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A Little Bit of Decay

This project shows what a few decades of neglect can do to a Listed Building; luckily the new owner will be returning this property to its former glory; Elmstone Design LLP have undertaken a comprehensive survey of the building and have prepared conservation sensitive repair and strengthening details in conjunction with traditional material specialists, Ray Moseley and planning consultant David Booth and architectural designers Arid Consultants.

The scheme has received Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent and the Conservation Officer is using the submission as an example for others to follow.

Works have started on site to make the buildings safe and repairs of the structure are now also underway. Perhaps now unfair to call the page: “A little bit of decay”, as you’ll see from the photos there was a lot, but works on site so far have nearly got us clear of that!

Scaffold including roof to protect building while roof and wall reapirs are undertaken
Clearing fallen stone from the barns
Regrettable but necessary removal of Holm Oak adjacent the Farm House
Deceptively good condition if you ignore the holes in the roof and tiles crashing around you
Ray Moseley, Traditional Repair Specialist, removing cement re-pointing
Tree roots growing into the building tend to cause cracks
The plaster might be falling off but at least the fern is growing well
The floorboards were so decayed that even the crows nesting in this room are in danger of falling through
Woodworm and Death Watch Beetle had the munchies on this joist
Neglect leading to collapse
The beauty in traditional buildings
New backing wall in lime mortar to enable retention and repair of facing chalk
Collapsed internal face of wall with brick repair to enable retention of original facing chalk
Surface decay to beam bearing but otherwise timber in remarkable condition
Replacement of decayed timber lintel under bem bearing into gable
Curved Collar brace repair by Sam
Roof Tiles Removed
Some more work for Sam
Worm and decay on rafter face
Sorting site stonework
Peter rebuilding the chalk face to match existing coursing
Tackling the famous British weather
Stone after removal of cement render by Jeff
Test area of re-pointing of loose random stones
Decay to truss apex
Planing off some holes
Entirely decayed truss removed
New oak truss ready to install
Alex fine tuning of the oak truss
Repaired elm truss in foreground and new oak truss behind
Repaired truss with replacement collar
timber plates to existing rafters to enable fixing of battens and new foil insulation
Steel frame to form new openings
Decayed end to floor beam
New flitch plate supporting existing beam onto new frame
New steelwork to support brickwork to be rebuilt with grey headers to match existing
New steel truss inserted within existing rafter and floor zone to support over stressed existing purlin
Roof repairs in progress
Jeff repairing the chimney

Quotes and Client Testimonials

"John Sutton is an architectural engineer – maybe a bit like Mr Spock mind-melds Frank Lloyd Wright. Deciding to hire John for what grew into a demo-rebuild of our small cottage in Ryde turned out to be pounds well-spent. We’re from the US (10 years in UK). It’s been challenging to re-learn work processes and the like in what is known here as a ‘self-build’ project. We had to trust the knowledge and judgment of a professional we hired entirely on reputation. What could go wrong? Well, it was a good decision: John as Elmstone Design took us through design and planning issues in a conservation area, gaining planning permission having listened closely to our needs whilst making the case for what is quite a change. We’re readying for next stages now. We like working with John and his work, but we’ll still make this review just 4 stars. Got to hold something til the end, don’t we?"- Yell Review 1