Some kind words from our clients

To: Kelvyn Jeeves
Re: Replacing Oak Timbers, Laths, Plaster and Render, Insulating With Sheep's Wool

Both gable ends of my 17th century cottage have been restored by KGJ Limecraft to a very high standard. The work undertaken involved replacing oak timbers, laths, plaster and render as well as insulating with sheep's wool. On the east wall the brick plinth was also replaced. The effect on the whole cottage has been astounding. The cottage is warmer and the atmosphere dry and cosy.

Kelvyn and his workforce are knowledgeable professionals and the tidiest building team I have ever employed. I recommend them whenever anyone asks about the work undertaken and will continue to do so.

Steve and Anne Parkinson
Easton, Suffolk (Repointed Brickwork (Various Projects): Nov 2017)

To: Kelvyn Jeeves
Re: Repointed Brickwork (Various Projects)

We own a somewhat unique Suffolk cottage,of mixed ages, which is part timber-framed,and includes panels of decorative herringbone brick,and walls and panels of decorative flintwork.

We became aware that the brick panels had been incorrectly repointed with cement mortar in recent decades. We also had an area of wall that had been rendered with cement,which concerned us as to what horrors lay behind in terms of the timber frame. Our decorative flint wall was also looking very worn and needing repointing.

We initially engaged Kelvyn and his team to work on our house in 2016,and they returned to carry out further works this year. We have been delighted with the work carried out. The repointed herringbone brick panels are looking wonderful,and the repointing of the flintwork has been transformative and much admired. The cement render that concerned us was removed,repairs were carried out to the timber wall plate,and then the area was beautifully restored with a traditional breathable lime render.

Kelvyn is very personable,knowledgable and hard-working,and easy to talk to about your property restoration.He employs good craftsmen,and they work well together,and are unfailingly considerate and friendly.The work is carried out diligently and to a very high standard,and they keep the working areas very tidy.

We have Kelvyn and his team booked to return and carry out some further work in 2018.

We are delighted to recommend KGJ Limecraft without hesitation.

Steve and Anne Parkinson
Easton, Suffolk (Repointed Brickwork (Various Projects): Nov 2017)

To: Kelvyn Jeeves
Re: Seven Month Restoration of Suffolk Farmhouse

We purchased our house in 1999. We were told it had fallen into disrepair between the First and Second World Wars, and undergone subsequent repair toward the end of the 1940`s.This included the building being coated with thick concrete render, and as we now know, a large number of poor and incorrect repairs to the ancient Oak Frame.

We had the house surveyed by a person allegedly knowledgeable about Oak Framed houses. He was right in pointing out that the roof tiles were falling apart and we would need major repairs within a decade, but that was obvious to anybody with eyes. We did this job in 2007 having had time to prepare for the expense. The survey was however wrong and even misleading in some respects, for example the concrete render was described as being watertight and unproblematic!

By 2012 I was becoming aware that the concrete render was in fact a serious problem. Small cracks in the render were visible in many places and areas of occasional winter damp were becoming larger and year round problems.

The more I researched the problem and the remedy the more worried I became! But doing nothing and allowing our home to deteriorate was not an option.

If you are reading this, you probably already know that the introduction of non-breathable materials to buildings which will rot if they cannot breathe is potentially disastrous. However in the 1950`s to 80`s concrete render was thought by many (including some conservation officers) to be a safe and practical way to repair and preserve such buildings. So it is a common problem, but people who can remove the concrete, undertake repairs to the structure of the building correctly and then properly install the right lime plasters and renders are not common.

A problem for building owners and those who work to restore and repair them, is that until incorrect materials are stripped out, it is impossible to see the extent of the damage they have caused and the magnitude of the repairs required. Everything we are told on TV property programs about being in control of `budget` and `schedule` goes out of the window when undertaking such a project. It is certainly daunting prospect.

Fortunately I met Kelvyn (proprietor and founder of KGJ Limecraft) and after several lengthy discussions and a couple of visits to view previous work and a work in progress by his firm, he agreed to undertake our project. I was drawn to use KGJ Limecraft for a number of reasons, these included: Kelvyns passion for Old Buildings and his knowledge of traditional building materials and methods, the ability of KGJ to undertake all the key elements of restoration - Lime plaster and Render, Timber frame repairs, Traditional brickwork (above and below ground level) and the testimonials of previous clients. There has not been a single moment when I questioned that choice.

As Kelvyn and his team demonstrated time after time, they are a truly multi skilled group of craftsmen. Absolutely all the work they have done is finished to the highest imaginable standard - to the extent that every single plumber, electrician, roofer and joiner who has had some small involvement with the restoration has taken the time to examine and comment on the depth and quality of the KGJ Limecraft work. It is certainly done to a standard not often seen, even by those used to working on ancient buildings.

Our house inevitably gave us some unpleasant surprises along the way. There were a few periods when it seemed that no sooner had a way to repair something been devised than the house would make another unwelcome revelation. For the building owner and client this is inevitably stressful ! if you are going to put yourself through such an experience make sure you have an expert, committed, and well managed team of specialist craftsmen working for you. Do not entrust your house to anybody who is not proven and experienced in this field. We were very fortunate and grateful to have KGJ Limecraft working on our home`s numerous problems. There was nothing that seemed to alarm them, nothing they had not seen before and certainly nothing that they could not fix - and fix beautifully. Early on in the process it became clear that KGJ Limecraft only have one way of doing things `the right way`. But with complex repairs there is often more than one `right way` and they were good at explaining to me the choices I needed to make as the project progressed. As the client this gave me great comfort. It has also led to a beautifully finished, fully restored house which is probably in better condition than when its origins were new circa 1610! As an added bonus I suspect it is now warmer and drier than the majority of dwellings of any vintage.

To add a further layer of complication to our project, just after the restoration began we received full planning consent to make some alterations and additions to the House. Kelvyn and his team were able to adapt to the changing requirements of their brief and very effectively pave the way for these items to be completed at a later date with greatly minimised difficulty.

Despite the many challenges and surprises our house presented, Kelvyn managed to keep work proceeding at an impressive pace. His team clearly like and respect each other. Everybody pulls their weight all day long. They were all a pleasure to have about the place, considerate, cheery, hardworking and focused.

Necessarily this level of craftsmanship, foresight, experience and attention has to be paid for. In the final analysis we have spent, what to me, is a considerable sum. But in return we have received excellent value. In fact I am sure we could easily have spent lots more while taking longer to achieve a very inferior result.

If you plan to undertake the restoration and repair of an ancient/ historic building, or simply need advice on how to go about such an undertaking, I would unreservedly recommend getting KGJ Limecraft involved at the earliest possible opportunity.

Andrew B
Mid Suffolk (Farmhouse repair and restoration: Nov 2014 - June 2015)

To: Kelvyn Jeeves
Re: Remedial Work on Failing Lime Plaster

We started from a fairly desperate situation whereby the lime plaster on the front elevation of our house was failing and required repeated and ultimately unsuccessful repair. This problem was exacerbated by our position close to a busy road which, in winter, is heavily with resulting salt spray damage.

On recommendation, we contacted Kelvyn who systematically assessed the situation. It became apparent that previous work had been completed using inappropriate materials and incorrect methods, resulting in an unstable framework. Kelvyn recommended the radical solution of stripping everything back to the timber frame and starting again from scratch.

Reconstruction involved removal of defective timbers and replacement with carefully shaped and properly jointed green oak. Laths were then applied to the frame and covered with a traditional lime putty and chalk mixture. Finally several coats of limewash were applied and finished with a breathable waterproofing agent to provide an attractive and weatherproof finish.

Whilst the initial removal of the defective materials was obviously quite disruptive, each stage of the reconstruction was a joy to behold. All work was completed with utmost care and to the highest standards with Kelvyn’s skills and knowledge evident throughout. He was also more than willing to liaise with the local Conservation Officer, with whom he had a good relationship, which enabled work to continue unimpeded. The end result was aesthetically pleasing, historically accurate and most importantly, a structurally sound, weatherproof building.

If, like us, your house needs pulling apart and reassembling, this is the team to choose. Kelvyn and his team were unfailingly pleasant and cooperative, with nothing too much trouble for them. There is no need to fear “having the builders in” with KGJ Limecraft.

Robert and Gail Rozier

To: Kelvyn Jeeves
Re: Timber Frame Repairs and Re-plastering Work on our Grade 2* Listed Property on 3 Separate Occasions

KGJ Limecraft has carried out timber frame repairs and re-plastering work on our Grade 2* listed property on 3 separate occasions in the last couple of years. All the work has been carried out to a high standard using skilled craftsmen.

From the moment we first met Kelvyn it was clear that he is passionate about preserving old buildings, always using traditional methods and materials in their repair. When problems were uncovered, he offered us clear and honest advice about the best approach to resolve them without compromising the integrity of the original structure. He obtained the necessary Listed Building Consents and liaised closely with the Council’s Conservation Officers to ensure that the work carried out met their requirements.

We were living in the property while the work was carried out and all of Kelvyn’s team were considerate and friendly, keeping the site very tidy and doing their best to keep the inevitable dust and disruption to a minimum.

We would not hesitate to recommend KGJ Limecraft, and look forward to using them again in the future.

Jonathan and Fran Bolus

To: Kelvyn Jeeves
Re: Renovation of Grade II Listed 16th Century House

My wife and I have recently undertaken a major renovation of our Grade II listed 16th century house in Bury St Edmunds. The renovation comprised structural works as well as substantial repairs to the internal walls and ceilings which included replacement of laths and almost total re-plastering of the house. The rear elevation also needed major repairs to the laths and complete re-rendering.

We engaged KGJ Limecraft early on in the project and benefitted from their advice and experience in planning the sequence of the plastering work taking into account the other major work being undertaken as part of the renovation. There was also uncertainty as to the stability of some of the existing lime plaster which needed careful investigation.

Once Kelvyn and his team started work it was immediately apparent from their approach that they were experts in their field. The resulting new lime plastered walls and ceilings throughout the house are quite simply amazing.

Throughout all this the team have always been courteous and considerate and have always kept us up to date with progress.

We can recommend KGJ Limecraft without hesitation.

Michael Watson

Dear Kelvyn Jeeves.
Re: Courtyard brick & flint wall

We recently engaged Kelvyn Jeeves to construct a brick and flint wall in our courtyard here in Lavenham.

This was carried out to our entire satisfaction. Kelvyn undoubtedly is both very knowledgeable and very skilled in the specialist kind of work required on the very old buildings that we have in this part of Suffolk.

He showed immense dedication to his task and was both very courteous and considerate to us as customers.

Besides being able to recommend KGJ Limecraft unreservedly, We will be very happy to engage Kelvyn on any future work required.

Richard Allen

Dear Kelvyn.
Re: Barn conversion - brickwork restoration and re-pointing

My barn conversion had suffered considerable brick damage caused by inappropriate pointing carried out at various stages over the years. Apart from th fabric of the building being compromised, it looked a mess. Kelvyn undertook a process of brickwork restoration and repointing over a period of about six weeks. During that time I was witness to his remarkable skill, patience and passion for historic buildings.

It became obvious, from conversations I had with him about the science and historic use of lime, that his skill is based not only on a considerable and varied experience but also on a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge.

KGJ arrived on site every day promptly at 8am dressed in KGJ uniform and, apart from a thirty-minute lunch break, worked steadily and non-stop throughout the day. There was always a respectful and pleasant rapport between Kelvyn and his staff although, in spite of his quiet nature, there was no mistaking who was in charge. My property and I were treated with the utmost respect and the site was cleared and cleaned up at the end of every day.

The end result was a transformation that stands as a testimonial to Kelvyn’s skill and
commitment towards achieving perfection.

KGJ are true professionals and I would not hesitate in recommending them.

Ian Paton

Dear Kelvyn.
Re: Distressed Bourgogne Clair floor

Just a note to thank you and to confirm our great satisfaction with the stone floor you have installed in our kitchen.

This was a complex task using random lengths of highly expensive stone supplied to us by smallbone kitchens. We have been very pleased at your selection and placement of stone to match the layout of the kitchen. The absence of any straight walls in our house has made the task even harder and you have wonderfully managed to fit tiles around all obstacles and angles!

We also thank you for your painstaking and hardworking approach.

Alex and Carolyn Mellanby

Dear Kelvyn Jeeves.
Re: Restoration of timber-framed medieval hall house

We are very fortunate to be able to write a testimonial for the above young man.

We first met Kelvyn in 2011, when he got involved with the restoration work on our fairly substantial timber-framed medieval hall house. He has been the key worker for all the plasterwork involved, including lath and plaster, wattle and daub, brickwork, lime work etc. He was also very competently able to involve himself in all forward planning and the organising of his co-workers. We are now nearing the end of the majority of the work which, so far, has taken about eleven months, and we still have a fair bit to do to finish the whole job.

During the whole of this period, Kelvyn has impressed us with his whole attitude and aptitude to carrying out his skills to the highest possible level. We are immensely grateful to him for his excellent workmanship and accuracy in putting our house back together.

On both a personal and business like basis, we have found Kelvyn to be extremely polite, helpful in discussion, and a fastidious craftsman in his chosen career. He has always been punctual in his timekeeping, respectful that it is still our home, and has ensured that the site is secure and well-protected for both security and from the weather at the end of each working day.

We would be most happy to recommend him for similar work in the future that he may be asked to carry out.

Thank You,
John and Wendy Marshall

To: Kelvyn Jeeves
Re: Restoration of Grade II Listed Tudor House

Some years ago my wife and I brought a grade II listed Tudor house that had been badly repaired and was in urgent need of proper restoration. We were very fortunate to have an outstanding team carry out the repairs. Kelvyn’s skill and expertise in traditional methods of limework were an essential part of the process. He replaced almost all the brickwork under the sole plates, using NHL (natural hydraulic lime) and reclaimed bricks, leaving the house in better condition than it had been for some centuries.

We have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone seeking a skilled craftsman to undertake repair work where these rare traditional skills are needed. We have seen (from the damage caused by the earlier repair work done on the house) how critical it is to have lime work done by someone with kelvyn’s specialist Knowledge.

He is remarkable for his calm and confident personality, and his willingness to discuss and explain what needs to be done and why it needs to be done that way. We found him punctual, reliable, and trustworthy.

Keith Jillings