house – day 40 – cascade

This is the third day in a row at the house, the A2 is getting very familiar. The builders will be back after the bank holiday break, so I’ll probably be getting less work done when they return. I can work in the workshop easily enough, but working in the house usually means I’d get in their way. I think it’s important to be available three or four days a week, so that the various tradespeople can get decisions on problems immediately. Today, I need to ask Chris about the crack in the bedroom frieze. Also, I’ll be meeting Paul, the decorator, to talk about starting work on the rooms that need no more building work. I also need to get his opinion on the work we did over the weekend. Have we done enough for him to get on with decorating?

I got there around 11am, to find Chris photographing a colossal cascade of bricks in the kitchen. The upstairs bathroom wall, chimney breast and bedroom wall had, at last, been knocked down. Things truly are moving on. I showed Chris the crack in the wall in the front bedroom. He said he didn’t believe it was a serious issue as there was no corresponding crack on the opposite wall. It’s localised settlement. After discussing a few more issues of the day (the bedroom and bathroom ceilings should come down), I left Chris and went up to the workshop to start work on the skirting board for the front bedroom. Once I’d cleaned up and filled the wood, I popped out to have lunch in the car and to get some bits and pieces from B&Q.

The filler had set hard by the time I returned, so I sanded the board down and trimmed it to the right size for chimney breast. Not as straightforward as it should have been, as the mitre edge on the existing left hand board had been cut off. I’d have to fake it. The other side was normal and an easy fix. I had to trim off some of the render on the wall as it was pushing the board out in the bottom. It’s been so cold that the mortar was still soft (even after a few days)and could be chiselled off quite easily.

Paul arrived and we talked about what he could do whilst the dusty, messy, demolition work was going on. We agreed a programme of work (the work we had done was enough) and he left to write up a quotation for us.

I went back to the bedroom to fit the skirting board and realised I didn’t have any clasp nails to fix it. I may have some in one of the crates, but I’ve no idea which one – I still haven’t unpacked all the tools. I also wanted to get something to fix my weather station sensors outside the workshop – so back to B&Q.

I got the bits I needed and set to work. The board fitted quite nicely, I did a bit more filling to seal the visible end grain (thanks to having to fake the mitre joint) and left it. To fix the weather station sensors, I’d bought an aerial pole and bracket. It works well. I don’t think Fiona will like it. I’ll keep quiet and see if she spots it.

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