House Progress Report ongoing...

After buying the house the first this I did was to redo the drains for waste water. The previous system was a single pipe along the back of the house and through the stables down to the road. As the pipes were only just below the surface and as there was no way to maintain the system due to the severe lack of a maintenance shaft, I decided to put in new and much lower pipes. This meant that I could have many pipes draining into a maintenance shaft thus making land drains a possibility and being able to connect future drains without tearing up the whole thing. The picture clearly shows the old pipe next to my knees and the new pipe leading into the road going in under my feet. The new drain system works fine and I plan to add the land drains this (1999) summer. The water coming from the roofs will also be correctly evacuated and will not just pour out over the ground.

Heating, Chimney and Tank Room
One major decision to take was where to put the whole heating system. At first I thought I may be able to put the heating in the ham smoking room and the tanks in the room next door. The existing chimney could have been used for the exhaust gases. I abandoned this idea for a few reasons. The available space for the fuel would have been less than 3000 liters and the whole thing would have ended up being a very cramped affair with a strong bend in the exhaust pipe to the chimney. I decided to move the whole thing to the barn against the house wall. This involved putting in a floor capable of supporting six tons of fuel on four square meters, building a brick fuel room and a brick heating room. In case of a major desaster the fuel room is coated with three layers of special epoxy paint so that all the fuel is contained. The fuel room has four 1500 liter tanks and the heating room with the 200 liter water boiler has little but enough space for future expansion so that it can also heat the second house next to the barn and the living room that is planned above the stables. The chimney was built during a cold November weekend in 1997 and the weather conditions are reflected by the blurry pictures!

Land drains

The damp area in the house was the outside wall of the kitchen. This called for a land drain.
First the soil was removed at the back of the house.
Then the land drain was put in surrounded with stones and protected from mud using a gauze foil.
And finaly the gauze was used to cover up the whole thing.

Now, a few months later the dampness has gone.


The ceelings are currently being redone and I have already completed the first floor and the stairwell to the roof.
After the horrible task of removing the old ceelings the beams were treated against the woodworm that was present.
As each beam was different a plank was fitted to each beam to level off the uneven hights.
The gaps were filled with insulation and then small steel beams were used to connect the new plaster boards.

Hidden Treasure

While cleaning the stone joints in one of the ground floor walls I found the following "Louis d'Or":