We're having the lounge room re-plastered at the moment. The plaster has been coming away from the front wall for some time now. This is largely our fault. We waited for ages and ages before we fixed the guttering which had come away from the front house wall which meant, of course, that water simply poured down the front of the house whenever it rained. That meant that the bricks got wet, which meant that the plaster got damp and it perished. It hasn't got any worse since we had the guttering fixed but it did need dealing with.
We decided while we were about it that we would have some other bits where the plaster was looking unhappy done, and have another wall skimmed, and have the artex on the ceiling covered over. This was an issue not because the artex in the lounge room itself was unsightly, but where the old hallway had been, before someone knocked the wall down, the "artex" on the ceiling was appalling. Someone has just splapdashed stuff all over the place. No attempt at a pattern. It was awful. Cally would have done an infinitely better job.
Well. We knew it was a bodgy job. We didn't realise quite how bodgy. When Liam the Plasterer started to take the stuff down in the passageway, this is what he found:
Fortunately, the main lounge room ceiling is in much better condition and it seems as though he's only going to have to properly fix the old passageway. He can skim the rest.
He started taking the perished plaster off the front wall and found a gap in the bricks, letting cold air in. He's filled that with some foamy stuff. The front inside wall now looks like this:
It so happened that we had a bloke from British Gas in the house on Monday, when all of this was going on. He was doing our annual boiler service. When he discovered that Liam was intending to take one of the radiators off the wall, he came down to help. Most unfortunately, this left one of the radiator pipes feeling very unhappy and it was leaking slowly in sorrow at losing its radiator friend. The boiler man gave The Builder instructions on how to stop it and went away. Liam was going to look at the leak yesterday morning when he came in. Sadly, unexpectedly he wasn't able to come in yesterday.
As slow leaks do, it got over-excited and by yesterday was quite an enthusiastic leak. This made the boiler very unhappy. Fortunately it is quite mild at the moment and even more fortunately we have our lovely new wood stove to play with. The wood stove keeps the downstairs nice and toasty warm. Just as well, because we can't really run the central heating while the pipe is leaking. It then leaks with extreme vigour and empties the boiler. Sigh.
I am hoping that Liam will be able to stop the leak today. I know he is a plasterer and not a plumber, but he takes many radiators off walls in the course of his working life so he must know how to deal with grumpy pipes. Otherwise I'm going to have to get in a proper plumber. We don't want water running randomly onto the wooden floor in our lounge room indefinitely!!
I think next time I'll just hang an arras over any dodgy plaster I happen to have lurking about. Much less trouble, though possibly quite a lot more expensive if I get a richly textured mediaeval arras.