Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Well i finally got down and dirty with the tiles and adhesive, but not before I put down the Durabase CI mat to decouple the tiles from the screed. I wanted to make sure any shrinkage was covered. Its interesting stuff, a kind of rigid waffle that is cut and then stuck to the floor. Allegedly it allows screed floors that aren't fully dry to dry out buy not trapping the moisture, giving a route to pressure adjust and balance.

Well it was cut and stuck, the indentations filled, more adhesive and the tiles laid over. Time will tell if it does its job and if on e still gets as  solid a base. It did add a stage but probably not more than an hour and an extra 30% adhesive.

I also used the LASH tile levelling system. This was the cheapest of the systems and didn't require any tools. As far as i can see the only shortfall of this is the lack of an edge clip which means that there is no additional support to the base on edges and potentially your tiles could run slightly in that direction. In  terms of ease of use though, 10/10.

Meanwhile John is busy on the walls, doors (Eclisse pocket sliders are always a bit tricky when you haven't done one for a while, and the instructions are some of the worst on the market!), and leaks – yes we have one mystery leak on an exposed elevation that is keeping one wall VERY wet. The hunt continues. The new oak doors came too and we will do a post on those separately.

The Apprentices are on the first lime skim coat downstairs and its all starting to look a bit closer to being a habitable room.

Pics to follow soon.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Wonder wall

Our “wonderwall”… from the great father and son team of Dan and Jim Hurles from Kilkhampton. I will get some better photos of this as soon as it’s all finished and tidied. It was a pleasure working with them, no hassles,  just a good job efficiently an d beautifully done.

We asked them top use a more traditional and chunky style to mix in with the front wall. We also chose a herringbone top course to improve stability and resistance to slip. We have found that flat top courses tended to become unsettled with both children and dogs leading to the top course falling off. The herringbone should reduce the likelihood of this.


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If you need any stone walling done we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them, call Danny on 07900910082

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

More lime

Finally getting onto some finishing details. Today John started the lime plastering skim coat and we are experimenting with the primer. “Officially” one should use a primer from Bayosan to go onto regular plaster but we are doing a bit of atrial as at £100 per 10 litre pack it ain’t a cheap solution. We are trialling our own PVA based concoction which comes in at more like 10p per litre (which looks remarkably similar)… of course time will tell so we may not know for 2 years but that’s the nature of experiments. We will update at some time in the future and in 2 years will know for sure… if it fails dramatically i suspect we will know a lot sooner.

Here’s John  getting into the fiddly detail and making a fine job of highlighting the oak spreader.