Blog 09-01-23

As you might expect, not much progress on our new porch over the Christmas and New Year period, other than the roughcast on the external walls. About 50% was completed but rain, holidays and cold weather put a stop to further work. However, both myself and Cathryn were not happy with the work, so when the roughcaster returned last week, I pointed out all the areas we were not happy with. There were patches were the chips were missing, bulges below the ends of the window sill and messy areas around the perimeter. Strangely, he didn’t seem over bothered, decided not to continue and reported back to the main contractor to determine the next step. (He was actually a sub-contractor called in during a busy time).

Today with the holidays over, I waited about until 10.00 am to see if anyone turned up but as expected no-one did. However, I left a power extension cable running from the shed and headed out on the bike to turf around Bonnyrigg. On my return and much to my surprise the apprentice roughcaster was there busy stripping off the offending roughcast with hammer and chisel. Seems the decision had been made. Turns out the project manager and their own roughcaster had visited earlier, were in agreement with my comments, and decided the best option was to start again.

The roughcaster arrived shortly afterwards with an electric hammer and spent the rest of the day removing all the offending roughcast as well as the cement render ingoes and soffits to the door and window. The sand they used was showing black rusty spots due to contamination by lignite, a type of soft brown coal. I’ve actually come across this during my sand collecting, often finding beds of this is the exposed faces of sand quarries and glacial sand exposures. I must say fair dues to Bryant and Cairns, who are the builders for our porch. One of their key values is to do a good job and any issues we have had have always been resolved without question.

So, the roughcast has all been stripped now and it’s now down to the vagaries of the fickle Scottish weather when work will start again. I’ve been assured that this time the work will be done properly. And other than the roughcast, the electrician needs to return and fit the door bell and some extra downlighters we requested as an extra. A few finishing touches such as sealants, the downpipe and final clean up should see the porch complete, at least as far as the builders are concerned. I’ll still have decorating, flooring, internal coving, sorting out the pavers on the driveway and arranging for some fencing work. All good fun!

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