It's been a week or so of structural fact-finding missions for me and the bungalow. Lots of crawling about in the loft, lifting roof tiles, sticking my head into small spaces to see what's going on (or just hands and camera into the smaller holes), and digging down through clay. Large hairy spiders and their face-clinging webs are featuring large, and no doubt will do so in increasing amounts from now on.
|The foundations. Featuring large quantities of concrete, splashed liberally around and up the sides of the orginal foundation trench...|
Thanks to my investigations (both on-site and online) I have now have a good understanding of the construction of the cavity walls at the bungalow, and standard cavity construction in the 50's/60's in general. The first day of digging down to see what happened at the base of the foundations I gave up when I couldn't face going any further. I'd found the bottom of the brick wall and the start of the concrete plinth, but that concrete seemed to go on forever. The next day I was very happy to find I'd stopped digging just two inches higher than I needed to go to find the bottom of the foundations.
Here's how I now think the foundations work:
|Wiggly lines = earth. The cavity below ground is probably filled with weak concrete to stop it filling with water or being crushed. The dark grey is hardcore, with concrete floor slab on top.|
This is useful to know as the strawbale wrap walls will need their own foundations and now Kuba (designer) can see how best to construct them around existing foundations in order to fully insulate the whole building, from below ground upwards. Good foundations are known as "as good pair of boots" for the building, so I guess ours would be warm fleece lined boots.
Read the next exciting instalment to find out what's happening at the top of those walls.