This weekend makes it 3 whole weeks since we moved. A good amount of that time has been devoted to DIY, and the other spent shamelessly gorging on gout inducing Christmas goodies - which is customary of course at this time of year, and also good for thermal insulation through the winter. Sorry no updates until now folks, we’ve had no internet, washing machine or heating until a few days ago, which has been pretty grim given that it’s winter and all, and we’re still not taking any chances drinking the orange tinted tap water. It’s all going swimmingly well.
So. We’ve been busy. The back bedroom, which has a double whammy of dry and wet rot and one of our problem with a capital P areas, has been totally stripped of plaster and taken back to bare brick on most of the walls. Hard work, but addictive, like picking a scab, only slightly more disgusting. The ceiling’s been ripped down, which was a pretty dusty job to say the least, but we know this is NOTHING compared to what it will get like! Bring on the lath and plaster ceilings, now those WILL be fun. Gulp.
The room in all it's glory when we first went to see the house
For a few days we were anxious about the polystyrene ceiling tiles a builder had said may contain asbestos in the adhesive. Nice to hear when you’ve already pulled them down in one room, mincing up the adhesive to a fine breathable powder by putting them in rubble sacks. And they are on absolutely every ceiling surface in the house. We sat in silence frantically searching the internet on our phones for anything that could verify if there was a risk, and then accepted that, well, at least we’ll die together. Thankfully we’ve figured (and been reassured) that they’re relatively recent additions to the house so post 1990's and asbestos using eras. So not original features – who knew!
The paper practically peeling itself
Some mould spores in the roof joists were also giving us some major concerns, but a specialist came over and told us to simply spray the hell out of the ceiling timbers with wood preserver, and voila, job’s a good ‘un. That was music to our ears and we’re hoping the majority of the other awful diagnoses the surveyor outlined were just him erring on the side of caution. We’re hoping so anyway.
Me putting pay to the skirting
Webs of rot on the walls
Stripping it back to brick
Lath and plaster wall
Mould spores in the ceiling timbers
Unbelievably the roof looks in fairly good nick, phew!
The flat roof above this bedroom has 3 leaks we’ve noticed so far, they span across this room, the bathroom and the hall, even though the lead roof isn’t actually that old. The ceiling plaster is hemorrhaging all over the hall carpet so that’s the first big job to sink our budget and we’re waiting for quotes back from builders....waiting..waiting...still waiting. And so the frustrations of chasing tradesmen begin.
Now all the other rooms need to be brought up to this stage, and with Si taking on the strenuous jobs like the perfect husband that he is, I’ll get down to stripping the cast iron fireplace of 50 coats of paint. Be gone tacky white finish! I guess we'll see some progress on this room in a year...or so...perhaps.