Renovation 1, Fish Hoek
Oddly, the foundations for this double-story house ranged from only 25cm deep to about 40cm deep. This explained the cracks outside and inside. Cracks are inevitable in houses on the mountainside. But there are ways to stabilise even an old house slowly marching down the hill.
Engineer Stephen Kirkpatrick advised Stephan and the team to dig several 1m pits in front of and 50cm under the front of the house. These they filled with concrete. A new concrete path went over these submerged anchors, and new steps led up to the verandah.
There were also two cellars at the right side of the house. The team built walls into them as extra supports to prop up the house above, and concrete filled in the hollow spaces to anchor the house from underneath.
After this, they opened the cracks in the walls, and removed a lot of old plaster. After the plasterer filled the gaps with mesh and cement, the walls were soon immaculately smooth and strong again.