Some shocks, and my first forge-ery

The last thing we needed to check, before finishing our demolition, was the depth of foundations in one area of the building. Mike and Niall cleared around the walls concerned and began investigation…only to find that the front of ‘John’s bit’ of the building had been built directly on top of the asphalt carpark. No joking. Shockingly and scarily, the white wall above had no foundations at all and was sitting directly n the asphalt car park.

Just to double check their findings, they had a bit of a dig around but sadly found nothing to suggest that there wall could stay.

We thought it would be wise to mechanise the job so out came the trusty mini-digger and down came the wall.

The observant among us might notice that the wall being pushed over wasn’t tied at all to the adjacent wall sitting at right angles to it. I know I’m no expert when it comes to building theory, but…

Anyway, at least it made it easier to flatten everything! The right hand end of the front wall is now rubble, and next week we will remove the left hand end of the same wall (where we suspect the foundations are just as non-existant) and can then start working on digging proper foundations (after sorting out the drains, natch).

This week we are experieincing showery weather, so have turned our attention (during the wet spells) to preparing parts of the building for our Ukranian guests, but this end of the reception room still contains our sheet materials store, so might take a little while!

We are pleased with the new concrete beading on the turret which seems to be blocking the water ingress. I was even more pleased with my mothers’ day present this year from our wonderful children. It was an experience voucher for a day at a blacksmiths’ forge and…

…here’s the dragonfly I made earlier this week! You probably need to zoom in to see the detail, but this will be proudly planted in the Penaeldroch gardens just as soon as we have given it a coat of waterproof lacquer.

In the meantime, the building engineer and architectural designer have provided revised drawings made necessary by the foundations (lack of) issue, so now its back to Plas and onwards with the building work.

Breaking new ‘old’ ground

We are in a particularly destructive phase at the moment, so I start the blog with a shot of our newly finished greenhouse, to cheer me up as much as anything else!

Freddy is making himself comfortable, but it is not at all clear that Lola is comfortable with Freddy in his house…

…especially when Freddy takes his frustrations out, on Private Eye of all things.

But enough of this prevarication and back to the work…

You may recall we have removed the roof and all the internal walls in one of the extensions…

…and have then taken measurements fro the plans to identify the areas that we need to dig up so that we can increase the depth of the foundations.

As we rebuild this section of the building, we will be installing a steel frame, and each of the four ‘uprights’ will need to stand on deeper founctions to ensure there is no subsidence in future.

Here you can see that the floor seems to have been cast in several layers when this building was originally built, and below we find…

…Mike busy digging further down to make room for lots of concrete, after Building Control have been in to check our workings.

Our other project this week has been left to an expert. Just above the height of the scaffolding tower, you can see a concrete dripbead which has a substantial chunk missing. Mike and I had had a plan to replace this, but then found that a neighbours’ friend was an experienced plasterer who knew just how to repair this.

Sam spent some time clearing away the old concrete and keying the surface, after which he…

…put guides in place and then began to build up the concrete, layer by layer…

…until now we believe the next layer may well be the last one. The hope is that this repair should stop rain being routed into the inside of the turret, so we should then be able to finish the internal redecoration – which will be a big relief as we still have a tower in the lounge about a year after our redecoration began!

What a load of old rubble!

I start with a few more shots of the gorgeous Freddy and his proud owner, Pips

What an adorable pup. Sadly, Pips can’t have him with her whilst she completes her studies in Cambridge, so he will be staying with us until Pip’s ordination at the end of June.

On a much more exciting note (?), above you can see the single storey building, after we removed the roof and demolished the internal walls, and with all the rubble waiting for removal. Yesterday we were delighted when the equipment arrived on site and we were able to say to the rubble, ‘going…

…’going’…

…Gone!!

Look – so cleared out and raring to go. At last we can call the building inspectors in to check our next steps…