We have a beautiful old house with some serious DIY required. Last year we went on a Working With Lime course at Acton Scott Farm. It was fantastic. It taught us everything we need to know to repair our house. Last weekend we bought all the bits and pieces we needed to start our repairs. We have three huge tubs of lime putty to mix up with our sand. It is a wonderful medium to work with. It is a lovely consistency, it takes a long time to go off and is so kind to amateurs. We have now repaired the panels pictured and a couple of other bits and pieces that needed it. We have even started repointing our garden wall.
The wall is in desperate need of repair. We didn’t think it was too bad initially, but then I took away the ivy and realised that the wall then lost a lot of its structural integrity. Today I cleared out some of the old crumbling mortar and I was amazed that the wall was still standing. I have now repointed about a 60cm stretch and I stopped in time for a little shower of rain. Tomorrow I will clean it up and make sure it looks neat. And the best part? If it doesn’t look good and I go out tomorrow and realise how bad I am at pointing, I can rip it out and start again! Lime is such a great product in that respect.
The real shame is the realisation that we only have to do half this work because previous occupants haven’t done things right and have used cement based products, which cause big problems in properties this age, when it would have been so easy to use lime. We are determined that everything we do to this house will help it last longer, not hasten its demise.
All the time we were working I was feeling glad that we’re not in Christchurch (NZ). Hello to all friends and family there. I hope none of you have too much house repair work to do now, and that cleaning up goes quickly.