Well, that should work…

You may recall that last time, I explained we had installed a doorframe at a slightly different dimension than the one required.

If you have really good eyesight, you might notice that there is a glue line in the frame (right hand piece of wood) above. To solve our rather capacious problem, we trimmed and planed a piece of solid wood and glued it in place to block in the excess space. We then hung the door, and will at some point add a new door jamb which will fully correct our mistake. That took a couple of hours extra work, but it saved pulling down a stud wall and breaking the frame apart, so we feel we got off pretty lightly.

Next we filled some patches in the floor to bring them level, ready for tiling…

…and then we started preparing to create the ladies loos. The space earmarked for this room currently has only half a ceiling, so we started by adding studwork to the walls and then extended the wooden frame of the existing ceiling.

In the shot above, you can see a small portion of the existing ceiling and our new frame reaching completion.

Whilst the building work steadily progressed, we decided to have a day out in Llandudno. Here you see the pier as the afternoon sun faded away following a lovely sunny day, and below you see the real reason for our jaunt…

We knew it had been a while since we last had our eyes tested, but now we know why we have been struggling to read the subtitles on the tv, and possibly also the instructions for some procedures… Mike’s new bins are a lot stronger than his last…

…and mine should be considerably more effective than my current ones.

During lockdown, we have started a new working pattern, giving ourselves Saturday off and then spending time together in the garden on Sundays. This week’s task was to remove a tree just behind the labyrinth which had blown over a couple of years ago. You may be able to see the main trunk behind Mike’s back, and one of the main limbs between Mike and Dick above.

Here you can see that the tree has gone, better revealing the rockface behind. I will shortly be working out quite how to fill the gap, ensuring the rock behind is not obscured, noting it may well involve the shrubs in my hands!

As we finished chopping the tree into tiny pieces, we turned to go in and I took this snap. Doesn’t the Lledr vally look fabulous at this time of year!

Now what shall we do?

We are part way through our second week of building work, which I thought I would share with you tonight.

We started our travails by putting in the door frame for the accessible toilet. We checked and double checked the figures, but you will find out later on that this was not our finest moment. Having put the door frame in, we needed to accurately site the dividing wall so we did the measuring and …

…then needed to fix a length of 3″ x 2″ on the ceiling – but unfortunately the timbers holding up the ceiling were running the wrong way! So I was passed my demolishion hat and told to locate some joists, and of course I obliged. Having found the joists and added some noggins, we began putting in the stud partition wall, but then encountered problem number 1.

The existing foul down pipe, that will end up within the stud partition wall, is bent at the bottom. We need to link the accessible toilet outflow into this, but can’t use a standard fixing due to the bend. We ordered a special fixing last week, but still await it’s arrival – which means we can’t finish the wall.

Sorry about the blur – but you can see above that most of the wall has been built, and below that we had to prep for plastering the slate wall just inside the doorway.

Meanwhile, work has continued on the external stairs, with Niall fitting the hand rail (which Mike is holding whilst some welding takes place).

…and over the weekend we had lovely weather so have added a few plants as we continue to improve the landscaping.

Now we are awaiting delivery of a few items, so decided to move to fitting the accessible toilet door. You might notice the slightly puzzled look on Mike’s face when he found that the dimensions were not what they needed to be. Having moved the (very heavy) door to be fitted, we check-measured the width of the door frame and found to our horror that the frame was wider than the door. Much head-scratching followed, until we realised that we had made the wrong aperture the right size! (For anyone still interested, we had set the door jambs at the required distance, where we should have set the rebated parts behind the jambs to that distance. Having castigated ourselves roundly, we then wondered if perhaps we hadn’t taken enough time off before returning to the building work….any appropriate excuse might make up feel a little less silly.

Cue end of today, and of this blog. Since we have already built the stud wall next to this frame, it isn’t sensible to try to resize the frame, so tomorrow we will fudge the problem, of which more details next time.

We are anxiously waiting to know (as are our booked guests) whether we are allowed to open this weekend, but fully expect this not to be permitted. I just hope we are told sooner than later…

Back to work, at last!

My apologies for the gap in correspondence. The last of our summer guests left on Monday last week, and we decided to have a couple of days off to recover from the excitement. On Wednesday, we heard that Conwy would lock down again last Thursday, so decided we would have the rest of the week off in between cancelling our ‘lost’ bookings. We really had a great time whilst we were open, and thank our many wonderful guests for making the summer so much fun, but we are both keen to get back to returning this building to its former glory.

Before I describe our work, I should show you what Niall has been doing with the garden stairs. Having put the stairs roughly in place, he fitted a couple of reinforcing rods (just about visible below between the top of the stairs and the slate blocks)…

…to ensure the stairs don’t move. You may get a better sense of what we are doing below…

..or even further down…

.

…where you can see the stairs now rest on two concrete blocks, arranged to ensure that the stair treads are now horizontal. All that remains to do (!?) is for the bottom step and the handrails to be fitted.

The metal for the rails and uprights was delivered last week, but may be moving on soon.

To return to our work, I will just remind you where we were before lockdown was eased.

The corridor to the ground floor facilities was full of building materials, the gents loos had been almost finished, and the ladies and accessible toilets were little more than a shell…

The site above is destined to become the accessible loo, and that below the ladies.

The gents were more or less ‘built’, and the cubicle side was installed, but not the door.

It took a surprisingly long time to fit the various elements in place to enable us to install the door, but – here it is!

The other thing we had realised though, when September left us and October brought much cooler weather, was just how much heat is lost through the (unheated) old kitchen, into the lean-to scullery which is very nearly the outdoors. So we…

removed the shelf which sat in the old window surround/opening, measured up, and then cut and fit some excess roofing insulation we happened to have lying around…

…and we then used some squirty adhesive around the edges to complete this temporary draft-proofing.

We are now having to adjust, because we must decide in advance whether we need to get into the kitchen – now an equipment store – or the laundry in the scullery, but comedically keep trying to walk from kitchen to scullery or vice versa and then realise we no longer can. It shouldn’t take too many more false starts to learn the new way around the building – I hope!

Next we plan to tackle the accessible toilet…