Thursday, 17 May 2012

Holding it together

Last Monday, I left the building site unsure about the state of the cellar walls that had been excavated, but knowing the guys would be taking action that day. They had to. The plan was to shore up the wall and pour a layer of concrete to stabilise and thicken the loose stone walls.

Step 1: add steel mesh.
Step 2: erect shuttering.
Meanwhile, another section was excavated.
While inside the wall was propped.
Step 3: Add concrete.
Step 4: wait.
Today was my first look at the results, and I have to admit, I'm fairly pleased, not least to say relieved. The new concrete wall will be painted with a bituminous resin for water proofing before perimeter insulation is added. The state of the walls previously explained why the cellar was a lot wetter than we'd like, so if nothing else, the silver lining in all this is that the cellar should be a lot drier. The step in the wall will be underground, or at least that was the plan. It looks like they made it higher than we discussed on Monday, meaning we'll simply have to make the terrace level higher, which is also ok.
The finished product.
The yellow pipe at the bottom of the frame is drainage from the pit in which the rainwater cistern now sits. This has to be drained, as if water builds up in there, and the cistern is empty, it will float, which would not be good.

The guys continued with this work over Tuesday and Wednesday, so the whole back of the house has been treated like this, though not to this depth.

More patching.
The only issue I have is that the holes left in the wall for pipes to go in and out to the cistern and blank pipes for future services to the pigsty, as well as the heatpump circuit, are all a bit close together. I wanted the heat pump circuit outlet to be far from any water pipes, as a thick ice block can build up around the heatpump pipes, and it wouldn't do to freeze water pipes going to the pig sty. We'll see what the experts say, but it wasn't according to my drawings.

Well, there's one more issue, that is worrying, and that's the unplanned costs of this work. Our budget is already extremely stretched, and this could be a serious dent, meaning I have to try to do more of the internal work myself than I'd like, or am able.

The plasterers were also about this past week, chipping out and patching up cracks in the facade plasterwork, getting ready for the next layers.

Today was a holiday, tomorrow a bridge day, so we're not expecting any workers till mid next week. Enough time for me to plan pipework in detail.


  1. The pictures really show a massive improvement. Hopefully the cash situation does not get too bad. the house seems to be coming along great

  2. Thanks Dave. The outside is certainly coming along well recently. Inside is another matter :)