A little lean…

There is no question that older buildings throw up surprises. But generally the surprises haven’t been that huge. I knew the roof was put together with sticky gum, tree branches and slices of bark! I knew that none of the walls were square. I knew there was a slope from the front of the property to the back (9 inches/22cm difference).

Parts of this property go back a few hundred years. What has surprised me is the work that was done in the mid to late 1900’s – ie., modern day. To say it was sloppy is a massive understatement.

I mentioned the slope on the property, but there is a wall upstairs that is clearly a relative of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I knew it was there but assumed it was just part of the old building. Alas. ’tis not the case.

As the building was modernised and extended, a steel was inserted downstairs to take a new opening and subsequently support the upstairs wall. This was supposed to be aligned to the wall plate (a large length of timber) that has rather a big job of holding up the roof joists, etc.

Not only was this not done properly, the very professional Neil and Andy are astounded at how badly the job was done. I am not sure what comes first but the wall plate has been pushed out of position because the wall has missed the ‘supporting’ steel by many inches. This in turn has caused a massive wall lean, which has also caused some misaligned weight distribution in the roof. To add insult to injury a supporting beam running horizontal to the wall plate has had a huge chunk cut out of it so it no longer does its job.

Cowboy builders have nothing on the idiots who did this. It’s a shame that houses don’t have service books like cars because I would take a lot of pleasure in outing them.

Do not enter…The leaning tower of South Somerset lives here!

I knew we had an issue so we have planned for it. This is a week of building support walls from 4″ concrete blocks; building stud work where it can help with additional support and ensuring all other supports like purlins, etc, have been properly fitted before the big move next week.

We need to hire a load of acrow props, over and above the 7 we have already. Plus cut an old steel to form ‘needles’ which are then inserted into the wall above the existing steel to help with support. Then the heavy work of moving a steel that weighs over 600kg will commence.

In the meantime, the weekend is here and we will all be consuming vast amounts of spinach and smoking old corncob pipes. Popeye will have nothing on us by Monday !


Not really a builder. Nor a girl in the youthful sense of the word. Bitten by the building bug and keeping a record of the experience. Know a little but learning a lot!

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