I feel I should start this post with apologies. One of us is having a serious wobble about this project. I wonder how that might be? Despite knowing it is rather too late to lose faith, I am having to stop myself looking at the whole task and try to focus instead on the immediate work required, but sadly this is not proving as successful as usual. This may or may not be linked to the stairs still not being ready to put in, and my being silly enough to start doing some serious accounting work in preparation for the company’s financial Year End (30th September) and noticing at great length what we are spending on fill-in work whilst we wait for the stairs. Obviously, we are now doing work out of sequence, and I have just been reminded in stark detail that this means we are spending money out of sequence, which is a problem until we have accommodation on offer… but will we get to that place…oh no, here I go again….
Aaarrrrgggghhhhhhh. But nothing to worry about – normal service will be resumed shortly, but please make due allowance if you think I am sounding a bit less positive/enthusiastic as I write!
It being North Wales, we have had some rain recently. To be more accurate, it has been really surprisingly dry this year, but we had quite a downpour Monday night, and the river has responded:
We noticed that the canoeists stopped by on Tuesday morning briefly, but we assume they decided the river was too feisty as we haven’t seen them since.
Now back to the main event, namely the tweaking of the building in the hope that we will have accommodation available to offer sometime this century…
We continued to strip out floor 3, now focusing on the bathrooms. As you can see, we uncovered some quality insulation, along with some bizarre gaps in one of the plywood ‘stiffening’ walls which we might have guessed were present, given that there was a rug nailed to the wall when we were viewing…
So as Mike was removing the sanitary ware, we realised we needed to shut off the water. The hot water stop cock was obligingly found within the floor 3 space, but we had to go hunting for the cold water stop cock. After several false starts, it dawned on us that behind one wall in the ‘extension’ there was a cupboard in the ‘manor’ building. On opening the door, we were confronted by 4 rooms doors in varying degrees of decrepitude, a very old part-bag of plaster, a table long past its best, a wooden chair in three parts, a wall cupboard (loose on the floor, natch), a stainless steel sink and…yes, a stop cock!
Mike has now removed all sanitary ware but one toilet, including radiators on floor 3. We did have a rather tense time on Wednesday pm when Mike spotted a leak on floor 2, which we tried to chase back by removing bits of ceiling and lifting floor boards on all three floors and by measuring to check what was above/below the leak, only to find eventually that we hadn’t firmly closed off one of the valves between the water supply and one of the radiators we had removed! How we laughed when we found that…
On the less rainy days, we tried to ensure we were working outside. Earlier this week, that focused on sanding and priming the bargeboards and fascia boards accessible from the scaffolding, and stabilising the paintwork ready for the light gravel-type paint to go on as soon as the weather (and the building) dries up a bit!
On Friday, our local steel cutters arrived to remove the fire escape platform from floor 3 (now redundant as the door has been bricked up to make room for the stairwell) and the related stairs.
We are pleased to see this go, as we know rain was getting into the building along the steel beams that were bolted to internal structures, We were told when the chaps started removing it that the platform was in pretty poor condition (which we had guessed) and would have needed to be removed for safety reasons anyway within the year, even if we hadn’t wanted to remove it!
We are saving the stairs (part of which can be seen below, roped to the lower platform handrail) as we hope to reuse these in a set of steps to go from the hotel level down to the ‘lower meadow’ garden – but looking at the finances, this might need to wait until we have accommodation to offer!
And now that the platform and stairs have been removed, we need to call the scaffolders back to subtly tweak the scaffolding, ready for us to paint the building.
So finally this week, I offer you a quick look at one of the gutted en suites which is now ready for wall insulation to be installed, the Velux window to be changed and a few other bits and bobs before we are ready to welcome our first guests.
Now, must dash as we have a visit scheduled tomorrow from another set of car enthusiasts, so must start getting ready…