Saturday, September 05, 2020

Benson Row - 16

Penrith, Cumbria. August-2020.

When I said the end was in sight it turns out that the light at the end of the tunnel was an oncoming train!

The fitter came to start work on the new oak flooring in the living room. He lifted the old laminate and remarked that the floor seemed a little uneven. High in front of the fireplace and low by the front door; it was a little bouncy there. So he lifted an experimental piece of chipboard to discover that a 5 inch section of joist had rotted away and was precariously balanced on a piece of plywood!

Under the floorboards it is a curious tiered construction. In the cellar are two massive oak beams supporting the structure above. Laid across those are what look like the original joists from the mid-Victorian construction made of some chunky, dark timber, possibly oak. Laid atop those are modern pine joists dating presumably from the 1975 works.

We guess that rain coming in under the front door is responsible for the rotten joist which is rather unfortunate as the modern pine joist closest to the door is not attached to the side wall!

We called round the structural engineer who recommended that we really ought to pull up the rest of the chipboard so we could see the entire room joists to make sure that nothing else was amiss before laying the new floor.

So far that has revealed that the stud wall furthest from the door is actually resting on the chipboard not the joists. The next step will be to have the structural engineer and the timber specialist visit together to come up with recommendations and a plan of action.

Once any rectification has been done we can get back to laying the new floor. With any luck it will all be done by the time we get back from Italy.

The money pit that never ends!

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