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Rescue of Limestone Stucco Wall and Gated Entrance

By Published On: April 29th, 2021

A new limestone stucco wall and Gated Entrance had been built, however the heights were all off and the stucco render had failed.

Most contractors would have shied away from this rescue project. We were asked to come in and rectify work carried out by two different contractors . We love a challenge, and we were confident we had the team, the knowledge, experience, and the skills to rectify the situation and to deliver the high-quality finish desired by the client.

We asked the client what he hoped to achieve. He said this entrance had been a disaster and we needed to blow the socks off the client. Happy to report we did just that!

We called in our Lime Master, Brian Tobin to carry out the lime work. Brian initially trained as a bricklayer and stone layer so this along with his lime skills really came in useful on this project. The poorly built entrance wall could not be re-built again so our task was to disguise the previous poor workmanship. We removed the render and Brian set about with his laser and tape while the team were busy screening sand by hand and preparing the mortar. The sand was blended and graded on site.

The weather was extremely wet for the duration of the project, so a protected shelter was erected on site offering a controlled workspace. A new pigmented ‘ruled-and-lined’ stucco was applied to the walls. Due to the unevenness of the wall the lines were skillfully adjusted to create the impression of a uniform ashlar coursing. In addition, a new pigmented stucco was applied to two piers and a moulded surround provided to the pedestrian entrance gate. The result was astounding, and a valuable lesson was learned by the client, who by this stage had paid three times for the job!

Conserving our restoration skills

Unfortunately, some conservation projects now seem to be driven by cost and timescales under large design teams with heavy administrative requirements. This leaves very little margin or enthusiasm for skilled craftsmanship and training. We strongly believe that getting back to basics is key to preserving our built heritage. Too much focus and pressure is placed on our youth to go on to thrid level education. There are lots of passionate teenagers out there with a natural aptitude to work with their hands and who would relish the opportunity to learn a creative and valuable skill set. We strongly believe these skills will become more and more in demand as focus has to be placed on conservation and sustainable design with an emphasis on quality and traditional building skills.

Restoration and Conservation Services

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