One step backwards followed by plenty forwards

I don’t want anyone to worry, so I will say right from the start that all is well here.  But in the interests of full disclosure, I share with you that the last few days have not been without stress.  Specifically, after I last blogged, I suspect my little grey cells were reflecting on what I had written without conscious input and, as we were preparing for bed, the thought occurred to me that we had just installed the trimmer (which supports the stairs) at the same height that the stair tread will be.  My mouth then operated long before my tact had a chance to kick in, and I asked Mike how we had selected the height for the trimmer.  After a brief discussion, one of us (that will be me) went on to have a decent night’s sleep whilst the other one (step forward Mike) spent the night tossing and turning and, presumably, wondered what on earth possessed me to ask such a stupid question just before bed time.

The next morning, after a brief discussion over breakfast, we corrected our mistakes from the previous day.  I am sure you will all be relieved to know that it only took a couple of hours to undo much of the previous days’ work and lower the trimmer by 18mm both ends.  Down side, loss of about half a days forward momentum.  Up side, I suspect we won’t be making that mistake on any of the other three floors!  No photos of this, though, as  there was nothing remotely exciting to see.

On Wednesday, we had a day of meetings and faffing around with all manner of things in preparation for Thursday.  On Thursday, we turned our attention to the door on floor 3 which leads onto the (condemned) fire escape. When the new fire-rated staircase has been installed, we will no longer require an external fire escape.   We plan to keep the platforms outside rooms on floors 1 and 2, but we will be removing the steel staircase that leads to floor 3, and (we hope) re-using the staircase elsewhere in the grounds.  We are blocking up the doorway that opens onto the fire escape now, as we need to plaster and paint externally before the guys arrive to remove the externals stairs in the next couple of weeks.

As you can see, the weather was glorious here on Thursday:

The door frame as seen from the outside before we started work on it…


..and how it looked from the inside of the building.


Mike removing the old frame…


…and, a few minutes later, the void was part way to being filled.


Has Carrie completely lost patience with Mike and taken desperate measures?


Sadly, no…and Mike is now bricking up the outside.  (Just so you know, Mike built the internal wall and Carrie built the external one, but Mike is a good 6″ taller than Carrie so always has the privilege of finishing the higher level work – and he tends to forget to pick up the camera during the working day!)

Today, Friday, we needed to find something else to do whilst we ensured that the render dried.  The obvious ‘else’ was the stairwell.

After our corrective works on Tuesday, the building inspector approved what he saw on Wednesday, as seen below.  The structure is plywood with fire-graded plasterboard, lined with insulating mat, held in place with chicken wire, and the trimmers as shown.

Stairwell, as approved by the inspector!

Today’s task was to put in the plywood layer,

As it looked about 12 noon today

followed by the fire-graded plasterboard layer.

and how the stairwell looked at knocking off time tonight.

Tomorrow we need to complete these works, both on the elements you see here, and on the blocked doorway and window (behind the camera) which will form part of the stairwell.

I look forward to sharing photos with you early next week to show we have (we hope) completed the ground floor of the stairwell.  Whilst I appreciate that you may not consider this a totally thrilling weekend activity, we feel we should hurry along since the  joinery firm making the stairs tell us they have started work on them!  This is marvellous news as he had been warned of a 6 week lead time for the stairs, but we agree that we need to crack on now or we may become the proud owners of new stairs and have nowhere ready to house them.  The irony is not lost on us….

2 thoughts on “One step backwards followed by plenty forwards

  1. Hi Both,
    Glad to see your progress. Looks like you’ve had some lovely weather too. We on the other hand have been freezing to death with the wind and rain hee in Brum.
    Take care
    Kim & David

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