Back to square one with the walls

With the wallpaper removed, it’s evident there is a damp issue on the internal walls on the left side of the house – you can see here below where we’ve marked the course of damp.

On investigation externally, the render is all cracked on that side of the property around the chimney, so it’s likely water / damp is getting through and coming down through the chimney and spreading out through the walls. As well as redoing the external render, this will therefore need consideration before we replaster the walls internally.

We therefore decided to strip the render off the walls down that side of the house, both in the lounge and the hallway.

Whilst at it, we also stripped the render from the upstairs bedrooms so we can replaster afresh. Our daughter wanted to create a ‘snug’ area in her room with sofa and TV, so we’ve built a stud wall in to her room now to accommodate this too as below.

So, in order to properly protect the ground floor from damp, the internal walls on the left of the house where the damp was evident have been Sika rendered ahead of plastering.

The plasterers have also made a good start with replastering other ceilings and walls internally, and we’re still managing to protect the coving and ceiling roses that we’re determined to keep as they are such a beautiful feature of this period property.

With underfloor heating already installed downstairs (see previous blog), we’ve also now had first fix plumbing completed upstairs in the existing part of the house. We’ve gone for a buteline plumbing system which should guarantee secure connections for an effective running system. With the buteline system, pipe is inserted in to the fitting and clamped in place – often referred to as ‘crimping’. As there’s only 4 radiators currently to go in to the house on the 1st floor we wanted a seamless solution, as when the extension is done all the water, waste and bathrooms will be in the new extension down the right side of the house where the drains are, so we want the plumbing to ensure accurate joints and a seamless flow through to the new extension.

Where we’ve laid the floorboards upstairs, we’ve done it in a way so that where the radiators are going there’s one small floorboard piece underneath the radiators. We hate creaking floors, we want to ensure we’ve got solid floors everywhere, but you’re never going to walk under the radiator. So if we ever need to address an issue with a radiator or its plumbing, we can simply lift that small piece of carpet and board out and get to where the joins are.

So it’s all about thinking ahead to future proof things. Access to plumbing, pipes and joints in the event of any issues, with minimal disturbance to the rest of the house. Paving the way to join the extension into the existing part of the house seamlessly. Treating damp at source to ensure nothing will come through in the finished house. Some of these costs are unexpected, and it’s why you always need to add contingency in to a build, but it’s absolutely worth it for the long-term.

Meanwhile, outside at the back of the house, we’ve cleared all the paving and concrete so we’re ready to go with digging footings for the 4m ground floor extension when we get planning permission.

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