It’s taken a while, but the builder has finally been able to get here to look at taking the studio roof up by a course or two of bricks. Earlier in the year he came by to refresh his memory and check the holes in walls that I’d made to find out what was behind the plasterboard, and to provide me with a rough estimate. Recently, I found the door didn’t want to shut properly, and so I investigated the springy floor in front of the door.

So I knew life wasn’t going to be great..

As promised, the builder showed up today, and started stripping the plasterboard completely so we’d know what we’re up against. The walls looked to be in decent condition, but the smell of damp got worse and worse as all of the insulation was removed. The walls are dry, but the slab .. less so.

The slab is actually wet in places, not just damp. There are also roots coming in from the plants at one end – the wall is just supported on dirt, not even on the cobble-lock. The front wall is resting on some thin concrete, with cobbles underneath; the newer party wall doesn’t appear to have anything more than dirt underneath it; the rear party wall is an old granite garden wall and is solidly supported.

The current way forward is looking like a front and side wall come down completely, the newer party wall gets some concrete under it, and a whole new slab gets poured. A facade wall goes up at the party wall end, resting on the slab, and tied to the party wall for shared stability. The garden wall gets done back the way it was (or a skin wall, not sure yet) with timber and plasterboard. The new slab will be the same as the house – 100mm insulation, 100mm concrete.

Renovating the studio: part 1
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