Ecology issued us with a revised offer of loan yippee! So paperwork-wise we're good to go. However, our solicitor has gone on holiday this week, holding up the exchange of contracts. This in turn delays completion, which means that we might not be formally ready to move into the houses by the time the new tenants on the place we currently live in are due to move in. Grr!! So we're looking at mid-end September at best for moving in.
We have hit a steep learning curve with the immediate practical job that needs doing - re-pointing and replastering walls in 25 and 27, as well as Hemcrete-ing the interior of the front walls. We are using lime plaster from a local company, who import it from France - there's none made in UK anymore. We chose it because the walls are solid red brick and need to breathe; 'modern' gypsum plaster suffocates walls. For more info go to: www.anglialime.com
Hemcrete is essentially lime plaster with hemp stalk fibres mixed in for their insulating properties - neither 25 nor 27 have any wall insulation nor wall cavities, so after extensive research and price comparisons between the Breathe insulation system, wood fibreboard and Hemcrete we settled on the latter. We'll be applying it ourselves by casting and shuttering onto the inside of the walls - some straight onto brickwork, some onto the original plaster once stripped of wallpaper and old adhesives.
Lots of people have offered us the loan of plastering tools & equipment, tutorial DVDs and advice, as well as elbow grease! Thankyou Jnanamitra, Harsharatna, Samira, Dave & Jood, Paul, Noel, Karl, John and Jenny, John Taylor, Das, Margaret, Tom B...anyone ive missed too!
If we'd had a chance to arrange the plastering and this first phase of Hemcreteing as a public workshop we would have, but it took us by surprise somewhat. If you're interest in coming to help within the next two weeks please do contact us, and ill put out days we're at the houses working by text - likely to be Sunday this weekend and most days next week.
the front wall of no. 25, all bare n nekkid for the first time in probably 200 years
The rewiring is progressing apace, some fittings are now on ceilings, but it cant enter phase two and the leccy cant switch on the new circuits until we've plastered over the channeled in drops and around the fronts of sockets...pressure!
Its all a bit tense in Camel-land...x