Our Workshop

Our Workshop

This photograph shows a quiet corner of our comprehensively stocked workshop. For security reasons, we don’t want to show all the machinery and tools that we possess, but our workshop contains virtually everything required to manufacture anything in wood that any restoration project would require. We have a planer thickness morticer, lathe, bandsaws, table saws and spindle moulder, to name but a few! If we manufacture timber elements and structures of a restoration project, you can be sure that: 1) The cost is kept to a minimum as the ‘middle-man’ does not exist. 2) The piece that we manufacture will definitely fit! This is all part of the comprehensive, professional and dedicated attitude to projects that Martin, Steven and Shane bring to their work. It’s not a job, it’s a life committed to preserving and enhancing the work of craftsmen who are long since gone, but their legacy deserves respect worthy of...

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Staircase Plastering Work

Staircase Plastering Work

Martin is a highly experienced plasterer as well as a conservation builder This is an example of Martin’s plastering in a relatively modern house in Dover Road Burton Upon Trent. The brickwork was previously constructed but the plastering and the spindle manufacture were down to Martin. Here is the devilishly handsome fellow posing by his work! Martin completely removed the original plaster, manufactured the wooden spindles in his workshop, installed the new woodwork and re-plastered to finish the job. Note the curved piece of timber into which the 4 spindles affix at their uppermost ends.  Some builders would simply have fixed the spindles straight into the bricks, in order to avoid making curved timbers; not so Martin, who relishes such finite finishing touches....

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Beamed Ceiling

Beamed Ceiling

This beamed ceiling was inside a listed building near Tamworth, Staffordshire. Not many people are aware that the listed building regulations are so strict, and so often rigorously enforced, that a straightforward job in a modern property can become a major project in a listed building. The original lath and plaster ceiling in this house had to be replaced, but specialised materials had to be used, and Martin was not allowed to leave the texture of the new surface smooth, it had to appear ‘rustic’ as if it were plastered by the original builders some 300 years...

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Bay Window

Bay Window

Martin and Sons restored this listed building’s Bay Window, together with the floor and oak beam above. This window was rotten through, so Martin was called upon to repair it to listed building standard. The photo shows an oak beam running across its very top edge, which, as it should be, is straight and level. However, when Martin and Sons arrived, that beam was sagging heavily,  and was badly twisted, such that it would probably collapse, and made the replacement of the bay window construction impossible. Consequently, the team installed a steel joist internally above the beam, then jacked the beam from below into contact, and invisibly fastened the wood to the steel. The nett result was a straight oak original beam that appeared to be supporting the roof, but was, in fact, itself supported from above. The use of a steel joist meant that the building was now much safer than it was originally, whilst preserving perfect aesthetics. The lower casements in the bay windows were re-manufactured, the upper ones repaired, and a new oak planked floor installed over the original floorboards....

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Custom Wardrobe

Custom Wardrobe

This wardrobe was built from scratch in Oak Veneer for a customer in Staffordshire. This customers bedroom was unusually sized, and so a bespoke manufacture of bedroom furniture was required. Martin built a wardrobe unit with these sliding drawers (so strong you could probably stand in them whilst open!). The quality and feel of these units is way above the normal standard of off-the-shelf flatpack furniture, but unfortunately, Martin’s camera phone isn’t able to really demonstrate that...

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Half Timbered Bathroom

Half Timbered Bathroom

This bathroom within a listed building was installed by Martin and his team. All the floor tiling, plumbing, plastering and most importantly the restoration of the beams was performed or overseen by Martin. Once again, specialised period plastering materials were used. The original beams were retained, but carefully crafted sections of appropriately fashioned timber were segued into place where...

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Roofing

Roofing

A nice neat new roof always looks wonderful, but here we show you what lies beneath.   All our general roofing work is fully guaranteed, up to current regulation and comes with our usual friendly advisory service!                                        ...

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Underpinning a house!

Underpinning a house!

This underpinning  project at Wheaton Aston, Staffordshire, was undertaken on a bungalow that had started to subside after a spell of exceptionally dry weather contracted the ground beneath it. The corner of the property needed to be underpinned.  We excavated and added shuttering and steel rods to make a reinforced concrete raft, whilst always ensuring that the weight of the house was evenly borne on jacks.                             Here you can see martin digging all the debris to access the space needed to pump the concrete into the raft.           The concrete was then machine-vibrated several times to achieve the maximum density of composite.             After the raft had set, we removed the jacks to let the property settle on the new effective foundations, and finally the hole was filled in.  The work was inspected by the council, and the site made good to a state of repair, such that no-one would know the builders had been...

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Well Construction and Block Paving

Well Construction and Block Paving

This block paving job was for a client in Needingworth, Cambs. The client required the nearest part of the rear garden flagged and block paved, with a series of decorative walls constructed, and a functioning well-head to be built, not least with a working pump. This was a major project taking 30 man-days.           Here you can see the creative design by Martin and the team, in terms of the small walkways and raised beds created . . .                 The well head was particularly well received by the grateful client . . .             And the pump works ‘well’ (!) for garden watering and the...

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Half timbered interior

Half timbered interior

This half-timbered interior wall of a bedroom was constructed when an old cupboard was removed to reveal collapsed wattle and daub and a large crumbling alcove behind. Once again, as the building was listed, the beams and plaster used had to be sourced from very specific materials. Hydraulic Lime Plaster was used and beams manufactured and / or refurbished where necessary. In effect, this project involved the construction of a new wall within a listed building, yet adhering closely to planning...

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Replacing a Damp Proof Course

Replacing a Damp Proof Course

Manual and physical replacement of a damp proof course is often necessary where chemical injection techniques have failed or are inappropriate. This listed building required 5 metres of Damp Proof Course replacement. Each section of approximately 700 mm per stage was removed, the lower course cleaned and dressed, then new mortar, DPC and bricks replaced in situ.             Here you can see the process in more detail. This particular job was made problematic by the fact that the damp course in this instance ran across a chimney breast. The section of chimney base needed some rebuilding and contained extensive amounts of debris, which required careful and painstaking removal through a small aperture....

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Chimney Repairs

Chimney Repairs

Martin reckons that over the years he’s been up more chimneys than Santa Claus! Knight and Sons specialise in the rebuilding, re-pointing, re-flashing, lining and re-flaunching of chimneys. Whatever the type of property, whatever size and shape of the chimney, you can be fairly certain that Martin and his lads have fixed a similar one. Here is an example of some recent substantial repairs. Here you can see a pair of before and after photos from a Victorian terraced property on Shobnall Street in Burton Upon Trent. Note how the bricks have deteriorated so badly, that an almost complete rebuild was required.  This chimney was, in fact, extremely dangerous, and could have fallen into the child’s bedroom below. Martin, Steven and Shane rebuilt the chimney using appropriate reclaimed bricks to keep the character and construction technique identical to the original 1850’s construction. Here is a closer view:   The top of the neighbouring chimney was also in a terrible mess, and required removing and re-flaunching, but Martin ensured that a very minimum amount of debris was allowed to fall down the interior of the chimney into the breast beneath.      ...

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Lead Channelling

Lead Channelling

This listed farmhouse roof at Hammerwich in Staffordshire required complete replacement of the lead channels in the gable valleys, as they were leaking very badly. 5 metres of old leadwork and rotten wooden channeling beneath was replaced in its entirety by Martin and his team. The  deterioration of the existing channels had not been helped by the fact that the original builder had not put a gravity drop into the channels. Hence, water would sit in small puddles rather than drain away to the guttering as it should be designed to do. This situation was especially worsened in the winter, when snow would collect in the channels, and thawing off-runs of water would remain static for days on end until the snow had almost all melted.                 Martin started off by constructing new timber staging for the channels, each with a drop factor of  just over 1:80. This is sufficient to cause water to run freely at a speed whereby the channels are less likely to clog up, as the water inside them flows quickly enough to carry small foreign bodies away.               After the timber staging was added, lead was dressed and welded at 1500mm intervals.                   You can see the professionalism and attention to detail from these images here.  ...

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Curved Wall Restoration

Curved Wall Restoration

This curved and alcoved brick wall was a decorative feature within the curtilage of a listed property in Staffordshire. The wall separated one section of the gardens from the patio of the house, and had crumbled so badly that it had become quite dangerous as well as being an eyesore. The wall was so badly deteriorated that it had to be rebuilt almost from scratch by Martin and his team. This was no mean feat as the curvature, height and thickness of the original wall had to be mimicked to the millimetre!                       First, most of the original wall was demolished, and bricks re-used where possible.             Then the task of rebuilding started . . .                   Then the rendering, picked out with identical faux-blockwork style to the house, was painstakingly applied.                   The finished article was a work of art – proudly showed here by Shane! The stone ball was worth a fortune, and was craned off and on with extreme care, put back into place using steel rods as the original wall’s designer intended.  ...

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