The upper windows were taped up ready for rendering, the window header was patched up and ready to go when it became apparent how silly and difficult it would be to render the small patch of hemp between the window and the upturn of the roof flashing. In fact on all other windows the wall forming the sill slopes away from the window, but the wall forming the sill under the upper windows was made flat as it was too difficult to slope the sills when the walls were being made.
|Upper windows ready for rendering|
|Tiny section of hemp between window and roof flashing|
The solution was to get out the angle grinder and cut away the hemp wall so that it sloped down from the window to the top of the roof flashing. I then carefully measured the angle, which was slightly different for each window, and ordered some Colorbond angles from Kiteleys Roofing to be made up in the same colour as the roof to slot in under the bottom of the window then go over the roof flashing. The result was a very neat finish and it saved hours of fiddly rendering. I am also very confident that it will not leak.
|Hemp wall cut off with an angle grinder|
|Installed flashing blends seamlessly with roof|
Although the outside of the house had been left untended for about a year without any problems it seems that now some birds had decided to try and make a nest in the wall. Luckily they started on a weaker spot where a spacer hole had been filled and the spacer had been over one of the timber studs, which meant the birds were stopped by the stud and did not get all the way through the wall. It just showed us we needed to hurry up with the rendering.
|Bird holes in hemp walls|
Brett, our renderer was caught up with other jobs, but put in a weekend of work to try and get the walls finished. Significant progress was made with render going on around three of the five upper windows.
|Front pavilion completely rendered|
|Render around upper windows on back pavilion done |
New techniques were also tried out. The hemp making up the window header above the long kitchen window was loose and crumbly, possibly because there was a very thick lintel behind the hemp, which was therefore separated into two parts rather than being able to key in each if the sides together. Screws with plastic washers had been used to try to help the wall stay together but thus did not assist with the crumbly window header. The solution was to mix up a slurry of sand and cement and flick it on the window header, using a special tool for the purpose. The cement helped hold the wall together enough to stop it crumbling, but only covered such a small area it would not affect the breathability of the walls. Once the cement slurry had set it was much easier to patch the gaps ready for rendering. The texture created will also help provide a key for the render to adhere to.
|Cement slurry flicked on window header|
|Holes patched ready for render|
The weekend of rendering meant that we only have three walls and the front door area left and the rendering of the whole house will be done. An exciting prospect.
|East wall of back pavilion|
|House looks finished from the back|
|Render finished on the western side of the house |
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