Sunday, 6 May 2012

Steady as she goes

The lack of blog updates for the past month-and-a-half doesn't mean we've been relaxing with our feet up. There's been a lot of small, boring jobs done, preparing for bigger, boring jobs, but it has to be done. The longer evenings and warmer weather has certainly made it more pleasant, although rain is causing delays with two major pieces of work.

One is completing our link to the sewerage system, insulating the cellar walls along with drainage, and then digging a huge hole to bury a 6,500 litre rainwater cistern, while also creating an area for a future terrace/patio at the back of the house. Clearly it needs to be dry for all that, but the great weather we had for the past week is now gone, so the general builders missed that window of opportunity. Again.

The second major news is that we've awarded the facade work (insulation, plastering, paining) to local man, Dieter Edinger. I like that a local firm wins the business. Of course, this is pretty weather-dependent, but at least the house got a good shower with a high pressure cleaner.

Before the cleaning
And after. Loose paint washed away.
Over the past six weeks, we've continued to take out floorboards, clean up those walls that will receive plaster coats prior to installing internal insulation, and other dusty, thankless tasks

The west gable is going to be insulated from the inside. The walls are a little uneven, so it makes sense to do a base coat of plaster before sticking internal insulation boards on. Unfortunately, knocking off a bit of loose plaster turned into knocking off all the plaster, cleaning with a wire brush and then vacuum-cleaning them. But they do look nice, so here's a series of before and afters:

Living room just after plaster removal
And after a bit of a cleanup. Notice ceiling and beams cleaned
Bedroom, 2nd floor way before

And now, pretty much gutted
3rd floor, attic room, near the pointy bit.
Also more or less empty, but the wall looks great.
The south-facing walls, which are the only half-timbered walls staying exposed externally, must also be insulated from the inside. I'm opting for a solid construction, where we'll plaster the internal wall with lime-based plaster, which is breathable, followed by wood-fibre insulation boards. However, this does need quite some prep work to clean off the panelling between the timber frame, patching up where required, then installing expanded metal mesh to span between the beams and the infill panels in order to reduce cracking in the plaster.

West hall during plasterboard removal (with old window)
East hall after plaster removal (with new window)
East and west after cleaning and expanded metal sheets.

Our planned bedroom after plaster removal.


  1. Finally a new post! I like to watch how it changes your home...

  2. Yes, I've not been a good updater. I feel I don't even have time to write about it! :)

    Expect some more posts with bigger changes soon!