Building survey of rural cottage

Project Brief:

The customer contacted AJB Design & Build and asked for us to come out to do a site consultation at their holiday home in rural south Shropshire. The building was very old and had undergone some level of renovation 20 years prior. The main issue with the building was that of damp penetrating through walls, floors and ceilings. Following the consultation it was advised my ourselves that we carryout a thorough survey of the property and put together a dossier outlining various aspects of the building which needed attention and how these problems could best be remedied. Some of these, included multiple options so as to cover varying budgets.

Project Outcome:

The dossier produced was significant in its length as there were a considerable number of problems with the property. The biggest problem with the building being that old and new methods of building had been merged with some disastrous consequences. Using new cement based plaster and render on old solid stone walls and cement mortars prevent the walls from naturally drying, trapping moisture in. This will only ever end badly and usually results in the plaster detached from the wall completely and will in time crack and flake off.

Old buildings were built to be draughty and damp, which seems odd but the two actually go together well especially when combined with lime based plasters and renders. These elements allow the building to naturally absorb moisture in damper conditions and dry out during dry times without any adverse effects to the buildings elements. If however any of this is disrupted, the whole process becomes compromised.

Following the submission of the survey the client has started to fulfil some of the recommendations, and we believe the work is still ongoing.