This has been an ongoing project for many months, and we have lived with a large hole in the middle of the kitchen floor since February. The reason for the rather strange behaviour of digging up the kitchen almost as soon as we got the cottage was to try and solve a damp problem.
We don't know yet if we have, but we have given it a really good try.
Things ramped up a few weeks ago as Darren dug up more of the floor and deepened the hole.
Eventually he took out almost all of the floor apart from a small section that always remained dry.
Then he filled it with billions of expanded clay balls that will keep the moisture below them.
Next they were covered with a membrane and leveled off at 50 mm below the old floor level.
Then yesterday the big day finally arrived - lime mortar day!
The sand and lime delivery man turned up at 8am, so we were all ready to start. We set up the concrete mixer, got the wheelbarrow and buckets ready and started mixing. It took a bit of trial and error to get the right mix of sand, lime and water and the first two loads had to go back into the machine, but soon we were a team.
Darren loaded and worked the concrete mixer (unfortunately I wasn't strong enough to lift and tip the buckets in) and barrowed it up to the front door.
I loaded it in to not quite full buckets and laid the floor. We worked almost non stop all day, although I had to make an emergency trip to Wickes for more sand.
By 5.30pm we were absolutely shattered but it was finished. We had about half a bag of lime left, and every single grain of sand was used.
We have left it to dry now and hopefully it will be okay when we next see it.