An eventful half day (or maybe just a bit more) spent collecting and fitting the new fireplace hearth stone.
Claire’s parents helped us out a lot here; Pearl by looking after the boys while Claire, Neil and I first went to the dump to drop off most of the stuff from the side of the house, then to the quarry to pick up the stone. The use of their Ford Galaxy was very helpful and the stone weighed a fair bit!
It’s a lovely colour and very thick, but we measured it just a bit too tightly, meaning we had to hack off some of the fire screed around the fireplace base. It slid in ok after that, and Neil put down cement for it to bed down on.
There was a fair bit of back and forth before it went in, and the levelling took a while! In the end, we got it level in relation to the floor and almost totally flat across it. we just have to let it dry for a few days then remove the paper and tape around the edges. Then the stove can go back in and be cemented in around the pipe.
I’ve got some serious re-pointing to do tomorrow on the redundant chimney at the back. While the scaffolding is still up for the side render, i’m going to use this to help me out with this other important job.
We had a roofer come out to give us a quote for re-pointing that and other areas of the house but it came back at £450 just for the chimney, but only £650 to take it all down and roof over! So, instead of paying for something I can (I think) do myself, i’m going to give it a go. The materials have cost 1/10 of the quoted cost for the work, so well worth it.
So i’ve got a couple of bags of lime mortar and 3 bags of sharp sand from the Traditional Lime Company and have got to mix it together with water, in 1 part lime to 2.5 parts sand. Lime is slightly corrosive (or very depending on conditions) so gloves are a must! I’m using lime mortar instead of cement, as it allows the brickwork to breath, essentially letting moisture travel out of the bricks which may have accumulated there due to the poor mortar finish. Trapping moisture in there would just lead to problems with damp inside.
Once this is all patched up, we can look at getting some money together to do a proper roofing job, but this might take a while! Until then, i’ll patch up this and a couple of other areas.