfloor heating will be turned on for the first time, allowing the boards to climatise for at least a week. They will then be laid in both the hallway and front and rear room, after which the kitchen can be installed.

The paint stripping continues, see a timelapse of the process below: