The living room and kitchen are one big open plan room since about March 2013 when builders came to knock through the old stone wall. The room was known as the play room to the Chandlers and was previously a really dark little room . Now that it’s all opened up however the light from the kitchen comes streaming through and has completely transformed that side of the house. The plan is for this to be the day room and there will be a separate little snug / study / TV room for cosy evenings in. The main issue with this room however is damp. It’s an ongoing battle here at Gwalia but this room has suffered the most from not being heated, not getting much sunshine and the walls not being able to breath and dry out. Harry did quite a bit of work on the exterior facing wall in 1990 but little did he know it was actually to do more harm than good. He insulated it, fitted a thin membrane and erected a new stud wall so as to block off the stone wall. Unfortunately that wall is so wet that the water was seeping into the room under the floor. Removing this stud wall and stripping back the window sill / framing revealed the extent of the water damage, the walls were literally dripping with water.
The wooden lintel above the window was also extremely damp, so much so there was soil and roots forming on the underside. This wall will be left to dry out for a few months and then will be lime rendered to allow a more natural breathing process. A new wood-burning stove should also help this. The age and construction of the 18th century house means that the floor sits directly on top of the bare earth with only some insulation and chipboard underfoot. We had to rip up half the floor and replace the waterproof membrane so that we could run it further up the wall and hopefully prevent the same problems re-occurring.
The only nice part of this was the discovery of some messages from the past. When Harry covered over an old window sill the Chandlers each wrote a little message for future inhabitants to find. Long forgotten about, it was rather fitting that it should be the those same Chandlers to rediscover it a quarter of a century later!