The team is back on site today after the wet Easter break. Major discussions about how I want the terrace of this Rutland cottage laid out, in terms of the pattern of stone slabs, quarry tiles and gravel. I want to recycle as many of the slabs and tiles as possible. All these were dug out from beneath the cottage during the renovations.
Together with the new gravel, I am hoping to create a suitably cottagey, higgledy piggledy terrace at the side of the cottage. Not a crazy-paving patio that’s set in concrete, and not an elegant york stone terrace, but something in between the two, that looks more organic. This is a challenge for the builders who spend their lives squaring things up in perfect alignment. Getting their heads round this deliberately higgledy piggledy look is not easy. So, half an hour’s conflab this morning, working out how to make what will in fact be carefully-considered look carelessly artisan!
The ‘heroes’ of the terrace are undoubtedly the two biggest stone slabs that were under the kitchen floor. One is squared off, one looks like an outline map of Australia. Both are huge. Along with the rest of the slabs they were discovered under the DIY laminate which was laid on top of the 1970s Marley tiles, where were sitting on top of 4 inches of concrete, which had been poured on top of the 18th century stone slabs. Kudos to the builders for getting so much stone out, much of it in decent sized pieces.
The back cottage, now my living room (and above it, the main bedroom), had blue carpet, on top of underlay, on top of newspaper, on top of tar paper, on top of amazingly thick quarry tiles, which were loosely bedded into sandy mortar set on the bare earth… The best of these quarry tiles are being used to visually ‘join up’ the various gravel paths and paved areas in the garden.
The amount of hardcore and gravel that’s coming on-site is amazing. Another delivery this morning from Jackson’s. Wish he’d had that crane here when the team was positioning the first slab!