Thursday, January 01, 2009

A New Years Day we won't forget

The "master bedroom" has not been used since we moved in 5 months ago. I have always been worried about the room in general - the walls have cracks in them, the floor is on an angle, and the doorway is broken. See, it seems the previous owner decided that instead of replacing the wood floors in the Old Miners Cottage, he'd pour in concrete floors instead. What we're left with is very uneven floors and a cottage that is showing signs that it isn't happy with them either. Well, Mum and Michael decided enough was enough - we'd talked about doing it for too long - they wanted to see what was under the concrete floors!

We tore up the very old lino and noticed the crack in the concrete. Tapping on it with our fists, we realised the floor sounded almost hollow. Turns out the concrete floor was only about 3 inches thick, laying on a bed of sand and rubble!

The removal of the concrete took less than half an hour or so - but the digging and pulling out rubble took quite a few more hours. We found all kinds of junk in there, including: a rat/mouse nest, a comb, a pair of thick tights, the remains of some old leather shoes, 2 marbles, 2 glass bottle tops, hand made nails, a big rusty key, animal bones (we hope!), bricks bricks and more bricks, quartz rocks that were used as rubble AND holding up the house (we left the ones holding the house up in place. ;) ), a pen cap, shopping list, old pieces of lino and wallpaper with newspaper backing, other unidentifiable objects, and did I mention bricks?!

This is the result of todays work!

The view from this angle shows the main reason why I wanted to have this room fixed before we occupied it - that wall Marty is leaning on there has dropped down and the stump supporting that corner has rotted away.

Tomorrow we'll be moving the contents of the loungeroom into the spare bedroom and pulling out the concrete. Both rooms need to be done at the same time to allow access to the rotted stumps - so we'll be living in the first two rooms in the meantime.

It's amazing that this house is over 100 years old and still stands! :) Although, having seen its faults first hand, I somehow feel more confident about it's condition and our ability to fix it - with Mum and Michaels help, of course!


  1. Well done! Looks like a scary endeavour at first, but you've uncovered the problems areas and it's achievable to fix.

    Coming from Queensland, I'm amazed to see a house built so close to the ground. If it's not on a concrete slab it's on stilts in our state. We have a nasty problem with wood eating termites.

    Looking forward to seeing how you bring it all together. Good work!

  2. Well done! Now you have a base to work from. Marty - you really should be wearing shoes! I'm a barefoot person myself but construction work is one time I do put them on! How old were the newspapers? They might have some interesting news!

  3. Crikey, looks like some work ahead! Good on you for tackling it & good luck!

  4. Thanks for the support everyone - we're a bit apprehensive about it all - but it has to be done and now we've stated, there's no stopping it!

    Cosmic - there was only a tiny piece of newspaper, and it said that onions were going to rise in price by £1. Cute. We've also found some interesting green wallpaper and sheets of music too. I'll harp on Marty to put on his shoes!!

    Again, thanks to you all for the support!

  5. Wow lots of work to be done. Thank goodness you have good help like Mum and Michael. And Marty PLEASE wear shoes next time. It made me nervous that you would hurt your feet. Mom