Trying for a drying room

Last week, Mike disconnected this charming (?) old sink, and we moved it out of the scullery.

In the old gents’ toilets, we began rebuilding it into a drying room. First, we installed a double thickness of insulating mat in the loft space…

…whilst we waited for our floor repair patch to dry. After flowing self-levelling screed over the floor last week, we found a high spot on Monday. Mike broke this up with hammer and chisel, and then covered the patch with a second attempt at this self-levelling lark.

Once the insulation was all in, we fixed the plasterboard in place, and when we got bored with that…

…we popped outside to visit the old sink. A spot of welding has now reattached the sink to its stand, so Mike sanded it ready for me to overpaint it with Hammerite a bit later on.

Back in the drying room to be, we added the plasterboard to internal walls, and insulated plasterboard to external walls, so it has been almost transformed from a building site now…

…even more so now Mike has started on the plastering.

Meanwhile, I painted the sink support and the garden stairs. Excitingly, plasterboarding of this room means we have now moved all of the materials out of our ‘loading bay’ in the library, so this area can soon be returned to a more domestic appearance. It really is the beginning of the end of this phase of the building works. What will we select to do next, I wonder?

The building work must go on…

This week a storm was forecast for Wednesday night, so we thought we should finish replacing one of the windows. I can’t think why, but we weren’t sure that the loft insulation foam we had temporarily used to block the void would survive the wind. So we put the – now double-glazed – sash window back in place…

… and it now looks like this from the outside…

…and then I cleared the block work a little further away, to ensure the door didn’t sit in the wet and rot again. Only one side to refurbish now, but sadly that one will take a lot more work so we will leave it for a little while now.

When the storm hit, we reverted to walking indoors. In our new combined drying room/laundry room we will need a large sink – and large sinks are surprisingly expensive. We have decided therefore to upcycle this old sink, which Mike has disconnected so I can start working on it.

Back in the shell of the old gents, Mike has started running the electric cable for the lights and sockets around the walls. I was working on the floor, to lift the loose and broken pamments, only to find that very time I moved a loose pamment, the ones next to it became loose. The floor had a couple of channels in it where we had removed walls…

…just like the one behind Mike’s foot below…and as we worked it became clearer that the floor wasn’t level, and eventually we had to accept that we would be better off lifting all the pamments.

Only a little task to clean them, I think…

…but the view from the office is still brilliant! This photo is courtesy of Wendy, our wonderful neighbour, who we saw on our dog walk earlier this week but she had had the foresight to bring her phone with her!

Now its the best time of the week, Friday night, and we are having a quiet sit down and perhaps a little sip of wine for me. Hhhm, I wonder what we will be doing next week?

Digging down and painting up…

We left you last time with a little rubble still to clear from behind the boiler room…

…but we wouldn’t want you to think all work and no play. It was warm enough on Monday to have our lunch outside (even if my face lets you know that it was a little bracing in the February wind).

We have dug back to the step that separates the area behind the boiler room from the path outside the long corridor…

…and when you look from the other side, you can see the height of the step.

Looking back behind the ‘phase 3’ space, we needed to dig by hand for a while as there wasn’t room to use the digger, as there is not enough clerance here for the top to turn.

So we were reduced to digging out this portion by hand.

I want to just remind myself how far we have come. When we started digging out the boiler vent was about elbow height…

…but now I can’t even reach the vent.

As we were digging yesterday, we uncovered Rocky II. Just behind the pick you can see a rock that we uncovered which we simply couldn’t move with the digger, so…

…we let Mike at it with the breaker, which soon sorted it out…

…and then we could get back on the digger. After a morning of barrowing rubble from here to our car park, it was a relief to be able to sit down for a bit!

There is still some more digging to do. For some light relief, we also found some time this week to start painting the stairs to the lower garden whilst they were temporarily in full sun.

We made very good headway until we ran out of paint and found there was no more to be had in this valley. Oh well, an enforced weekend off will be good for us both.