Author Topic: Renovating a Victorian end of terrace house  (Read 7704 times)

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #25 on: 01 December, 2020, 09:39:47 pm »
I've changed the title of this thread, and for the hell of it if ICBA I'll post some of the stuff here and invite comment. There's lots. Miss Ham is documenting a la instagram here https://www.instagram.com/homeunderthehammonds/

Almost 100% stripped out now, here's one issue to deal with, at some point the previous occupants put in a rear door but didn't bother with a socking great hole in the roof letting in water, leading to a degree of rot. Internal timber lintel to be replaced with concrete

Straightforward, cut the bricks on the right, remove the rotten lintel, replace, rebrick if needed and job's a good'un




How to deal with the artex-a-like everywhere is more of a problem


and uncovering and rectifying what they did to rip out the old box sash windows is another







Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #26 on: 09 December, 2020, 05:37:03 pm »
here's a question. The roof is a "London" roof - two roofs with a gulley down the middle. The parapet in the front is bowing in, and needs some form of stabilisation (or, taking down and rebuilding. Can be seen in the streetview photo. Any ideas? I was thinking, a lump of 6mm galvanised angle iron across the back, bolting through to a strap of 6mm in front.


Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #27 on: 09 December, 2020, 06:22:56 pm »
Be careful of the Artexy stuff.
Some of them contain asbestos.

I seem to remember you can get testing kits.
Google seems to agree.

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #28 on: 09 December, 2020, 10:48:50 pm »
Not damp-related but, as a young Venture Scout, I was one of a group sent to do some decorating for an elderly lady in an end terrace. It was one of those where you open the front door and the stairs go straight up in front of you, so along the inside of that end-terrace wall. The landing then went round three sides of the stairs so, to work on the long-drop wall, we put stepladders at the top of the stairs and a plank across from the banisters behind. Not sure we could do that in these modern days of risk assessments, but nobody had heard of those then.

One of the lads was working up there, leaning on the wall, which he suddenly felt move. He got down sharpish, and we all rushed outside. There was an abandoned railway cutting behind the terrace and the wall, now that we looked at it, bowed outwards. We reckoned that years of rumbling trains had had an effect.

We never finished the wall.

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #29 on: 15 December, 2020, 10:57:26 pm »
Be careful of the Artexy stuff.
Some of them contain asbestos.

I seem to remember you can get testing kits.
Google seems to agree.

Artex used the Asbestos as a bulking agent so very common.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
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Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #30 on: 15 December, 2020, 11:27:43 pm »
Would you like a hand?

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #31 on: 28 December, 2020, 10:37:59 am »
Hello Ham,

Re: The parapet wall. Can you post some pictures of the roof timber, especially the bit directly under the valley. From the inside preferably, unless you has X-ray speks.

Sounds like a nice little project and it should look lovely when finished.

Will you be replacing the ceilings with lath and plaster?

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #32 on: 28 December, 2020, 10:39:52 am »
And what's the roof covering ?

archy

  • once asterix
Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #33 on: 28 December, 2020, 10:53:57 am »
Not damp-related but, as a young Venture Scout, I was one of a group sent to do some decorating for an elderly lady in an end terrace. It was one of those where you open the front door and the stairs go straight up in front of you, so along the inside of that end-terrace wall. The landing then went round three sides of the stairs so, to work on the long-drop wall, we put stepladders at the top of the stairs and a plank across from the banisters behind. Not sure we could do that in these modern days of risk assessments, but nobody had heard of those then.

One of the lads was working up there, leaning on the wall, which he suddenly felt move. He got down sharpish, and we all rushed outside. There was an abandoned railway cutting behind the terrace and the wall, now that we looked at it, bowed outwards. We reckoned that years of rumbling trains had had an effect.

We never finished the wall.

When I was a student in Manchester local houses were notorious for the end wall falling down.  We rented one and there was quite a gap opened between stairs and wall.  No passing trains luckily.

Did up my first house, 1905 terrace. Bought for £7,500, recently sold for £128,000.  When I bought it a neighbour told me they'd been selling for under £1k not long before.
what man calls civilization
always results in deserts

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #34 on: 28 December, 2020, 12:27:00 pm »
Yes, the house I mentioned was in the Stockport area somewhere. Not sure where now, it was too long ago.

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #35 on: 28 December, 2020, 07:30:33 pm »
Update. Work has been progressing, the impact of the extended leaking - which actually turned out to be (mostly?) due to to a blocked drain pipe has been....extended :(

The bedroom floor has been repaired, doubling up the joists with coach bolts/dogs in between and added structural screws. The joist between the partition wall dividing landing and bedroom wall (shown below) has been doubled, end to end


With water penetrating down the middle of the house for more years than I care to think about, the beam above the landing (above which is the double skin wall to the rear of the right front "london" roof segment) turned out to be completely rotten. On further investigation, I was less concerned as there is a strain relief arch, so it is not supporting anything more than the bricks below the arch. On further further examination, the bearing point on the supporting wall was buggered to all hell through the mortar disappearing and bricks going to buggery. Any premature removal of the wrong part seemed to engender a risk that the strain relief arch would fail, with corresponding amusement.

Current plan of record is to

(pre launch) hack off plaster and surround moving acrows around to allow support to continue

(a) mortar in the last brick in the arch which was removable by hand. Given the size of the bottom mortar wedge, I actually cut a wedge of engineering brick to increase its structural integrity. Wait to go off. (complete)

(b) hack out a segment of the rotten beam in the masonry, leaving the bit that seemed to be supporting a particularly loose brick, brick up the hole in the supporting wall tight to the loose brick so it has nowhere to go. (complete)

(c) hack out the last of the rotten wood, make good the hole left as a result.

(d) cut the rotten beam square, allowing an additional segment to be added (2 x scaffold board sections screwed together is the perfect size), with a 40mm x 3mm mild steel angle on both bottom sides, cut into the (now good) masonry. Not structural, but sufficient strength for the purpose.


Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #36 on: 28 December, 2020, 07:37:54 pm »
Hello Ham,

Re: The parapet wall. Can you post some pictures of the roof timber, especially the bit directly under the valley. From the inside preferably, unless you has X-ray speks.

Sounds like a nice little project and it should look lovely when finished.

Will you be replacing the ceilings with lath and plaster?

No, cost is king, in this instance.

I'll see what I can see of the central timber, not sure what the relevance is though?

The roof covering is tile to the front gully section, concrete tile to the rear pent bit.

SiL is temperamentally unsuited to anything that smacks of taking more time than absolutely necessary, as a result we have some challenges. He knows a good roofer (a mate) but he couldn't promise to do the work instantly. So, he went to another guy who he has a working relationship with who promised to do it immediately. It took him 4 weeks and +++ hassling to turn up. And he has turned out to be a roofer of the sort who habitually does what he thinks easiest because of course nobody sees his (team's) work . Except that makes no sense when you are working for a scaffolder and you have an ornery old sod who is quite happy scrabbling up a ladder. The main roof -meant to have been repaired - still leaks.

Grr

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #37 on: 28 December, 2020, 07:41:39 pm »
This is the view inside the rear roof.



and



The roofer has put new 4 x 2 joists, no purlin, and put concrete tiles on.. What I'm most interest in, though, is thoughts of what should be done with the cracks showing in both corners (and you can see the inside of the parapet in the r/h side photo)

archy

  • once asterix
Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #38 on: 28 December, 2020, 08:17:06 pm »
Yes, the house I mentioned was in the Stockport area somewhere. Not sure where now, it was too long ago.

The universal problem was the way the walls were built, like cavity walls but without a significant gap.  Steel wall ties were used to bind the two 'skins' but these can corrode and fail allowing the outer wall to part company.  The most obvious sign is an outer wall that leans or bulges. 

In a bad case the outer wall has to be taken down and rebuilt with new stainless steel ties.  Otherwise ties can be put in place without rebuilding the brickwork.

In Stockport lots of terrace houses at the turn of last century were put up for investors who would own whole streets and live off the rents. 
what man calls civilization
always results in deserts

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #39 on: 28 December, 2020, 08:19:23 pm »
Has he put concrete tiles on the rear roof on 4" deep joists ?

As for the main roof, I'm glad it's still slate. I would advise you to keep it that way, as a slate roof is much lighter than a concrete tiled roof which can easily overload a Victorian roof.

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #40 on: 28 December, 2020, 09:05:48 pm »
Has he put concrete tiles on the rear roof on 4" deep joists ?

Yes <fuming smiley>

"It will be strong enough" quoth the roofer.

As a make-slightly-better I'm advocating tieing the new to old rafters, and strengthening the compromised purlin. Those 4x2 don't touch any purlin, just about 3.5m plate to plate.

Quote

As for the main roof, I'm glad it's still slate. I would advise you to keep it that way, as a slate roof is much lighter than a concrete tiled roof which can easily overload a Victorian roof.

No question there, agreed.

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #41 on: 28 December, 2020, 09:07:23 pm »

The universal problem was the way the walls were built, like cavity walls but without a significant gap.  Steel wall ties were used to bind the two 'skins' but these can corrode and fail allowing the outer wall to part company.  The most obvious sign is an outer wall that leans or bulges. 

In a bad case the outer wall has to be taken down and rebuilt with new stainless steel ties.  Otherwise ties can be put in place without rebuilding the brickwork.

In Stockport lots of terrace houses at the turn of last century were put up for investors who would own whole streets and live off the rents.

One slight advantage to the Victorians, who didn't have ties so used bricks to link outer to inner skin.

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #42 on: 28 December, 2020, 09:50:06 pm »
They did have ties and used them to tie the outside skin of bay windows to the rubbly piers on the interior corners between the windows. I had a job in Dorchester taking down a three window bay with gauged brickwork arches and re-building the whole thing with the original bricks and arches. It looked a treat when it was done, but it was a bit wobbly taking it down.

The ties were twisted iron ties with fishtail ends and had corroded through in the middle. Plus the bay had a hipped roof which had been re-roofed with concrete tiles. Which caused so much thrust on the wall plate that it made the bay lean out on the second floor. All of the houses in the terrace were the same except for one with the original tile roof., and had helicoils inserted to tie the brickwork together but were still leaning precariously over the street. All the helicoils did was tie the bricks together and the roofs were still thrusting the bays out. Cheap repairs. which did nothing to correct the cause.

Anyway back to the cracks, are they the ones in the corners of the rear extension bit ?

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #43 on: 28 December, 2020, 09:50:14 pm »
In a bad case the outer wall has to be taken down and rebuilt with new stainless steel ties.
Out of idle curiosity, I looked around the area on Street View this afternoon. In most cases it looks as though, since that time, whole terraces have been taken down and rebuilt new.

Re: Renovating a victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #44 on: 29 December, 2020, 08:04:33 am »

Anyway back to the cracks, are they the ones in the corners of the rear extension bit ?

Yes, they are.

Five weeks down the line, here's the progress update:

The previously noted floor issue has been sorted, concrete lintel and the rotted ends of the joists sistered for the most part.



The state of the previously hidden joist that supported the partition landing/bedroom wall was such I decided to get a structural engineer to look at it. He "signed off" on the joist repairs but said that specific joist had to be strengthened with something - be it steel or wood - set end to end between supporting walls, which is now complete (with wood)

As far as the damp is concerned, I've found a local tradesperson who has sprayed for woodworm, and is the sort of person with whom you are able to conduct a sensible discussion with. We all agree that the party wall needs injection.

Gas, which was labyrinthine in its live network of pipes has been replaced with a new feed to the two places gas is required.

Electrics has been completely replaced, including all the rubber and cloth NARSTY stuff.

Front bay floor which lacked any end support has been sorted.

Lots of stuff ripped out :(

Roof...mmmm

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Renovating a Victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #45 on: 29 December, 2020, 09:51:06 am »
Sounds like it's going full steam ahead.

So really, I'd just point the cracks with mortar and forget about them, unless you think the chimney is detaching itself. It looks like it's all straight joints with a bit of subsidence related cracking on the top right, but it's difficult to tell without eyeing up the whole house.

It sounds like you've got a roofer who suffers from Dunning-Kruger and I suspect he'll take exception to being corrected by a mere mortal, so you may have an ugly fight, but you're not the first one to come across such a type and roofing seems to attract them purely for the reason you stated earlier, as Mrs. P. will confirm.

I'd get the roof watertight and flashed properly by a competent and extend that valley gutter flashing down a bit and put a new, much more bigly hopper on the downpipes just to make sure to catch all the water. But, and it's a big but, I would imagine by the sheer quantity of mortar on that slate roof that you have a flashing issue which has been Botched & Hidden™.

I'd also re-point the tops of all the parapets and just do the neighbours bit too whilst you're up there.

As for the chemical injection and spraying for woodworm, it's not the way I do things as I'm more of a locate the cause and correct it permanently type. Unfortunately it's a party wall, so your hands are tied there.

It is imperative that you get rid of all the water ingress and dry out the building and using sand and cement mortar and gypsum plaster will slow the drying down, but that's modern building and it doesn't really go with old houses and there's a trade off between speed, cost and the use of appropriate materials.

The parapet needs looking at and the wall eyeing up for bow. Plus the hidden roof timbers need poking with a small screwdriver to check for rotten wood. Just eyeballing them isn't enough and physical inspection is necessary. You can do this yourself by judging how far the pointy bit of the screwdriver penetrates the wood and the rule of thumb is: If it goes in more than 1mm you have an issue.

A thorough job of inspection now, whilst the timber is exposed will save both time and money in the long run. The young lady will just have to wait a bit for her dream home to be finished, but it'll be worth it in pounds, shillings and pence.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Renovating a Victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #46 on: 29 December, 2020, 10:36:40 am »
Cripes, looking at these photos gives me the fear. I'm sure it'll be lovely when it's finished tho.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Renovating a Victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #47 on: 29 December, 2020, 01:12:53 pm »
Lubbly jubbly, innit Mrs. P., does it bring back memories of all the fun you had?

Just looking at the pics again. At the top edge on the RHS of this photo, where the new mortar meets the shonky corner of the partition wall/parapet junction. The roof looks like it dips down and that point doesn't look like it has any flashing and requires much closer Ham inspection.









Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Renovating a Victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #48 on: 29 December, 2020, 01:31:45 pm »
And he's broken the corner off the first slate in the second course on the front left side of the valley.

And the first tile on the first course of the front left side of the valley is flush with the wall. All of that edge should be overhanging the wall and the whole of the roof should be flashed with lead and have soakers on every course at the parapet junction to stop wind driven rain.

Re: Renovating a Victorian end of terrace house
« Reply #49 on: 29 December, 2020, 06:47:26 pm »
Wouldn't argue with any of those comments on the roof or roofers. And yes, coping stones on the top of the wall are deffo planned. I'll be looking at the parapet more closely, but the pebble dash and render is coming off soon so I'm waiting to see what the brickwork looks like.

The beam replacement went well, 2 x scaffold boards cut, glued and screwed were the perfect size, only needing 1mm off the width (scaffold still works on imperial sizes quite a bit), Managed to retain a 4" tongue going into the wall, and managed to get rid of the droop. The brackets are only there to hold the separate beams square. Happy with the end result



and