Trace Basement Systems and Trace Remedial Services received an instruction to investigate the general condition, state of repair and damp defects within an existing farm house, which at that time had no listed building status. Once the survey had been carried out, parts of the original oak frame were exposed and inspected to establish extent of the decay, this also revealing parts of the wattle and daub panelling.  At this stage the initial works then attracted local interest, including that of the Local Authority Conservation Officer.

Exposed timbers after removal of the render:



Specifications for structural timber repair of the oak frame were prepared and included a combination of traditional oak replacement and jointing methods, and also the use of modern timber resin splice techniques using high tensile steel rods in resin bonding materials, which allowed more of the original oak structure to be retained.

At this stage of the project the property gained listed building status, and site works were briefly postponed. Trace reviewed the proposals on behalf of the client with the Conservation Officer, and we were subsequently allowed to progress with the planned structural timber repair.

Work progressed, including repairs and reinforcement of decayed mortice and tenon joints, traditional scarf joint splice repairs to timber posts and complete replacement of decayed members with new oak using modern techniques discussed and agreed with the Conservation Officer.

New wattle and daub wall panels were constructed using traditional techniques and where possible remixing in the original daub material removed from the structure.  Internal wall panels were repaired using traditional techniques including natural wool insulation.

This proved to be a very challenging, but equally very rewarding project, and while some may question the use of modern methods, the Conservation officer suggested that this would make a good case study for the use of modern and traditional repair techniques, including the new technique of re-mixing the old daub into new panels.

After completion the Conservation Officer referred to the building as a flagship timber frame construction in the area, and has since conducted tours around the site. No consultants were involved in the project and Trace managed the process throughout, specifying all works, producing the drawings, agreed the works and managed all works to the timber frame structure.

Further challenges had to be overcome in that without listed building consent the works were continually discussed, agreed and amended with the Conservation Officer as the project progressed, with new ideas being investigated, sourced, researched and trialed. All this hard work finally  paid off when Trace won the PCA property care association project of the year annual award 2014. Chief executive at the PCA said " Trace have once again presented us with a complex and interesting project which has required  the use of a wide variety of methods and techniques there versatility and quality service have earned they the project of the award for the second year running. Read more about our structural timber repair services.


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