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Turn Of The (20th) Century Terrace Refurb


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#1 jono2000

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

Hi all.

I've embarking on a refurb of a 1900's Terrace house, it's all about creating an economical family home.

Economical being the watchword!

The house is a cheapo repossession and has had severe water damage during its time empty.

My experience is .... limited.... but I learn quick!

Which is a good job as the property needs new joists, dry rot and wet rot removal, DPC, new ceiling, replastering, rewiring, new bathroom and kitchen, insulation throughout and chimney stacks repointing. At a minimum!

#2 joiner

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 06:10 PM

About a week then? ;)

Welcome. :)

#3 jono2000

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:42 PM

Yeah, evenings only though..... :)

Progress so far, I've bought a secondhand sds drill from cashconverters (like new!!) to chisel the old plaster off.... it all kicks off next week...

#4 joiner

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:45 AM

A mate of mine told his wife he was going to have to take the kitchen ceiling down.

"I don't care what you do as long as you don't make a mess!"

#5 caliwag

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

:D

#6 jono2000

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

Thats the joy of an empty refurb.... no wife.

#7 joiner

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

:D

#8 jono2000

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:15 PM

Serious question: is Celotex PL4000 internal wall board an efficient and cost effective way to provide internal wall insulation on the external facing walls.

Presumably I only have to apply it to the external facing walls? ie not those that are internal to the house, and what's the best method of applying it. I was under the impression "dot and dab" took longer than battens etc?

#9 oz07

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:29 AM

Mate of mine only ever battens on his refurbs. Just buys lath, fixes to wall, 25mm celtoex in-between, then plasterboard over the top. Wouldn't imagine it's as effective as dry lining with insulated plasterboard, but it does make a difference. You could fix insulated board to battens, but it's always eating into the room. Suddenly you've lost 2"!

#10 joiner

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:38 AM

:rolleyes: No comment! :blink:

#11 jono2000

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

No comment... because you disagree??

As I'm removing the old gunky plaster\artex\unbeleivable finishes from the 1970's. I think I'll get back at least an inch or two.

My thinking is that I'll use battens with 25mm space, then use some kind of foam to stop draughts then place the Celotext pl4000 on top, as thick as I can without causing problems with the door jambs and casing.

Unfortunately external wall insulation is out of the question in this mid terrace.

#12 joiner

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

:D It was the loss of the 2" that terrified me! ;)

As for the less frightening, practical aspects of your post? No problem. What you're proposing is essentially what used to be called 'dry lining'.

You're maxing insulation within the physical constraints of the building so it's all down to detailing now.

Stop the draughts before you batten. If you're using foam for this, use the low expansion stuff because it goes into smaller spaces and dries denser than the standard stuff. Trouble is, it only seems to be available in packs of five tubes and comes with an applicator gun and cleaner. The around-£50 cost for the pack is fine if you've got lots of squirting to do, but my experience is that its shelf-life isn't good beyond, say, three months.

You can actually use the expanding foam to fix the boards onto a flat surface because it's quite an effective adhesive. Not possible with battens though, so you might well have a tube left over.

How are you fixing the battens to the wall?

Are you fitting insulation between the battens?

How are you fixing the Celotex?

And remember that "door jambs and casings" - and window reveals - can be extended outwards by packing under the architrave.

#13 joiner

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

Just to show you what you're looking for...

http://www.screwfix....fixer-kit/65927

Seems to have gone up in price since I last bought the stuff, although it was from TP and with the trade discount, although no price is available here...

http://www.travisper.../539897/2893367

(And Dow Corning seem to be the only people making the low expansion stuff.)

#14 jono2000

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:29 PM

Thanks for the input.

Work progresses. Need to post a few pics so you guys can see what I'm up against....

I'm not wedded to battens, just thought they were simpler for the area I have to cover. Yes I'm concerned I'm losing 2inches on the room length. I'd rather stick the celotex pl4000 directly onto the walls and same the batten time and cost and just use adhesive (dot and dab I guess...)

Here's what I'm up against....

A water tank burst on the first floor flooding the house for several months (it was empty undergoing repossession at the time).

There has been significant wet rot and some dry rot throughout the property, especially around the bathroom, the joists are rotten underneath the bathroom and have rotted through and snapped clean off under the water tank.... the wood has the consistency of balsa wood in that area. Additionally there is tons of wet rot "spiders web" under the plaster.

Full wet and dry rot treatment to start soon!


Posted Image

Lounge ceiling collapse from leaking water tank and rot....

Posted Image

Spiders web of wet rot...

Posted Image

Kitchen ceiling collapse from leaking bathroom and rot.

Posted Image

"Roof garden...."

Posted Image

The last pic is the downstairs lounge, some of the plaster removed.

One last question: how difficult is it to renew joists? I've a general handyman helping me on the demolition and I've little experience of replacing joists. Could I save the cost of a builder and do it myself?

PS - I'm just referring to the joists within the rooms. I'm not talking about replacing beams and structural wood, and actually using lateral restraint straps to tie the building together. Which will have to be done by builders and get some kind of approval from a structural surveyor.

How easy is it to ensure the joists are level, in a line with other non-rotten joists and producing a nice solid non-bouncy level floor. The current joists are just wedged into holes in the traditional old school way of building. Presumably I'd have to put in joist hangers and more modern forms of construction?

There are no strengthening davits between the joists either. Presumably a Victorian cost saving measure?

Edited by jono2000, 24 March 2013 - 03:43 PM.


#15 temp

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:31 AM

If the walls are single brick then you might need to line with a vapour permeable membrane before insulating. See the application note on garage conversions on the celotex web site.

#16 jono2000

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:49 AM

Hmm..... the external walls are two bricks thick. Looking from the outside indicates there is no cavity with the bricks being placed full length, then sideways (end on) then full length again.

I take it that is not "single brick" although you could argue that there is a "single brick" layer only, not a cavity.

A vapour permeable membrane? how does this differ from a damp proof course? (apart from having to line the entire wall height?)

Edited by jono2000, 25 March 2013 - 08:50 AM.


#17 joiner

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:23 AM

It's just a "solid wall" then. Common at that age. We have them here.

#18 jono2000

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:43 AM

Yes, solid. There is some form of render on the bricks (usually used to hide problems...), lateral restraint straps will need to be installed in the front room to stop the front wall bowing away from the rest of the house.

But my main focus right now is economically treating the damp issues, dry lining the walls (with appropriate products) and replacing rotten joists, which I may be able to do with the help of my handyman at least downstairs which looks easier than the first floor outrigger where there's been a bit of settlement. The first floor around the water tank the josts have snapped clean through. The wall between the bedroom and hall is not tied into the rear wall or anything in the roof. I did consider removing it entirely (its full of rot probably) but thats probably a skip's worth on its own, so it gets pricey.

I really really want a strong non-bouncy flat floor, but am I being too cautious in giving this work out to builders? as far as I can see the downstairs joists appear to be a long bit of wood stuffed into a brick opening, sitting on some form of support in the middle (unknown yet as I haven't removed all the floorboards and fully opened it up, sleeper walls most probably).

Presumably I'd need to replace the joists in exactly the same position - as there is a space in the wall where the old joist sat I would use that, and not update the fixing to a new hanger? - but I would use some form of membrane between joist and wall/floor to keep the joist moisture free.

Upstairs is a bit trickier as the house has had some settlement and the outrigger is twisting away from the main building. Lateral restraint straps are called for there as well, but I'd really like to have a flat floor in the back bedroom, so not sure what to do there, apart from leaving it to the builder.

#19 brickie

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:25 AM

Haynes do a manual (like the car ones) for Victorian houses. Whilst not comprehensive it's a good starting point & has step by step instructions for various jobs (replacing dry rotten floor is amongst I'm sure. )

#20 joiner

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:38 AM

Interesting one, brickie. Can't say I'd heard of that one.

The one I used to refer to for years was Hugh Lander's classic...

http://www.amazon.co...64211204&sr=1-1

Some aspects are not for the conservation purist, especially his advocacy of what used to be called the "restoration mix" of 6:1:1, for which I got a vicious kicking on the Period Property Forum a few years ago! :angry:

(The link to that book mentioned by brickie is: http://www.amazon.co...64211438&sr=1-2 )