Reaching new heights

My latest three day report coming up, and I am pleased to note that we have achieved some of the objectives we set ourselves.

Plaster still drying

On Wednesday we found that the additional plaster was still drying, so we tried to find something important to do whilst it dried.  As it happens, we were both struggling to walk from floor 1  to floor 2.  The route was: up 6 stairs; up further steps with our heads through the narrow gap between the new wall and the old floor (where Mike had cut away ca. 30cm of the old floor to enable us to work on the wall); then shinny uncomfortably high up part of the new wall and lever ourselves up onto floor 2.

We noticed that we could cut through the joists and remove the part of the floor that overlapped the sixth flight of stairs (which stopped us just walking up the stairs) if we put in some suitable struts or props to support the floor for the next week or so, before it is permanently removed.  Below you can see the new props in place, just before we cut through the joists so that we could actually use our new stairs.

A new prop in place

Having done this, we moved on to putting in the last platform necessary…

Early stages of platform creation

… with the front trimmer being supported on another temporary prop.  With this platform in place, it was time to move the last two flights of stairs from the ground floor up to the second.  It was easy enough to walk them up the original main staircase to floor 1 after which we needed to hoist them up through the only access route, being a narrow gap between landings on floors 1 and 2.

Flight 8 of stairs being winched to floor 2

So we tied up the stairs (meaning Mike made use of a wide range of knots learned goodness only knows where, and I stood and applauded his manly efforts) and then Mike ‘guided’ the stairs up through the gap below, whilst I hauled on the rope (which was running through a Karabiner [other pulley systems are available] below an attic joist) running in the approved manner behind my back and under both arms.

The journey is difficult to show

By the time we had lifted both flights of stairs in this manner, we were both ready for a nice cup of tea and a quiet sit down.

Two flights of stairs on floor 2 await installation

Having managed to get them onto the correct landing, we then affixed the top and bottom newel posts and then installed the seventh flight of stairs into position, resting them against the platform shown earlier.

Seventh flight of 8 in place!!!

You may notice the design nicety which shows that we had to cut a hole out of the ceiling to accommodate the top newel post before installing the stairs…

The newel post runs through the ceiling, due for removal next week

and you can see below that we can walk up and down some of the stairs now – after a fashion, assuming you don’t mind ducking in various places.

Flight 7 with Mike tweaking something, no doubt something important, on the floor below

So next week we should be clearing the decks and finishing a couple of walls so that the final flight of stairs can be installed.  We had hoped to complete this in April but are letting ourselves overrun because we have visitors this weekend so plan to have a bit of a break, and then need to be on cafe duty early next week.   I will return to resume the story just as soon there is anything interesting to show you.

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