Toby has worked on a number of projects both as a sub contractor and as a direct employee. Projects have ranged from working on the conservation of stonework on the Bristol Pro Cathedral, The National Trust's Tintesfield Orangery and repair to damaged stonework in Margatet Thatcher's old home in Chester Square in London. His work ranges through to repairing stonework and pointing in smaller listed and unlisted stone and brick built buildings across Wiltshire, Berkshire and the Cotswolds and includes an ongoing project effecting repairs to the Isbury Almshouses in Lambourne, Berkshire.
“As both a qualified stone mason AND heritage conservator, I can advise on a range of repair options for householders,
developers, renovators and conservators. Very often people assume that complete and expensive replacement of stone is their only option. However, if the stone is not structural, it is in keeping with the best-practice approach of SPAB (http://www.spab.org.uk/ - the Society of the Protection of Ancient Buildings) to preserve as much of the original fabric of the building as possible. Other approaches, such as in-situ lime mortar- repairs may be both more appropriate, less invasive and more affordable
“Many jobs require more than one action; A repair is often only the treatment of a potentially wider problem. Much damage to older buildings is caused by underlying issues and I always wish to work with clients to ensure that these are put right so that the solution is a complete one. For example, frost and damp erosion to stonework might have been caused by a broken or missing gutter or blocked down-pipe, or replacement stonework such as window hoods or lintels may not have been cut with an appropriate 'drip' to direct water away from the face of the building.
“I work nearly exclusively using lime mortar. This material is both chemically and structurally in keeping with the original construction of houses built before the begininng of the 20th century. Much of the damage cuased to stonework and soft Victorian bricks has been relatively recent and caused by well meaning builders repairing and repointing using modern cements. These are much stronger than the original mortars and cause problems with 'point loading' onto the materials which can lead to flaking and damage. Furthermore, the relative impermeability of cement can lead to problems with frost damage and may exasserbate damp issues.”