Ground floor over; first floor calls us now

To recap: we have returned to the timberwork, building the accessible suites. In the picture below you can see lots of vertical studs (about a third of which we will shortly remove) and, centre top, a couple of horizontal noggins, of which we need more. Some of the vertical studs supported rather mis-placed joist hangers: when we removed the ones in the wrong places, many of the studs became superfluous. The horizontal noggins will, in time, support fixings supporting the veranda roof. I thought you might want to know…

… because, if you look carefully at the photo below, you can see the shadow of where we originally placed the joist hangers (roughly half way between the new ones). We are not entirely sure what gremlin appeared to cause us to fix these in the wrong places (being mis-aligned with the hangers on the facing wall), but I can assure you that it was really difficult to remove them, so clearly the special nails used to fix these in place have excellent staying power!

Once we are placed new hangers in the correct places, we drilled a gap into the blocks below and used epoxy resin to fix the masonry joist hangers in place. Once these were in, we were able to fit the cut and fit joists in this last area and then we retreated to behind the building to see…

…the full expanse of what we are building, with all the first floor joists in place. It’s tricky to see now as the trees are in leaf, but hopefully this gives you a sense of the extent of what we are building, and of the satisfaction we felt, knowing we are now ready to start work on the first floor.

In order to put the first floor ceiling joists in place, we first need to be able to walk around on top of the first floor floor joists. To that end, we ordered some shuttering plywood which Mike is here cutting in half lengthways (as I can manage to pick up a half sheet on my own, but a whole one is too much!) so that we can fit a temporary floor. Just in case this is not holding you in raptures, I will show what excited us recently:

… a hornet that popped in to visit us in the breakfast room. We watched it carefully until it settled and then removed it using the old glass+card trick, and took it out to the bin store which is quite a distance from the house. I can confirm that Mike’s finger is just there for scale: he didn’t dream of prodding it…

As Friday finished, we were a little weary. We had been busy building for two weeks, with a little break for last weekend’s Fathers’ Day when some of the kids came to visit Mike, and we are beginning to notice we are not as young as we were.

Below you can see the front wall of the suites, with slightly fewer vertical studs and a double line of horizontal noggins ready to support the veranda roof. Above that is a double row of timber at the correct height to support the front of the roof – the wall plate.

Behind all this you can see two scaffolding towers, and above that a steel to which we have attached a double thickness of timber on top, with an overhang to the left to support the roof eaves. We have also started packing the web of the steel at the front (and back), ready to fit more joist hangers. As I believe I may have said before, oh joy, oh rapture, we are making progress!

We we hope to be able to construct a third scaffolding tower soon, which will be very helpful as we can then access all of each steel in one ‘go’. We now have a very busy hospitality weekend with guests, so I hope to share further pictures next week on the assumption we have been able to fit in some building work!!

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