Welcome to our latest helper…

…better known as Tidge. Debbie’s cat has always been interested in what we are doing, but recently he has become a lot bolder in approaching us. Here you see him checking out the block work about two minutes after we had laid these blocks…

…noting there is only just enough room now for him in between the two leaves of the wall. And to think he was still a cute little kitten last autumn.

Whilst Tidge took his ease, we considered the wall which will support one end of the lintel we need to install. The rusty object in the middle of the photo below is the end of a steel that runs through this wall and used to run through a wall we demolished last year. Having cut the steel back, we now needed to create a structure strong enough to support the lintel, so we boxed around the steel and packed the box tight with concrete.

Whilst we waited for the concrete to set we continued building the wall you see here. We added engineering bricks on the end at the left hand side of the doorway, ready to support the lintel, and then carried on upwards with blocks along the rest of the wall.

Below you can see the shuttering around the cast concrete on the right hand side of the doorway. Once the concrete had set, we mortared in some engineering blocks on top of the concrete, ready to bear the lintel.

We have been having heavy showers over the last week (perhaps I should say last three months), so as we add blocks to the wall, we have been covering them with plastic to ensure any showers don’t wash the mortar away, and overnight have added insulation in case the temperature falls below zero.

Today, after we waved our lovely guests goodbye and bon voyage, we installed the lintel below. We put in the mortar, then added wedges so the weight of the lintel is not bearing on the mortar. Once the mortar has set, we will be able to remove the wedges and the Acrow prop to give us un-obscured access to the doorway for the first time in over a year!

This shot shows how we have finished building the block portion of the wall below which we have then put to bed to protect it from the elements. Having done this, we had a little mortar left over so we…

…moved to the back of the building and began putting blocks between the joists supported directly on the block wall. We cut bricks accurately to size so that the ‘joist+brick’ combo will be sufficiently robust to support the floor plate for the timber wall which will go on next.

We had enough mortar to complete these six sections – only about another twenty to go!

I’m not sure whether it is obvious to the casual observer, but we think we are progressing at a reasonable rate. Indeed Mike tells me we should be starting on the first floor before the end of the month – I am really trying to contain my enthusiasm. We are being hampered by the wet weather, but we are mostly managing to cope by working in our weatherproof gear – but we do look forward to drier weather sometime this year, perhaps…

6 thoughts on “Welcome to our latest helper…

  1. Hi Carrie, could you post some photos from a longer perspective, so we can get a wider view of how the buildings are aligned with one another? I love the detail, but would like to see the broader view, to put it in perspective. Thanks, Mike

    1. Hi Mike, Thanks for the comment. Sadly I have only seen your comment as I prepare to post this week’s work and it is already too dark to take further shots. Next week I promise to include some scene-setting pictures so you can see how it will all work together. Hopefully you will be impressed!, love Carrie

      1. Thanks so much, Carrie, for the perspective shots. Now I can see better how it’s all coming together and the impact it will have. You have my unwavering admiration for how the two of you are sticking with this project, through to the ultimate end!! Love, Mike

        1. You are too kind… but your timing is good¬ I have been having a bit of a wobble lately – it has been so cold, and so wet – but fortunately I am coming out the other side and am feeling much more positive now that spring is with us! More news in the blog… love Carrie x

  2. I don’t fully understand every step that I am seeing but know this, you two are bloomin’ amazing, Julie

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