Apologies to all for the recent lack of articles! A very busy spell over the last few months hasn’t left much time for blogging, but now we’re back on track and will be updating more frequently.
One of the many projects that have been keeping us occupied is this exterior Grade II listed property restoration.
Previous poor maintenance had allowed significant rot to develop in all joinery and much of the weather boarding. Our client had only recently taken ownership of the property and needed a proper job doing that would stand the test of time. Clearly the previous decoration was sub standard and every trace of it needed to be removed, so we began work in August by stripping back all the windows using heat guns and our trusty Festool RO90 sander which unearthed an enormous amount of decayed timber beneath the failed coatings. Much of the rot had spread into the surrounding weatherboarding and the extent of the remedial work became apparent.
‘Fear not!’ We said ‘She’s hurting but we think we can save her!’. All of the decayed sections of the windows were removed completely back to a sound surface and reconstructed using Repair Care Dry Flex and new timber splicing where necessary, using an elastic repair compound like Repair Care is a cost effective, long term way of repairing interior and exterior joinery without the need for costly and intrusive replacement. It is also of particular benefit when working on period and/or listed properties where replacement really is considered to be a last resort.
Sections of rotten weatherboarding were removed entirely and replaced like for like, the run of boarding around the bottom of the building was also completely removed and we dressed the plinth with code 4 lead flashing to offer the best possible protection from water ingress. Over the years the windows had become a mismatch of timber beaded and puttied with some double glazed units installed sporadically into the old frames along with several cracked panels and lead lights. We removed all the sealed units and replaced with 5mm single panel glazing as was the original design, we also did away with the glazing beads and replaced with Dry Seal MP from Repair Care which is a modern (and decorator friendly!) alternative to traditional linseed oil putty.
With the rest of the building almost ready for decoration we turned our attention to the porch. This property dates the 16th century but the porch was a later addition and constructed in the 1970’s from reclaimed materials, despite being over 400 years newer it was significantly decayed! Being built from single skin block work it was incredibly cold, so the inside was insulated and mock oak beams were distressed with a belt sander and a blowtorch before being waxed to give an aged effect that tied in with the rest of the interior of the property. We agreed with our client that the exterior of the porch was not in keeping with the rest of the property and decided that the best option would be to clad the exterior which not only would make it more pleasing to the eye but would offer further weather resistance.
The beautiful oak front door with it’s coloured lead lights had been a victim of a previous owner misusing yacht varnish, this had lead to decay in the joints and it had started to sag under it’s own weight. There is a separate article about the repair process of this old and unusual door here: Oak Door Repair Process.
Sooo…. all remedial work complete and first stage of preparation underway it was time to get some paint out. Our client needed a paint system that was tough enough to stand up to the elements and also aesthetically pleasing enough to do this beautiful old property justice. We specified Jotun Demidekk, an incredibly weather resistant and durable European system that is designed for the most extreme climates. When used in conjunction with Visir Primer Jotun claim that Demidekk has a maintenance cycle of 12 years! It also has a wonderful low sheen that works very well on period properties.
We also repaired and redecorated the interior of the windows which were finished with three coats of Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell. Many of the windows were covered with secondary glazing which was removed before finally changing all of the interior ironmongery for black iron monkey tail stays and fasteners.
We are very pleased to say that this project was selected to appear on the front cover of December 2013’s issue of The Decorator, a bi-monthly magazine published by the professional trade body; The Painting & Decorating Association.
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