The builders were back bright and early today – pretty sure they were parked at the bottom of the drive at 20 past 7.

The studio is pretty much gone, and the demolition was interesting. The roof came off first, and this is where Michael (head builder) discovered that the door frame had been taking some of the load from the roof. Door frames aren’t really structural load-bearing items, especially the uPVC frame that was present. There was no lintel across the top of the door, just three bits of wood that weren’t even joined to each other.

Then they found out that the two pillars either side of the door weren’t exactly joined to the rest of the wall; see the video for details. To cap it off, when taking down the walls from the front of the studio with a sledge hammer, the walls just skidded across the floor slab. They weren’t even anchored in place. The side wall also wasn’t anchored to the back wall at all, just a small bit of cement that couldn’t really be considered structural. In fairness, the building has stood there for probably 40 years (I need to ask the neighbour to see if they know when it went up) and would probably have kept on standing, but with the damp issues in the floor and walls, and the fact that a good hard shove on the front wall might have brought it crashing down.. yeah, rebuild is the right choice.

The neighbour came for a visit, and we agreed that once the building was back in place, we’d sort out a re-render of the wall on his side so that it didn’t stand out quite as much. Tomorrow should see the removal of the skip, and a delivery from the local building supply company, and the prep work for the foundation and raft. Concrete should pour on Thursday, and then the walls will start going back up.

One upside – “free” firewood. Some of the old timber is pretty dry, little to no wood worm (which the fire won’t care about). Cut it up this evening with Mum’s help, and consigned some to the “burn it” pile, and some to the “to be cut and introduced to a lathe as practice wood” pile.

Renovating the studio: part 2
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