The weather here today has been completely horrible – sleet, snow, hail and wind. In other words, not ideal conditions for getting up on a roof, so Pete and his crew abandoned their current job up the road in Strathy and came to have a look at our fireplaces.
One end went REALLY well – this is what the living room fireplace now looks like:
Those stones will clean up nicely with a wire brush, Pete will repair the back with matching stone and I’m going to try and find an old oak beam to put above the lintel – the plan is to box around it with the plasterboard and leave the stone exposed. Although there’s a hearthstone there, the floor level’s going to be raised up with the underfloor heating, so if we can find a big enough bit of Caithness flagstone (or two bits to go side by side), we’re going to use that, as Pete says he can fit it for us – but has warned me that the three exposed edges need to be natural, not cut, otherwise it won’t look right. We’ve got a couple of bits here and a friend of Mick’s has got some he’s willing to let us have, so hopefully we can find one or two pieces that work.
In the kitchen, things haven’t quite gone to plan. The guys got the Rayburn moved out of the way and the fireplace was revealed in all its glory (husband included for scale! – he’s 5’7″)
Pete carefully chipped out a corner of the rubble – it’s 17″ from the front of the lintel to the back wall of the house!
BUT we have two enormous load cracks in the lintel (one shown below, the other is a mirror image). Pete is doing the calculations to work out if we can still break it out by inserting a big sheet of steel into the wall under the lintel to support it – essentially functioning as an RSJ, but less visible. Fingers crossed!
Another find down the back of the Rayburn – this looks handcarved.
Damp corner. The concrete floor is going to be cut back, the wall tanked, a new membrane put down on the floor going up the wall and then the floor re-poured.
I don’t know what wood this is, but it’s obviously tasty!
Yet another vintage wallpaper, this time in the bathroom.
Mick has made a temporary sign for deliveries – 75p of stick-on letters and a bit of wood and two screws that came out of the house!