Santa going down the chimney

As we woke up to snow this morning, and people are beginning to feel festive, we wanted to share how we’ve been doing some very important Christmas work this week, getting chimneys ready for The Big Man himself! We have sorted out three chimneys in Cavendish! You can see one of them before we started - the mastic was not great.

We have redressed them in lead and repointed them with lime mortar.


We have also done a lovely red-brick one in Honey Tye.

So here’s to K.E. Jones & Son Building Services - helping you get Santa-ready! Ho Ho Ho!


Another property that we were called in to help with, had insufficient support, which meant that there were cracks which had formed due to movement. We installed tie-rods throughout the building. These have been used throughout history to reinforce the masonry structure and to absorb outward pressure. Long metal bars are installed from one side of the building to the other through the floor joists in order to connect walls back together.

You can often identify a property that has this by the S-brackets which are anchor plates on the outside. These also come in other traditional decorative shapes. In addition we also had to stitch-in brickwork. This involves putting helical bars into the brickwork which are secured with a specialist type of mortar. This is a solution for weaknesses and cracks, and gives the brickwork more strength.


Cavendish project

Our Cavendish project is coming along nicely. Steel work and fire-retardant plaster boarding is now in ready for plastering.






Following on from last week's blog, another thing that we are often called in to rectify is damp caused by the use of incorrect building techniques as well as the use of incorrect materials. Many old properties don’t have a damp course so water will penetrate through the brickwork and render, if the property can’t breathe.  In addition, slabs had been laid uptight to the property. This caused bridging damp, where water penetrates through the external wall. This can then damage internal timbers and wall surfaces.

The basement was damp due to lack of ventilation and use of the wrong materials. We re-did this using thermalime plaster and also rebuilt the stairs.

We installed a French drain to stop any more rising damp and to allow the property to breathe again. You can read more about French drains on our previous blog.


As you know, here at K.E. Jones & Son Builders, we have over 50 years experience and we specialise in period properties. Sometimes we get called in to rectify mistakes made by other building firms that don’t have our wealth of experience in working on these beautiful, period properties. This new blog series will highlight some of the jobs we’ve worked on, and why it is so important to use a company with the relevant skills and experience.

One such job was a timber-framed building where incorrect materials had been used to render it. The builders used strong sand and cement to render it, instead of lime breathable material. The building is trying to move and the strong sand and cement render doesn’t allow it to flex, which leads to lots of cracking. We were called in to put right the previous work. We installed a lime hybrid floor, and plastered over clay lump with fine lime.

lime hybrid floor

It’s so important to research the company that you are planning to use, in order to avoid costly mistakes. Sometimes, going for the cheapest option may turn out to be more costly in the long term, as it can mean having to pay out again to rectify mistakes.  We are happy to discuss any jobs with you in advance and explain exactly what is needed to meet your requirements.


We are really happy to share with you the final pictures from our project at Little Horkesley. 

We began this job by taking off the sand cement render, rotten laths and windows. We then replaced the soleplates, brickwork, and structural timbers. New oak timbers were installed, along with imperial brickwork, breathable insulation, and larch wooden laths.

We put in bespoke windows with lead lattice, larch wooden laths, followed by two coats of thermalime and one coat of fine lime, and lime mortar to the plinth, all supplied by The Anglia Lime Company. Finally we replaced and re-fixed cast iron down pipes. We are really pleased with the end results, as is the customer!


We are making really good progress on our renovation at Cavendish. The steels have started to go in, along with first fixing plumbing and electrics.


Yesterday we started a complete renovation in Cavendish. We will be installing new bathrooms, kitchen and staircase, along with some structural alterations, a heating upgrade and flooring. 

We will keep you updated on our progress!