And the mess returns…

My inner Little Miss Tidy has had a few moments this week as the work progresses. There is a continuous routine of make mess, clean up and repeat.

Things are moving along. Courtney has continued to install the plumbing and I have pipes of all sizes and shape everywhere! Steve popped back in to re-position a few more electrical cables and Jonathan the carpenter started fixing the door linings but then departed for the arrival of his first born. Lovely.

Neil and Andy have been creating a masterpiece with what was the Gents toilets in the old pub.

This room is to become the boiler room and store room. Internally its a relatively easy job to manage. Knock down one wall, insulate, batten, etc. Externally, the existing roof was an embarrassment to the tradesman that fitted it. No point in us leaving a crappy job (note the word links to the former use of the room. Ha!!) when everything else in the house is done to first class standards. So another batch of timber delivered, breather membrane, a little code 4 lead, batten, soffit and tiles, drainpipe and heyho – we have a working, waterproof, useable room.

Except…before we can finish it off we have to move a soil pipe, and wouldn’t you know – it is cracked and needs to be replaced. What the…? So the big guns have been out again as Andy has been digging more rubble out to access the pipe. Make mess, clean up. See what I mean.

In the meantime, we have been taking delivery of various materials required for the next stage. There has to be some thought process into where the materials are stored so that the minimal amount of handling is involved.

We took in 160 plus sheets (2400mmx1200mm) of plasterboard. The standard board weighs 23kg but the specialist board weighs 34kg and had to go upstairs – remembering of course I don’t yet have stairs. So it took 4 of us to pass the boards up. To say we were all muscle weary after moving it all is an understatement. This work starts next week.

In addition, we had hundreds of metres of insulation delivered. Rolls for the floors and attic, slab for the walls. I can just about carry a roll by myself but it’s a little comical to watch. I am just a little taller than a roll and I can only just get my arms around it. But at least I try!

It’s been a tough week for me personally. I have struggled with sleeping, washing, eating in the caravan after having a few months off and the luxury of a normal bed and flushing toilet! The budget – already pushed to the limit because of the roof – is again being tested daily as many of the prices for materials have increased.

I know I will get used to it again, but my energy levels dissipated as the week progressed. There are jobs for me to do but I didn’t really get on to them.

Am back home and I’ve had a word with myself. We probably have no more than 3 months to finish, and possibly less if we can get the materials. That time will fly – and at least we are busy and occupied – and healthy.

I will get back on it next week.

Enthused, energised and eager…

An unexpected turn…

There is no doubt that the big unanswered question on this project was going to be about the roof. How much work and what was it going to cost? What would show up when the tiles came off? Would it make me weep openly or simply be the cause of even larger quantities of alcohol to be consumed? Or both?

Once the tiles, old batten and felt were off we realised that one side of the roof had to be fitted with new rafters all the way along due to a massive dip about one third up. We knew (sort of) that something was amiss. I am pretty sure I saw a load of squirrels using the roof as a ski jump one night – or that might be another one of my dreams!

We sorted the dip. I was not expecting the same problems on the other side of the roof. I don’t know what I was thinking! Just a 9inch dip from one end to the other again at about 1/3 of the way down.

Oh well. It is what it is I say to myself each night as I empty another piggy bank.

But the roof has thrown another little surprise at us. Actually, not the roof but the felt that we used or to use its proper term – ‘breathable membrane’. With the new rafters sorted, the felt went down and new batten was nailed into place. First side done and so we gleefully moved onto the second side.

But no. This felt stuff is supposed to be waterproof. Even during the first few nights it started showing leakage. Drips inside the property. Rob the roofer spoke to the supplier. Then we had a night of frost and the inside of the felt froze…and when it defrosted the resultant water rained into the property – literally. Puddles and all.

A word with the product rep resulted in an immediate ‘not our products fault’. Very helpful. Thanks for listening.

Thankfully, our building materials supplier is a little more reactive. We swapped out 3 rolls for another batch of the same product and some of it has already been installed on the other side of the roof. So far it is bone dry. The original is still soaking wet. We think the first lot was a dodgy batch. The product rep – yes the one who is so helpful – says its impossible…! Didn’t expect that response…!

So…now we wait. The product rep is coming to site on Tuesday along with the building materials man. We probably need to rip out what we have done which not only means additional labour and material costs but extending the scaffolding hire – and I don’t intend to pay for it.

Rob the roofer has never seen this before. Neil has never seen this before. Andy has never seen this before and I have never seen this before. But to be fair, I have never seen breathable membrane up close and personal before so I don’t think I count in this regard.

In the meantime, a skip arrived which means only one thing.

My ongoing relationship with a wheelbarrow and spade continues.

There is no rest…