This accommodation phase nearly finished…

To remind you – the carpets for floor 1 and the stairwell were fitted last Thursday and Friday.

Mike putting in the finishing touches….

This marks the completion of construction work on floors 1, 2 and 3. We still have a bit to do on the ground floor to create the hallway – so we have fitted the fire board under the first stairs from floor 0 to 1 …

Now fire-boarding under the last flight of stairs

…and then blocking off the verticals to make the space safe.

…now nearly ready for plastering

I am not entirely sure what we will do with the space, but no doubt a solution will present itself in due course.

Slowly creating a great hiding place!

Mike’s next job was to reroute some old electrical cabling, so he crawled through the roof above the long corridor, and through into the roof the leads to the ghastly bit of Plas at the ‘bungalow’ end. All went well until Mike (who had been crawling backwards for quite some time) elected to turn around to crawl back whence he had come. On turning, he noticed a really rather sizable wasps nest…

Emergency averted – but only just…

…which we will worry about later. And now back to the important stuff…

The ceiling void needed to be levelled up first…

…the ground floor ceiling by the stairs was pulled down about 2 years ago so we could fit the stairwell. We then added various stiffening beams and, as a consequence, the ceiling no longer had an obvious flat base. So Mike had to fit more stiffening beams until we could identify a base, and then start fire-boarding it…

…and then we statrted boarding it up

…using the old broomstick trick to hold up the board every now and then whilst Mike exercised his screwdriver…

Mike and Alex work so well together – which is lucky really, as I was running the cafe

…until we (almost) have a new ceiling.

Ceiling now ready for plastering

Tomorrow I have to run to Llandudno, then have a breakfast meeting In Llanrwst, then return here for a church finance meeting – and then I will be ready to give Mike a hand with finishing the work, so that it is ready form Mike to plaster very soon. And I do mean very – Building Control are popping in Wednesday evening, and we are hooping to have the new fire door in place by then. Gulp.

Partly laid

As you might have guessed, we were still painting at 8 o’clock last night, but this morning we had a relaxed start for the day.

Just to remind you where we were at…

Whilst the last of the stairs (see above) were still drying out from the last application of the fire resistant paint, Alex was clearing out the last of the tools and materials from the rooms…

…and the rooms were being emptied as the carpet van arrived.

…and then vaccuuming through…

We don’t see this very often – a space with nothing filling it

…finishing just in time for the carpet fitters to arrive and start moving their stuff into the building.

The carpet and underlay started arriving…

Whilst that was going on, our crack team of (male) furniture builders were working through a pile of bedside cabinets. Our crack (female) team have taken the extreme step of holidaying in Finland to avoid this task but we want to reassure everyone that both teams are equally valued… (Mike, do you think I have got away with that?!?)

…whilst Paul and Shaun put together the flat pack tables.

The carpet guys showed incredible application to task today, given how outragiously hot it has been, and when they left about 7pm they have carpeted down two floors, and two of the three rooms on floor 1.

The carpet starts to go down

The stairwell now looks like it should…

The staircase begins to look quite different, now its painted and carpeted

…and some of the rooms are looking lovely.

Just need a few sticks of furniture now

Our immediate plans now mean we need to get back to work on the corridor and box in the base of the stairs and, and, and – oh well, more of that next time. Just for today, I think we need to sit quietly.

Less than a week to go…

I feel I should ‘confess’ before we go any further, that we have had a slight reprieve. The carpet firm called us on Thursday to ask if they could come a day later due to staffing issues their end. We did think about making a fuss for, let’s think, perhaps a microsecond or so, but then decided to be magnanimous and say we thought we could find a way to cope if we had to wait an extra day… so carpets will now be fitted next Thursday and Friday.

A window sill without a window

Mike has been plastering away. Here you see a weird part of the stairwell, which gets wider after the first floor. As a consequence, you can see in the shot above where some additional space comes into play. We decided, after considering various alternatives, that making a display shelf here makes more sense than anything else we could think of, so we have installed a bit of window sill. Now after Mike has plastered, it’s not looking too bad, if I say so myself.

The new hallway is nearly there

Whilst Mike has been plastering, I have been painting mist coat over the plastering as soon as it dried.

I rather like this photo – can’t remember why I took it though!

I think this shot was taken to show that I had been mist-coating the stairwell, but I am including it just because there’s something about the near symmetry in the shot that makes me smile.

The alcove is ready for its colour coat

Our alcove replacement for a cupboard has now been misted and awaits its colour coats. The eagle-eyed will see on the top left how we have boxed in a strange shape which appeared after we created the alcove. One of the delights of this refurb has been finding the unintended consequences of certain decisions, and then working out how to minimise the less than ideal results of our previous choices.

The old external wall has been ‘primped’ with a quick coat of dilute PVA

Shaun should be particularly proud of this shot. We decided ages ago that we wanted the back wall of the old manor to become a feature of the refurbishment, rather than be hidden behind plaster board as it was when the extension was first added. It needed quite a lot of cleaning down, as in its past life, clumps of plaster and other building materials had marred its beauty. After Alex brushed it down with a good stiff brush, it looked fine – but then Shaun suggested we seal it with a coat of thinned PVA, and it is really looking great. In case its not obvious, you are looking at the back wall just at the point when the roofline began.

The floor in Phil’s room is now continuous

We have now re-fitted the floor in the last of the bedrooms, and the builders sand insulation has been put back in place. It is such a strange sensation, walking on floors which we have had to hop over for years. We have joked that people might wonder why we dance over parts of the building as we show them around…

These two still seem to be agreeing some kind of truce

On a lighter side, Lola and Boyd continue to learn more about each other each day. I’m still pretty clear that the cat holds the whip hand, but Lola is so much more relaxed around him now than a year ago.

So we have been hopping over this gap for about 2.5 years – we will so miss it.

Back to the work…another bit of floor which has been missing for a while needed to be addressed this week. Here you see the part as you walk into the suite on floor 1.

First, we fit a thingummy (that’s a technical word, you know)…

We started by putting a block on top of a joist, to create a rest on which we could screw the new floor board.

…and then we could start fitting the floorboards

Once that was in and strong enough to take Mike’s weight, we continued to cover the area.

So far, so exciting. Today we have worked on the lobby for the floor 1 suite (photos to follow next time) and tonight we need to do a very detailed timeline for work still to do. Bearing in mind Mike still has some plastering to do, and we need to have gloss coated all skirting board by end of play Tuesday ready for the carpets on Thursday, you can see that this is really going to be a close run to the finish line.

Tomorrow we should both be on cafe duty, so there might be quite a bit to get through next week!