Renovation projects can be incredibly challenging. They tend to become trickier as properties get older and experience more wear. If structural propping is put in place it can help to retain and support the structure but it does not provide a solution to the instability. It may even cause issues if it is left in place for a very long period of time as the load may settle in a new place.
Structural propping should be used during renovation projects but it is important to remember that it is designed to be temporary not a long term solution. It makes the structure safe so that remedial works can be done or so demolition can take place if it is the only option.
One landmark project showcases the above. Llywn Celyn is one of the most stunning medieval hall houses in Wales and is arguably the longest continuously inhabited property in the country. In was built in the 1480s and the last occupants only vacated the building in 2014.
Sadly the property has become increasingly dilapidated over the years due to its location. When it rains the water flows down the slope directly towards the building. The previous owners remarked that it was common for it to flood through the kitchen as it made its way downhill.
Llywn Celyn has Grade I Listed status but has spent a very long time on the at risk register. Structural propping was installed in the 1990s in the form of scaffolding to help support the building but remedial works were not done. It was only recently that a project to do this began following help from Landmark Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Renovation work on the site began earlier this year including planting of new hedges and work on outbuildings such as the cow shed and cider house. The main farmhouse is still under restricted access due to its instability. Some work has taken place to install cintec anchors to stabilise a number of the walls though. In other places underpinning is needed to prevent walls from shifting down the hillside and collapsing.
The project showcases how important it is to ensure that the right structural propping is in place with large scale and very tricky renovation projects. Without the supports the farmhouse would be completely inaccessible and there would be very little chance to save it. Work must take place with great care though to ensure they are not disturbed.
At Denon Construction we have a lot of experience with propping and temporary works. We know the important role they serve and can design, install and maintain systems on a wide variety of sites. If you have any questions for us please feel free to get in touch.