Sunday, 19 July 2015

library floor and basement stairs

This weekend was beautiful, with clear skies, lovely warm weather. Saturday was hot, Jan struggled to cut grass in the orchard, and had to rest reguarly. This time of year the big black fly's (horseflies?) come out and although slow and easy to swat, they are persistent and bite !!...So it was hard work, but essential to keep the orchard under control, and the cleared brambles remain cleared !!

I was lucky enough to continue work in (cool) basement, laying in the remaining joists This included the joint work around the fireplace, into which I will be laying a block of Vermiculite concrete(lightweight and thermo efficient). Onto that I will be laying a slate hearth.
With that finished on Saturday afternoon, I was able to start laying in the first layer of floor-boarding, cutting holes for the trapdoor, and small hole for a floor-vent over the basement window, for CO2 safety (Building Regs requirement).

On Sunday I started building the wooden steps down to the basement through the trapdoor.
It's a steep incline, so had to thought long and hard on the design, then found a Pinterest post that solved the problem...

So here it place...

I am not 100% happy with it.
I had to use what I had lying around the workshop (old floorboards, and bits of battening)
So I will see how it works in action, but may replace the treads with more robust pieces, or at least re-inforce the battens with dowel ( I had to use screws as not enough dowel of the right size).

At least I know the pattern works, and I can replace it more easily...if necessary

The basement looks great and ready to start storing our Autumn harvest...(we are expecting a bumper harvest of apples and damsons this year)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

moving on up

So with the basement marathon coming to an end, its time to start the welcome task of moving up into the library.... the first steps at least.

I finished laying the cobbles last weekend, a thoroughly rewarding exercise, it looks almost original. Walking and working on it (and constant sweeping) is starting to rub back the lime, and polish the cobbles. Not as good as years of livestock walking on it (as it originally would have been used ), but its a good start.

With that and the lime rendering finished, it was time to start laying in the new oak joists.
This is heavy lifting, each one weighing about 40kg(or at least it felt like). Each one needs lifting, measuring, cutting, adjusting ( 2 or 3 times) leveling, then onto the next one...quite a workout!!

Made good progress this weekend, but didn't quite finish in time, but at least I broke the back of it.
Should finish it next weekend, and can start laying the floorboarding, insulation etc.

We picked up a bench (old church pew) last weekend, so set that up with the long table, fits perfectly, and looks great...just need lots of vistors to fill it up now

Also managed to give the new lawn its first cut...looking pretty lush !!