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Message started by SimonF on May 19th, 2021, 4:29pm

Title: Gable wall coming away
Post by SimonF on May 19th, 2021, 4:29pm

We have recently become the owners of an early 1800's house that has been somewhat neglected. Always expected it to be a 'project' but....

It badly needed a new roof. Roofing company came today to start the work. After removing the tiles from one section, they found that the purlins are only barely supported by the gable end wall (just 1cm of overlap). After that they refused to do any further work until a structural engineer has inspected it.

I've then spent the rest of the morning taking the plaster off the wall inside and sure enough there is a crack in the brickwork along the corner running from ground level up to the roof - just wide enough to fit my hand in.  

The front and rear walls are built of sandstone and rubble, and the gable wall is brick  (It was originally built as a row of 3 cottages, but at some point the end unit was demolished and the new gable end wall built). And now it looks like the brick and stone are pulling apart, and the gable wall has shifted outwards by about half a brick width. It must have been there for some time as it was plastered over on the inside and rendered over on the outside.

We have the structural engineer coming out to take a look, but he can't come until next week.

Does anyone have any ideas on what he might suggest (I just want to be prepared as much as I can beforehand).

Thanks :-)

Title: Re: Gable wall coming away
Post by woodsmith on May 20th, 2021, 9:02am

I think the only thing you can do prior to the engineer coming out is check your buildings insurance.

There are ways of stitching cracks together but they won’t work with major structural movement so it all depends what is causing this crack to form. You may be able to make a relatively inexpensive repair of stitching the crack and building a pier to support the purlin, or you may need to underpin the footings and make a more substantial repair which would obviously be more expensive.

The insurance company will normally only pay for work they commission so if you arrange for a structural engineer I don’t think they will reimburse you if you then make a claim. It may be worth contacting them now and see what they suggest.

Title: Re: Gable wall coming away
Post by SimonF on May 26th, 2021, 9:57pm

The structural engineer's opinion is that the wall has probably been like that for decades rather than years.

He's recommending stitching with helibar's to ensure it doesn't move any further and adding supporting brackets to the purlins. So hopefully not too big a job.

If anyone knows a reliable builder in the Northamptonshire area who might be interested let me know!

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