Wednesday, 30 January 2013

How to cure a damp roof

So when I say how to cure a damp roof, I actually mean rip the old roof out and start again. When we moved into the house it didn't look to bad, but this was the appearance of plasterboard and a lick of paint. Once the old plaster board was ripped down we uncovered not just damp but soaked wooden ceiling boards. This hopefully is the rest of the reason for the damp smell throughout the house. 

After seeing just how much water was coming through the roof, and seeing how the roof was 'botched' together the only decision was to replace the whole roof. Now to start removing all the rotten wooden beams and replacing with fresh beams and a watertight roof.
Leaking ceiling

Damp wet moldy ceiling

Rotten wet roof

Monday, 28 January 2013

Ripping out the old kitchen

Next on the massive list of jobs to do was to rip out the old kitchen. The whole kitchen area currently sits at a lower level then the outside patio and this has resulted in years of water entering the property.

When we received the keys to our new house the first thing you noticed was the rotting smell of damp throughout. Now it has become clear why this is and where it is coming from, Through a combination of water entering the building from below and the roof that leaks in several places above. Ripping out the kitchen was a really satisfying experience the more that got ripped out the less prominent the smell. Although some of the mustiness is still present we are hoping to uncover and remove that soon. 

Removing the ceiling in the kitchen
With the kitchen units being removed we are having to make do with a painting and decorating table for a kitchen work top.
Removed Kitchen

Gutting a kitchen
The kitchen looking really sorry for itself, but I guess we have to make a mess before we can make it nice again.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

How to insulate a ceiling

It has now come to the time to insulate the ceiling in the living room. Fingers crossed this will retain heat and save on our heating bills. With the ceiling amended with additional wooden beams and a network created to stuff the insulation behind we are ready to insulate.

Old insulation is notorious for being made from fibre glass and these fibres can be a complete nightmare and can often irritate the skin. Modern insulation rolls are not only cheaper and more efficient but also a lot safer. However not wishing to take any chances my partner used gloves, glasses and a mask when putting the insulation in to avoid any nasties.

Wooden frame to support insulation

Ceiling insulation

Insulated ceiling

Now to box in the insulation with plaster board and that's another job off the massive list of restoring a whole house.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Building a new internal wall.

With the old wooden arch removed and the new steel balanced on steel poles and steel poles holding up all the original beams it was time to remove the old internal wall, which was actually just a boxed in door frame. Building up the internal wall is to support the new steel but also to create a break between the dining and living room.
Building internal wall
Building the block work to support the internal steel.

Internal wall framework
With the concrete wall built and now supporting the RSJ it's time to build some timber framing around the brickwork and make the internal wall more of a feature. The electrics for the desk and the lights is also run in between the wooden frame to then get plaster boarded in.

I'm starting to realize now the size of the project and how much I had underestimated this idea. For a first time home owner remodeling the whole house is a pretty big job especially when you are doing most of the jobs yourself with no experience. Luckily my partner and his dad are highly skilled and we are lucky enough to have friends to help out where they can. But for now i'm an apprentice and learning to get my hands dirty and do jobs i had no idea where possible.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Preparing ceilings for plasterboarding

Having ripped out the old ceiling (Painted crumbly polystyrene) we can now get the ceiling insulated and plaster boarded back up.

A network of additional woodwork was screwed in around the beams, this enabled the insulation to be filled inside the gaps and the plaster boards screwed up to this wooden matrix. Leaving some of the original beam exposed to keep the authentic cottagey feel. But upgrading to better heat and better looks.
Preparing ceilings for plaster boarding

Next job to rebuild the internal wall which once we started knocking down, realized it was actually just a boxed in door frame!!

Friday, 18 January 2013

We have a new visitor to the house

Today I went to leave the front door on the way to work and was faced with the biggest slug i think I've ever seen.
Slug on the wall

Now i know he house is very damp with the leaking roof, and the rotten wood and plaster board every where but really, if i was a slug I would be out in the rain and not in someones house!!!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Re-wiring an old house.

Top of the list of things to do once we moved in was replace all the old electrics. The house to me seamed scarily dangerous, with loose electrical fittings and once we moved in my partner had a shock to find that the property didn't even have a fuse board.

I can't believe there were tenants renting this off a landlord, who even had children! Hopefully they had all their appliances fused and didn't cause too many problems.

Sourcing a local electrician we now have the wiring being laid for the lighting, the electrics and even phone sockets and tv aerial ports. Not to mention the luxury of being able to run all fresh wiring for our home surround sound system and running lots of power supplies for our home office area. Then there's the additional safety features of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms being rigged into the mains not to mention a brand spanking shiny new fuse box.

There's still some work to do upstairs regarding the new electrics but downstairs we feel so much safer and happier. Thank you to our Electrician.

re wiring lights
Ceilings ready for some downlights to be fitted.
New electrics for the TV

Power, internet and aerial supply behind the tv.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Removing old loft insulation.

We are having the whole house re-wired and this meant sending an electrician up into the loft to lay the new wiring up there to be run into the bedrooms. However when we took our first look at the loft we realized that the old moldy disintegrated loft insulation had to go. However because the insulation was so old it was incredibly dusty. 

Sending my partner up into the loft fully suited and protected from any nasties, he bagged up the old insulation and threw it down to me to put in the skip. 

Now the loft is clear for our electrician to work in and ready for a bit of a clean (Well i'll show it the Henry hoover) and then put new insulation back in it's place. 

Removing loft insulation

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Hidden wallpaper

Whilst removing all the old sections of the house that we need to renovate we are finding some quite spectacular old fashioned wallpapers.

Prepping the fireplace ready for plaster we uncovered a plank of wood that was coated one side with tree's and the back covered in flowers. Although we are trying to reuse as much of the old house as we can I just don't think we can find a home for a strip of flowery wallpaper.

Vintage Tree Wallpaper

Floral Wallpaper

Monday, 14 January 2013

Redecorating walls and how to insulate to combat damp.

When we picked up the keys to our house the whole place stank of damp and mold. When we went to view the house my partner reassured me that the property wasn't suffering from damp at all and the problem was due to condensation.

Another problem that didn't help us was the fact that the house is built using a technique called 'mass concrete construction' These means that there is no cavity wall, and no way that the house can breath and these causes condensation to form creating a damp environment.

We then took to the task of removing what was on the old walls to expose the concrete behind. This consisted of removing some plasterboard, some panels of soggy MDF and some areas that were about 6 layers deep of wallpaper fixed straight onto the concrete.

Striping wallpaper

Removing moldy walls

Once back to bare concrete throughout we then began boxing off the walls with wooden beams. We then attached insulated plaster board to these beams. Creating a wooden box frame off the wall to create a void of space between the concrete and the plasterboard allowing the walls to breath and hopefully combat some of the condensation issues.

Freshly plaster boarded walls
Now just to continue plaster boarding all the downstairs walls and hopefully we will combat the damp and also keep the house super warm and insulated.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The build continues into the new year.

Our little house now has every internal wall removed downstairs, three new steals in place and a whole stack of plasterboard now mounted to every wall. Not to mention the massive amounts of insulation either on the boards or additional rolls to keep the house warm. Hopefully we can eventually reduce our heating and electric bills by keeping the house warm and toasty at all times and keeping the heat in and not loosing it through the stone concrete walls.

Acrows holding up joists
Here's the steel props holding up the ceiling whilst the internal walls are removed and the RSJ's are moved into place.

I'm not sure this is exactly how to get the steal in but my partner seams to be having fun!

RSJ internal beam