Scaffolding is reaching into the sky around Bridge Cottage, Uckfield, and in about two weeks the frame should have a metal roof on top and hard plastic cladding around the sides.
The wind and icy weather is making the job dangerous for scaffolders working at the top but progress is continuing.
The scaffolding cocoon will enable work to begin on the roof of the 15th century building while ensuring the rain can’t get in to damage the structure when the tiles are lifted off, according to Uckfield Preservation Society chairman Mick Harker.
He said that inside the cottage a new floor is in place. The old one has been dug out, insulation put in and a new limecrete surface installed.
Some walls have been taken out – Victorian additions have gone – and others re-built and a toilet has been replaced. Upstairs where the first floor was “up and down and all over the place” an 18mm ply sheet is covering the whole. That will be shaped to flatten the floor before oak planks go on top.
The second floor, which is to be removed, won’t be taken out until the tiles have come off the roof and the existing rafters have been braced. While there the floor provides an extra layer of weather protection for the rest of the building, said Mr Harker.
The scaffolding is expected to come down in April or May revealing a restored building.
Between now and then an event will be held to enable people who sponsor tiles, so helping with fund-raising, to sign their tiles for posterity.
There are 27,000 tiles in all and it costs £1.50 to sponsor each one. The Heritage Lottery Fund has given more than £1 million to restore Bridge Cottage but money is still needed for furniture including tables, chairs and even a kettle and fridge in the kitchen.
The 12-month programme of works on the building, which is destined to become a Heritage Centre for the town, is due to come to an end in September.