Lean

The front wall of our cottage leans out from just above the top of the plinth to the wall plate – overall about a 10 degree lean. The sole plate has shifted inwards.

Been living here for 5-6 years now  and the front wall is in exactly the same state as when we moved in. Surveyors said it was stable though fragile , the conservation dept at the council might not let me fix it  and leave as is often the best policy in these situation where such buildings can cope with such lean for centuries. OK, but now I’m sixty I want to secure  this in the next couple of years just like the original cottagers would have done. (I will also remove the Tyrolean concrete junk render applied to the outside walls).

Its not an even lean across the whole front: more lean at that point in the wall where there must be a post on which the window frame abuts on one side –  the shift is deepest maybe 11 degrees – while at the left and right sides of the full front there is very little shift. It looks to me like the post has broken near the brick plinth and when I removed some of the internal plaster several years ago, I could see some work was done on the sole plate including use of flitch plate. The plate looks like it has sharp edges to me and if a post were inserted into it, which judging by its position I would expect it must be, could see that it would snap a post on which a leaning force was applied.

Because of the white walls its harder to see the surface contours on these photos …

 

This view taken from the inside show how far the window frame  and plinth have parted ways  on the left of the frame (from the inside).

 

The inside view.The hole is where i removed plaster to see the plinth and sole plateagain this has not moved in 6 years.

We had some wok done on the thatch last year and I propped up the wall plate with accro props to be sure! But a full re-thatch will be needed in next 6-10 years. Do the front wall then when thatch removed or before. Changing the sole plate seems pretty straight forward but the window will have to come out at least temporarily I think – at least to be cleaned!  But I’m finding it hard to envisage how to proceed if the wall plate needs work/replacing and/or if it makes sense to do it anyway so the whole wall is sure for the future (when I’m too old and stiff to work on it).

You can just see in this shot that the wall plate immediately under the loony attic window design has some form of movement or poor plasterwork.