Bye bye balcony, it’s time for you to go…

We finished the garden stairs this week, after we gave them a couple of coats of stain so that they ‘match’ the top end steps…

…and now look more like they belong together.

Shaun has finished the paintwork in the dining room, which is getting a quick lickety-spit ready for use for Will and Lucy’s wedding next autumn. He started with a fireplace looking pretty much like this…

…after which we removed the wood panelling and plastered the wall…

…but Shaun’s re-building of the fireplace and his wonderful choice of wallpaper has, we think, made all the difference. He has sourced new tiles to fill the gap where someone had remove the original tiles and somehow managed to make it all look designed to be this way. And I am still amazed that a clock Mike bought from Diss auctions back in Norfolk all those years ago now sits in pride of place on the mantle shelf, having been made in Llanrwst!

Now we turn our attention to the balcony. This has been causing us problems for years, as water has been getting through the wall behind the balcony and into the house, leaving damp problems in the attic and the bedroom behind it, plus encouraging water to breach the pointing on the front wall into the dining room – so it has to go. Before we started removing it, I just checked out how secure the new Juliet balcony is going to feel, and I am happy to pass it.

Below you can see the current balcony which we understand was added to the building around the 1990’s. The metal surround is very rusted, and the wooden stair spindles didn’t exactly make you feel secure – but the bounce in the floor was quite enough to ensure no-one has trodden on it for several years.

Above is how it appears from the turret bedroom, which is just the right height to see how decayed it all is…

…so we set to this afternoon, with neighbour Niall providing the larger disc cutter plus his climbers head for heights. Having cut away the metal rails, we tried to cut the balcony floor into strips, at which point we discovered that this was the most robust part of the entire structure. The floor had been welded along all edges, so we think this will be easier to work on from the scaffolding tower…

…which Niall, Mike and I promptly assembled in place, attaching it periodically to the front wall. As you can see, Lola kept ‘hiding’ her ball in the flower bed, and used the full force of her collie stare to try to encourage us to throw it for her to fetch. By the end of the afternoon, the tower was fully erected and will be ready for us to use as soon as we have some spare time.

Another thing achieved this week is the strimming of this area behind the oil tank, ready for the installation of a wood store. Once this is in, there is a lot of wood I can move from the front of the building as we prepare to start work on the new roof.

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