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A VERY long term project - at last a progress report !

This is where we don't want anything but evidence of your finest wood butchering in all its glorious, and photograph laden glory. Bring your finished products or WIP's, we love them all, so long as there's pictures, and plenty of 'em!

Re: A VERY long term project - more progress

Postby Mike G » 23 May 2016, 22:06

chataigner wrote:The rear of the house is a single brick extension - totally uninsulated. The house is already quite small so I'm reluctant to lose 15cm or so to insulation and I'm wondering whether it would be practical to fit exterior insulation under weather boarding. The brick is totally out of character with the rest of the building and those around it, so nothing lost there.

How does one go about that ? Vertical studs the thickness of the insulation, then a membrane, then vertical battens to space the weather boarding away from the insulation ? Is that how it's done ? The insulation would be in direct contact with the wall - I presume that's OK ? I could fit hollow concrete blocks with a dpc on a separate foundation at the base to prevent the insulation and the studs coming into contact with the soil.


Yep, that's all good. Very good. External insulation turns your solid walls into nice big bits of thermal mass. I am about to do something quite similar to my house, but with 2 layers of insulation, not one. The issues with external insulation are at the eaves, gables, and plinth, and around openings. You have the plinth sorted.....now look up. What is the roof overhang like? And at the gable/s? Because the insulation need somewhere to stop, and big overhangs make that easy.
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Re: A VERY long term project - external insulation question

Postby chataigner » 23 May 2016, 23:12

Thanks Mike, I was hoping you might respond. We have to re-do the roof, so we can extend a bit at that time where needed. The rafter overhang at the eaves is fine, but the gable is a problem at present (only a small part of it as the roof runs on to the next property on both sides, so it's just the depth of the extension, say 2m50).
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Re: A VERY long term project - next phase of demolition

Postby chataigner » 15 Feb 2017, 17:49

Not posted progress on this for a while - mainly 'cos there hasnt been much. However, the fine weather (it made 16° here today) motivated me to attack more of the demolition on the ground floor. The old stone walls have no DPC of course, and part of the house ground floor is below ground level at the back, so of course the walls are damp. Previous owners had fitted a sort of dry liner, but they had done it by putting wooden battens straignt onto the stone and then fitting a sort of peg board (mdf with holes in it) and plastering over it. Of course it soaked up the water and rotted. Horrible !

Job no 1 is therefore to get rid of all that, so much demolition work and loading of rubbish straight onto the trailer in the road outside (the front door opens straight onto the pavement). Really could not face that in pouring rain, so have been putting it off, and today with nice sunshine was the day to attack it.

Here's what it looked like at the start of today :

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Two big trailer loads shifted and more broken out, but too much dust to risk my camera tonight, next pictures in 24hrs or so when the dust has settled !
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Re: A VERY long term project - next phase of demolition

Postby Phil » 16 Feb 2017, 08:00

David, was wondering about the progress on this project while looking at your website the other day.

Looks like a lot of hard dirty work.
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Re: A VERY long term project - next phase of demolition

Postby Commander » 16 Feb 2017, 08:25

Good progress David, my word it looks rather bad at the moment, but that also means good contrast with the finished product to come! :D I'm looking forward to seeing some updates on your progress.
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Re: A VERY long term project - next phase of demolition

Postby chataigner » 17 Feb 2017, 16:13

Got arround to taking some photos this morning, having finally removed the last of the disasterous wooden "dry" lining that was all rotten. These are the last few bits before loading to the trailer.

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Imagine my surprise to find the old plaster still sort of intact and painted like this :

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Some debris to remove from the base of the walls then I can start thinking about cleaning up. There is wet rot, but absolutely no sign of dry rot (miracle ?) however I think I'll treat for it just to be on the safe side. As well as spraying I'm told it is wise to run a blow lamp over the plaster to kill off any remaining spores etc - anyone know anything about it ?

Image
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Re: A VERY long term project - next phase of demolition

Postby 9fingers » 17 Feb 2017, 18:28

mm! lovely decor!

I can't image the blow lamp treatment will do little more than burn off surface fibres. The thermal mass of the plaster (and any dampness in it) will mean the plaster temperature will not increase much and so have little effect on buried spores.

Watching this one with interest David.

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Re: A VERY long term project - next phase of demolition

Postby Mike G » 17 Feb 2017, 18:29

I hope you're wearing a mask, David. Those mould spores are nasty.

I can foresee lots of ventilation in your future, and lots of lime plaster. If there is anything you can do to get the external ground level to below the floor level, that will help immensely, but from what I remember (it's been a while), you've got some big changes of level to deal with here.
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Re: A VERY long term project - next phase of demolition

Postby Tusses » 17 Feb 2017, 18:39

I see the mould came back even after you painted new colour stripes on the walls !

+1 on the mould being nasty ! .. take proper care :-)
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Re: A VERY long term project - next phase of demolition

Postby chataigner » 27 Nov 2017, 20:24

Well, I did say a VERY long term project !! for several reasons I wont go into it's been several months since I made progress on the restoration of the little town house I bought a while back. This last couple of weeks I've been able to get on with it again and I've almost finished the new staircase. Why a new staircase ? Cos the old one was badly sited and totally clapped out. Why now ? Because I want to remove the old one so I can demolish an internal wall that it's fixed to and still access both floors.

Construction quite basic, stringers (3 for rigidity) in basic construction timber, risers and treads in pine T&G floor boarding. 9 steps to a half landing, then 5 steps at 90° to the first floor level.

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The underside will be inside an understair cupboard eventually.

Next step is to cover the steps with robust polythene or perhaps cardboard to give them a bit of protection during the next phase of demolition and rebuilding. I agonised about doing this now when there is still lots of rough work to do, but the old stair had to come out next and I could not face working for months with only a ladder for access between floors.

Any other suggestions as to how to protect the treads during the rough work ? :eusa-think: :eusa-think:
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Re: A VERY long term project - some progress at last !!

Postby 9fingers » 27 Nov 2017, 21:07

I'd be concerned that cardboard or polythene could get damaged during demolition and offer near zero resistance to falling masonry.
How about MDF pieces tacked or dot and dab glued on. Might take some sanding to get it off but much harder wearing.

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Re: A VERY long term project - some progress at last !!

Postby MJ80 » 27 Nov 2017, 21:20

Pin on some 4mm or 6mm ply
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Re: A VERY long term project - some progress at last !!

Postby RogerS » 27 Nov 2017, 21:53

Mmm..David. When I renovated a similar property, the staircase was the last thing to go in as I knew it wouldn't last the duration. Building work can be brutal on nice things like your staircase.

I had a temporary staircase made out of sawn timber. Could you not remove your lovely staircase and store it somewhere ?
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Re: A VERY long term project - some progress at last !!

Postby chataigner » 27 Nov 2017, 22:32

Yes, mdf or ply. Compared to the cost of remaking the treads etc the price of a few bits of material to cover them is not that significant and would offer some protection against falling material as well as dirt and grit. Good idea.

Incidentally, having dealt with the problems of gutters, down pipes and surface water drainage some months ago and having left a window partly open for the duration, there is no sign of new damp. It even smells dry.
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Re: A VERY long term project - some progress at last !!

Postby fiveeyes » 01 Dec 2017, 02:38

David..perhaps some carpeting...used even..nice stairs
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Re: A VERY long term project - some progress at last !!

Postby chataigner » 25 Jan 2018, 16:32

More activity ! I've started to demolish the dividing wall that will allow me to bring the space occupied by the old stairs into the main living area. The structure of the floor of the attic is a bit strange, there is one big beam in the middle at right angles to this dividing wall and theoretically partly resting on it, then all the joists run parallel to the dividing wall T'd into this one beam that runs the other way. The two ACROs (sited above proper walls on the ground floor) are reinforcing it (it's mainly supported by the outside walls front and back) until I can clear enough space to fit a big joist in place of the wall.

Image

Other very strange practices elsewhere, the white dividing wall on the left of the photo is in similar hollow brick, but is built directly onto the floor boards which are sitting on nothing more than a modest size joist as the corresponding wall on the ground floor is 50cm further over (where the ACROs are). Looks a bit wobbly to me, a lot of weight for a simple joist, I'm glad it's part of the plan to take it out. This corner will be the open(ish) plan kitchen.

PS The new stairs are now protected with 6mm MDF pinned on with 15mm pins from a staple gun.
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Re: A VERY long term project - some progress at last !!

Postby techauthorbob » 26 Jan 2018, 15:50

Hi from England!

A good little project and handy being next door.

I have used pieces of carpet to protect, held with a light coat of spray carpet adhesive, it cleans up ok if you don't go too near the edges.

We have some rentals and it's amazing how much you spend to maintain in good condition, we look upon it as resale value not monthly cash. You also need to cater for voids and unexpected jobs (always in winter!).

We ALWAYS vet the tenants ourselves first though, and don't be afraid to ask searching questions.

On the plus side we now know some lovely people!

All the best,

Bob
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Re: A VERY long term project - some progress at last !!

Postby chataigner » 26 Jan 2018, 17:16

techauthorbob wrote: edited :

We have some rentals and it's amazing how much you spend to maintain in good condition, we look upon it as resale value not monthly cash. You also need to cater for voids and unexpected jobs (always in winter!).

All the best,

Bob


Thanks for stopping by and for the info. Here in France we have a problem of punitive capital gains tax when you sell any property other than your principal residence, so we need to keep it and look for income from the rental. However, with other investments returning 2/10ths of nothing, this has the advantages of potentially more return and of keeping me busy !
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Re: A VERY long term project - walls demolished

Postby chataigner » 02 Feb 2018, 17:14

Another couple of afternoons spent whacking a cold chisel with a big hammer !!
My hands are too tired to do any more today, but most of the wall is down and 2/3 of the rubble removed.

Image

Image

The little dividing wall at right angles is quite beyond my comprehension... It turns out to be built using bricks just 2.5cm thick, stood on edge, then rendered both sides. How anyone could lay bricks up to 2.4m high only 2.5cm thick is a mystery to me. Seems like an impossible task, but there it is, perfectly upright too and quite solid with the cement render.

Image

Here it is with the top of the ACRO for reference.

Image

Any brickies care to comment ?
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Re: A VERY long term project - walls demolished

Postby RogerS » 02 Feb 2018, 22:48

It could have been something as simple as (a) zero cash and (b) what they had on hand at the time to make the wall
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Re: A VERY long term project - walls demolished

Postby chataigner » 02 Feb 2018, 22:55

RogerS wrote:It could have been something as simple as (a) zero cash and (b) what they had on hand at the time to make the wall


Probably right Roger, but still quite difficult to do I would have thought.
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Re: A VERY long term project - walls demolished

Postby Rod » 03 Feb 2018, 00:02

French bond
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Re: A VERY long term project - old stairs gone !

Postby chataigner » 24 Mar 2018, 09:58

The support for the attic floor was fitted last week and now another big step this week - I've removed the old staircase, fitted new joists and chipboard floor panels. Just the last bit of the top of the old stairs to the attic to be removed, couldn't finish it before as there was no-where to put a ladder over the void, now that the floor is in I can access it and tidy up.

March 16th :

Image

March 23rd :

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I've managed to remove most of the handrail and the spindles without too much damage, so will re-use the handrail. Not sure what to do with the spindles - cant bear to dump them - it seems to be all in mahogany.
Last edited by chataigner on 19 Sep 2019, 17:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A VERY long term project - old stairs gone !

Postby 9fingers » 24 Mar 2018, 10:36

Yes spindles too good to chuck - maybe occasional table legs?

I've noticed much of the softwood in France is quite yellow as witness in your photo. Is this some sort of preservative treatment like our tanellising (SP)
I goes nicely with the wallpaper anyway.

Nice to see this coming along David

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Re: A VERY long term project - old stairs gone !

Postby chataigner » 24 Mar 2018, 10:58

9fingers wrote:Yes spindles too good to chuck - maybe occasional table legs?

I've noticed much of the softwood in France is quite yellow as witness in your photo. Is this some sort of preservative treatment like our tanellising (SP)
I goes nicely with the wallpaper anyway.

Nice to see this coming along David

Bob


Yes Bob, it's a general purpose anti everything treatment including anti termite, increasingly a problem here.
Cheers !
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