Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Here we Go!

A Little Light Weeding
The builders start work on my old chalk house today.  Six weeks of scaffolding.  I've cleared my plants away from the bases of the walls.  And the little hawthorn tree I cherished had to come out.  It flowered for the first time this year.  The Man Who Can does not go in for gardening and if required to do it usually employs mechanical means.  He did try to dig out the tree and save it, but in the end a forklift was needed to pull it out.  Very sad.

They will take the modern render off all the outside walls and replace it with traditional lime render (3 layers).  A chalk house is a breathing house, drawing in moisture and allowing it to evaporate.  Modern render stops that natural process and gradually damp, or dryness take their toll.

I am more nervous about this whole exercise than you can ever imagine. Paths will come up because they have been built up too high and the walls can't drain properly and the thick layer of cement and black pitch that everyone put at the base of their chalk walls in the 1950s will be removed.  The old chalk garden wall will be renovated as well.

I'm suppose I'm a bit worried about what they will find when they start taking the render off.  The story goes that a tank from the garrison ran into one corner of the house just after the war and judging by other makeshift repairs that have been done here, I'm not too confident that the damage will have been properly dealt with.  But that's no reason to avoid the issue, so at last we are going to sort it all out.