Friday, February 25, 2011

Building Site Living

Millbrooker Towers is once again subject to an infestation of Graham. Long time readers might remember the last time Graham spent time with us - half of the living room got dug up, the walls stripped of plaster, waterproof tanking put on to sort out a persistent damp problem and then re-plastered.

Well, he's back. Once again our favourite (and it should be said skilled) builder is making all sorts of mess before, eventually, clearing it up and leaving everything in a better state than before. I guess it's largely our own fault for buying a large(ish) Georgian house in need of lots of work.

This time it's the front bit of the sitting room, the render facade and any "hidden nasties" discovered along the way that are getting sorted. And once again, the end result will be a pleasant lack of damp.

About those hidden nasties.

Let's begin with what Graham found when he started work.
Hmmm - all the floor joists resting on bare soil. They've been doing that for many many years. This means they're about as rotten as you can get without actually collapsing. The collapsing bit would happen in a year or two. So - the whole floor's coming up, the soil level has to be lowered and new joists put in. I can see the bank notes flooding outwards from my poor little bank account.

And there's more.

Stripping the plaster from around the front window to allow damp proofing provided a glimpse of the supporting beam over the window.
Doesn't look too bad from there. But it's completely riddled with woodworm and about as rotten as they come. Here it is after amputation.
Sadly, this means the lovely original plaster cornice has been lost from the front end of the room; the only way to get the beam out before replacing it. We will be having the cornice redone, all in good time. The flow of bank notes is about to become a torrent.

Happily the supporting beam which holds the corridor side of the house up is still perfectly sound. Here's Graham telling Mrs The Millbrooker exactly that.
As I write the sound of power tools and Heart FM is momentarily quiet as Graham has nipped out for a bite of lunch. We have another few hours to look forward to today, though. Followed by more of the same for the next few weeks. Oh joy.

By way of a plug - Graham is our favourite builder for very good reasons. He's not in any way unreasonable in his charges, his work is thorough and he pays great attention to detail and always keeps us informed of exactly what he's doing and why - checking with us on each and every stage that he's doing what we want. As with so many things, once you find someone you trust - stay with them. We've stayed with Graham for years. If you need a builder in or around the Rame Peninsula, he comes highly recommended. And no - he doesn't read these pages. I'll be happy to pass on contact details if anyone asks.


ramehead48 said...

Another interesting article.Keep it up!
Would like contact details for your builder please.
Stewarts the name at
PS Does the Maker Heights have a bar licence?Would be nice to go strolling and pop in for 1 or 2.

The Millbrooker said...

Contact details have winged their way to Stewart.

In answer to Maker's licence - it most certainly does have a bar licence. The Random Arms (so called because it keeps pretty random hours, your guess about when it's open is probably as good as mine, though Sunday afternoons and Tuesday and Friday evenings are often a good bet) is behind the main garrison building; there's a blue door with a sign saying "hippies use back door - no exceptions" - that's one of the entrances into the Random Arms, usually, though, you want the one on the right of that and then once inside it's the door on your left.