Project Dingle

Restoring an old cottage...

Month: November 2016

Getting Plastered

So, after all the mess and preparation and planning and mind-changing, we’re finally getting plastered.

The lads turned up on Friday – proper lovely chaps they are too – and proceeded to put the scratch layer of lime plaster on the walls and ceiling in the attic.

Joe and I are feeling quite smug because John, the master plasterer, kept saying what a beautiful job we’d done of the insulation and gap filling. Here’s what the attic looked like on Saturday morning – it’s already taking shape, and it’s certainly more echoey now.

We had some good hollow booming voices going on.

So, this is the gable end that adjoins the stone part of the house. They’ve put an extra layer on that centre panel because the brickwork was a bit of a mess where the chimney goes up the wall. So they’ve built it out to tidy it up.

Gable end 1 scratch

The other gable end. There’s still daylight under that tape, but not for much longer!

The plasterers are using special insulating lime plaster, which is not as good as using proper insulation, but is much better than just plastering onto a single skin brick wall. So it’s a decent compromise to keep the timbers on display, but not freeze to death in winter.

I guess we shall see!

Gable end 2 scratch

And the guys have tidied the windows up – which makes a big difference:

Window prep

So, today they’ve been putting some of the top layer of lime plaster on and they reckon they’ll be done tomorrow. It already looks absolutely fab. I was beginning to doubt whether we’d really end up with a lovely room, but we totally will.

I’ll update in a few days with the finished article, before we paint it…

But in the meantime, our living room has become a serial killer’s kill room. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Dexter, but…

Kill room


But surprisingly effective at keeping the worst of the chill out of my office. Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll be dust free for a little while…

Giant sycamore coppice and other heavy things

When we first looked at the house, way back in February, there were three large stumps in the middle of the lawn, each with a few poles growing out of them.  By September they had transformed into a veritable coppice topping out at well over ten meters high, and a good eight meters across.

It was somewhat alarming to realise how quickly it had grown, and we feared if we gave them another year we might not have a lawn at all.

At the very least, it needed reducing in size and showing who was boss.  Out came the trusty chainsaw, and we took it from this (okay so this was taken in summer, but you can see how ridiculous huge it was):

Sycamore before

to this:

Sycamore after

A mere skeleton of its former self. But it’ll bounce back.

We also took out most of a dead apple tree, and made a start on the world’s most giant GardenStump:


At some point during proceedings, the wheelbarrow committed seppuku. I don’t think it ever really recovered from drunken midnight railway sleeper maneuverings…

Progress though. Progress.

Oh, also – the chickens appear to be digging a tremendous hole in the garden…

Tremendous Chicken Hole



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