Thursday, 31 July 2014

Easter Progress Part 2

After a good night's sleep we popped into the local Gedimat ~ builders merchant ~ and bought a spirit level and some wooden planking to use in the new kitchen wall.  Using a spirit level rather than the iPhone made things speedier and, before long Smiley and I had the rest of the framework up for the wall.
We shoved (very technically)  the insulation under the frame, boarded the first piece and drilled the holes for the electric sockets.  Our electrician had popped in and very kindly lent us the round drill bit.
We were a bit worried about hanging wall units straight into the plasterboard so we have filled the framework in with wood where the cupboards will be.  This means when we drill into the (new) wall it will that bit stronger.
More insulation went in and with a lot of fettling ~ Smiley is a Northerner ;-) ~ around the beam, we finished half of the wall.
Of course, we stop for lunch and a cup of tea on the picnic table.
When our friend M changed the attic floor he discovered that there was an unsupported bit of floor.  It hangs with nothing under it so he placed a large cross on the new boards to warn us not to walk there.
S the very nice roofer found us a decorative piece of wood and has attached it along the wall and under the offending bit for more support.
He then capped off the open bit too.  Definitely better,
When S walked down the stairs he was concerned about the state of the bottom step.  It had begun to bow and was very bouncy.  "It's fine," we said but he was insistent that it was dangerous with tradesmen going up and down.  Actually he was right, it had been eaten away by woodworm.  We took the old unattached step away and discovered a huge pile of earth that it was resting on.  As we shovelled it out we found two mouse skeletons.
Unfortunately when the new concrete floor was laid it had been poured around the step so S promised to dig out the remaining earth and fill the hole in with more concrete when the tradesmen had finished.
Back to our little chalet and the bar for a beer and food.  We skyped back to The Boss to tell of our progress.
The following day Sarge, hammer in hand again, removed that wall between the living room and the stairs.  the plaster was very flakey and it looked like it would be an easy job to remove it.  The lathes and plaster came off no problem but they were stuck onto a wooden planks.
After a fair bit of banging the stairs were suddenly opened up.  We pulled the door and it's frame off too.  This has made the living room seem so much bigger and a lot airier.
The plumbing/heating engineers arrived and unloaded lots of boxes.
The chimney turned out to be blocked somewhere (and the chimney pot had already fallen off) so we decided already to have an internal chimney.
The men started to make a hole above the fire place for the the pipe to go in.
 On the first and second floors they borrowed the very nice roofer S's chainsaw to cut through the floorboards and trim a little bit off the joists.
 Looking down from the second floor.
The boxes were unpacked and a lovely shiny chimney emerged.  
Through the attic bedroom.
 First floor bedroom.
And a new shiny chimney pot too.
Before the plumber left he looked at our new piece of kitchen ceiling.  "You'll have to take that down," he said, "I need to put my pipework there."  We let out a collective sigh.  The ceiling came down.

In the attic we needed to start the walls of the bathroom to enable the plumber to put his pipes in for the bathroom.
When building new walls I have discovered, you need a ceiling first so Smiley and Sarge started by screwing the rails to the beams.
Once all the rails were in place, I cut the insulation to fit in between the beams.  We made a criss-cross of wire attached to the beams to stop the insulation touching the roof felt, S had warned us not to let it touch, if it does, your insulation will get wet.  We screwed on the plasterboard, green this time, which is waterproof.
Once the ceiling was up we could then build the wall down.
And insulated.
We then screwed the frame that was already made to the floor.
Our week had come to an end, so we said goodbye to our friends 41 and 42, in the field next door....
.....popped to the supermarket to buy 'essential supplies' and hit the road, passing fields of oil-seed rape setting the countryside aglow.
 8 hours later we were back on English roads heading for the setting sun and The West Country.
We return again the last week of May.

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