Expert help in the aftermath of floods

The aftermath of Storm Desmond caused problems for those whose homes had been flooded, long after the news cameras had moved on.

Among those affected in Carlisle was software developer Tim Ingham whose house on Warwick Road was flooded to a depth of four feet.

Tim and his family redecorated throughout after the floodwaters subsided and the walls had dried out, but the kitchen – two steps below the rest of the ground floor – was beyond salvation.

Tim said:

“We decided to demolish it and start again. The kitchen had been converted from an old coal shed and scullery. It was damp, dark, low and cluttered so we decided it was time to start afresh.”

There were problems, of course. One was experienced by many in similar circumstances: all the local builders were busy with flood-related jobs, so Tim and his wife Julie decided to rebuild themselves. The photo here of daughter Rebekah shows that the rebuild was a true family effort.

But that was when they hit another problem. Tim added:

“After demolishing the old kitchen, it was clear that attaching the roof to the party wall would be non-trivial. When the roofline of our neighbour’s property had been extended upwards, concrete blocks were added on top of the wooden ridge. So there was nothing dependable for me to fix my joists to.”

Building regulations officers told Tim that he needed to find a structural engineer, and that was when he found Colin Aimers, of Kingmoor Consulting.

“We were very pleased to find someone so helpful. Colin specified how the roof joists should join to the existing party wall. Colin also advised us on other structural matters and areas of concern. The vertical timber and metal straps, for example, addressed the flakiness of the ancient party wall.”

The new roof was finished with reclaimed slates and ridge tiles, to create an impression of age.  Said Tim:

“The new kitchen is a delight.  It’s quite modest, apart from the outstanding back window. But we love it every day.”

Colin Aimers said:

“We’re problem solvers, and we were very happy to help. No project is too small for us to tackle. And we believe that nothing is impossible: it just needs the right mix of imagination and technical know-how to accomplish it. Tim and his family were typical of others in the area who were left with some great ideas and lots of enthusiasm to create the spaces they wanted in their homes.  We helped a lot of families extend kitchens and create the modern spaces that they deserved following the floods.“

Kingmoor Consulting specialises in civil and structural engineering and geotechnical related services across Cumbria and Southern Scotland. Working with domestic and commercial clients, Kingmoor has delivered a range of diverse and challenging projects from domestic properties to energy infrastructure schemes. The company thrives on working on projects that demand the highest possible standards of design and innovative solutions.