Digging deeper into our problems

This has been a very busy fortnight. A couple of weeks ago we welcomed a family of Ukrainians into our house so the building work has definitely taken a back seat whilst we fill in lots of forms on their behalf!

What we have managed to do includes: building a new fire surround, this time for the fireplace in the hallway which (now that Mike is an experienced builder of fireplaces) was completed within a day, moving from this…

…to this in very short order.

Moving back to the area where we have removed the roof, we found we needed to remove a little more as you can see here…

…and then we had further walls to remove…

…after which we needed to remove the wall on the left hand side of the shot below – which is a shame since, as you can see, the en suite was otherwise almost finished, even having a glass ready for use in the wall cabinet!

Mike lifted the sledgehammer to get to work…

,,,and with one or two whacks from Mike (and obviously the killer blow from me) we ended up with most of the wall demolished, but a stubborn ‘lintel’ remained.

At this point, we investigated carefully. We are guessing that the wall had once housed a window which was long since blocked up but, on inspection, the steel here (encased in a lot of concrete) continued on into the doorway of the next room along. It was therefore not a case of trying to remove it, but of needing to cut through it. For safety overnight, Mike put in the prop you can see because obviously, had an earthquake happened overnight, we didn’t want this lintel to fall, so a good stiff wooden prop is obviously a suitably strong support.

The following day we took a break from building work, and cut up a pile of firewood to try to clear the frontage a bit…

…and the day after that we took everyone to the seaside. Shame about the weather – it was miserably cold and kept threatening to rain, but the 3 kids ran full pelt into the sea and had a lovely few minutes before the cold really registered!

Back to work the following day, we are now excavating for the new foundations that need to be under the new front walls. This was partly done manually…

…and partly mechanically, but we are making reasonable progress. Clearly this is bit physical for me so I have turned my attention to…

…clearing away the rubble. We can see here I have removed the tiles from the walls of the en suite…

…after which I demolished the throne so we have a clear shot at redoing the floor at some point in the future and then…

… I started removing the plasterboard covering one of the old slate walls.

So its all a bit ‘bitty’ at the moment, but hopefully the next report will show the foundations fully dug and we will be preparing to restart building work. That’s assuming there aren’t too many more forms to fill in for our lovely visitors…

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