The site team opened up the next floor down today to find an even bigger crack. More stitching back together required!
Just had a call from site. The extension from the 1800s to the rear of the building at 2nd floor level is not toothed into the building (photos to follow).
So, this is the latest curveball on site. The rear first and second floors were not toothed into the brickwork and were self-supporting. Yes, the wall wobbled! It was only the roof timbers stopping it from collapsing down into the courtyard! Easy to see now why the room was cold and mouldy. In addition, due to the water ingress, the timbers in this section are all rotten so we have to do some rebuilding!
Elsewhere in the building we now have a roof and are nearing watertight (until all the new windows come).
As work has continued we’ve found that the chimneys are in a worse state than originally thought. We took the tops off, to repair around the stacks where previous strapping had blown (causing the bricks to crack), to find that the mortar had all but disappeared within the joints. So, more lime mortar and roman cement required. We also found the flue dividers were in a very poor state of repair – not toothed in, cracked or just plain missing!
Where we are refurbishing the floors, we have opened up the bays. There are a mixture of timbers that have been repaired and replaced over the years, creating a great pattern of historic timbers of various shapes and sizes, which I have asked the structural engineer to validate (he looked at me as if I was mad (rightly so)).
The roof to the second floor extension was pretty shot and we also knew about the hole in the wall (see 20/06/19). But what was unexpected was the state of the timber wall and floor to the rear – this has been in use on a daily basis as the site toilet, and was previously a toilet in the hotel. I am surprised that this was still standing. It is amazing how much strength rot has.
The joiner has now rebuilt this wall, as per the original with mortice and peg joints (I must add a photo of this before it gets covered up!)