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Fire Damaged Cob and Thatched Farmhouse Repair

Type: Restoration of Listed House after Fire Location: East Devon

We were commissioned to carry out a structural assessment of a seriously fire damaged farmhouse constructed in cob with a thatched roof and ancient timber roof structure. The roof consists of timber cruck frames supporting purlins and rafters. Cruck frames are timber posts which extend from either ground or first floor level up to the roof structure then curve and become integral with the roof trusses, a similar concept to modern portal frames.

The farmhouse is listed and it was very important to reinstate the building exactly as it was and also to reinstate timbers to their original form. To comply with building control, a design analysis had to be undertaken.

We carried out the full initial survey, structural design, detailed drawings, specification and tender documents. We supervised the works and administered the contract through to completion. Our services extended to incorporate alterations to the structure and to obtain listed building consent for these.

We liaised between the insurance company and the owners of the building and were responsible for delineating the repair works due to the fire and optional extras.

The cob was damaged and repairs were undertaken using cob blocks, which are manufactured in the South West of England. Several cracks had appeared in the cob which were stitched using cob blocks and our special tying detail. The work was all carried out sympathetically resulting in no loss of character.