We’ve been quiet for a while, mostly because we’ve been on holiday, but partly because we’ve been dithering.

There’s quite a lot to do. And we’re beginning to realise how clueless we currently are about, well, everything.

The oak flooring for the attic is arriving sometime in late October (we’ve put the dates back a little because of the amount we have to do) but before then we have tons of stuff to get on with. Here’s what we’ve done since the last update:

  • Joe and my dad – Adrian – stripped out seemingly miles of cables and nonsense from the attic. Strangely, the porch light and one of the lights in the Rayburn Room no longer work. Makes perfect sense.
  • Pulled out an uncountable number of tacks, nails, and cable ties from all the timber.
  • Removed the final bits of cladding and random battens.
  • Had some more sandblasting done.
To Sandblast or Not to Sandblast

One of our dithers was over whether or not to sandblast the timbers in the attic. We have enough cash to do the floor and the staircase before Christmas, but other than that, it’s getting a bit tight.

In the end, we decided to go for it because as Chris, our Super Sandblaster, pointed out: if it looks crap when we’ve done the rest of the room, we’ll be gutted. And it’ll be a right mess to do later.

We’re really, really chuffed we did because it looks ace. Here’s the before:

Attic space with original beams and pine cladding


And here’s the afters:

Sandblasted bricks and timbers

Stone end, after sandblasting (plus Hole of Doom)

He did the bricks as well, which is ace because they were a right mess, and we couldn’t tell what state they were in. As it turns out, there are many types of bricks in all manner of states.

Sandblasted end wall

End wall of the house, sandblasted

So we’ve just treated all the timbers for woodworm. We need to buy some more stuff to do the top beam and the floor. It’s odd stuff – it made Joe and I sneeze continually…

Concrete Nightmare

Once we’d done that, our next job was to tackle the panels between the floor and the ceiling slope. Interestingly, we found one panel that was still – we think – the original lath and lime plaster:

Original lath and plaster

Original building materials

I wish we’d realised before we knocked a chunk out. We’re leaving the rest of it in situ, obviously, and we’ll repair the hole we made…

Bad news for the other panels though. They’re concrete, and what looks very much like random lumps of cement. We honestly don’t know what we’re going to do with these, because if there’s no brick in the walls and we take all the concrete out, we might end up rebuilding that whole section of wall.

And it’s not just the top bit in the attic – the wall continues down into the Wonky Room below.

Any suggestions and advice welcome!

We did start chipping away at it, but it’s super-hard and it’s going to be a nightmare.

Original panel in the middle, concrete on either side

Original panel in the middle, concrete on either side

And the yukky concrete one – do we chip it all out and risk a hole in the wall? Or skim it and ignore it? I don’t want to leave it there, but neither do I want to rebuild an entire section of wall…

Concrete wall

Concrete wall woe

There’s another one of these on the other side of the original panel. And two more at the other end of the room.

What’s Next?

So, what do we have left to do before the floor arrives?

  • Put eco-friendly, natural plasterboard up on the rafters
  • Skim and paint the ceiling
  • Skim the walls? Or leave the bricks bare? Probably skim them, because they’re quite gappy
  • Put new wiring in (maybe – maybe after the flooring is done)
  • Soffits between the wall and the ceiling to stop birds nesting up there again
  • Cut out the new stairwell and remove the old stair gubbins

And probably a bunch of other stuff too…