The restoration of a Suffolk Clay Lump cottage
Suffolk clay lump buildings are an increasingly rare structure,all too often they have been patched up using inappropriate materials which over time contribute to their downfall( literally!).
It is a great credit to owners who realise the special nature and character of these vulnerable buildings and then make the commitment to restore them using traditional materials and methods.
One such is a lovely little cottage tucked away in mid Suffolk.
When found it had not been lived in for years, was in a very poor state generally and the clay lump had been patch repaired with concrete,brick, block and cement .
To make matters worse, the ground level to one side had been built up over the years so that it was now some 400 mm above the original,over the flint plinth course and drawing dampness into the lump.
Cement rendered inside and out, the poor cottage was not too far from collapse in places and in fact some professionals claimed it would be best to demolish it and start again.
Luckily the owners appreciated it’s special qualities and the real character that these buildings have and decided to restore and repair using the specialist experience of The Green Man Building Company.
First job ,to carefully reveal,all the bad repairs and assess the damage caused,this meant removing the increased ground level, the cement render and the many patch repairs in brick, concrete and modern block,while at the same time ensuring the cottage could still stand on its clay lump core.
Once stripped back a restoration plan was established and we began to put things back together using skills and materials appropriate to clay lump constructions.
We have now completed the inside, lime plastering the repaired walls and re pointing the flint plinth course.
Part of the investigations discovered that the floor was now a concrete one , that was driving moisture up into the walls, so that was removed and an insulated Glapor and limecrete floor installed, so now the inside is sound, warm and dry!
The lime Crete and the Glapor were provided by Ty-Mawr lime www.lime.org.uk ,who were as always great with their specialist advice.
Next job will be to repair and lime render the outside,once it has had a chance to dry out and the weather to warm up .We will source our lime render from Anglia Lime Company,a Suffolk based specialist supplier.
More on this ,including images ,on the Green Man Building Company web site and an update on the external restoration to follow.