Saturday, 14 January 2012

Sparks, Doors and Windows

It's been a big week for us down at the house, with plenty going on, so I'm going to cover it off in a series of posts over this weekend rather than try to squeeze it all into one. If you are seeing this version with no pictures, that's just because the pics are currently on another laptop which is in use. I will load some pictures on soon, so please do re-visit these posts when you get a chance.

The main bit of news is the arrival on site of Sparks, our Project Manager. He'd visited before Christmas and pointed Mum and Dad in the right direction to give us plenty of work over Christmas and the New Year (pulling down ceilings and pulling the plaster board off stud-walls, pulling up the living room floor (wooden) and chipping off some plaster, as well as more superficial stuff like tearing out cupboards, kitchen equipment, the bathroom suite etc.). Sparks is pleased with this progress and compliments us all on our hard work but now that he's on board we can step up the pace a good deal. He tends to go at it all a bit more vigorously than Mum and Dad, making more noise and achieving a whole new level of destructive ability. He wields the big hammer and the longer crow-bar with no fear of damaging something vital where Mum and Dad now look like they were pussy-footing it a bit. The frames for stud walling are ripped from their bases as 6 inch nails are prised free, the bangs and clangs of a lump hammer swinging reverberate and the serious crunch of damage being done to masonry echoes across Roscommon.

Sparks though, is also the project MANAGER, so he has all the planning, measuring, deciding and prioritising to do. He decides whether a floor should stay or go, whether a joist is bad enough for replacement, or needs repair or just needs spraying with the treatment chemical. He knows what order things should be done in, so he has mental time-lines of when to order stuff to arrive by, or on which days to hire equipment. He has the note book and the tape measure and the constantly ringing mobile phone. On Monday he has Nathan from the doors and windows firm (Munster Joinery) coming out to measure us up, let us choose styles and quote for the job. This puts a smile on everyone's face - where we'd all been half expecting the doors and windows to be one of the major expensive purchases, they turn out to be very reasonable. We accept the price and Nathan will send back two of his measurers/fitters tomorrow to measure up properly and dot the i's and cross the t's on the task.

So Monday sees the stud wall frames between the two halves of what will be the main bedroom torn down revealing what will be the final size of the main bedroom and what the Dining Room will look like united with the former 'hall', so that the stairs run up one side of the room and there is space under them for a computer desk. Sparks having had a good look at the joists exposed by our work around Christmas though, thinks we will probably need to completely replace the first 4 joists working from the west end of the house (including a bit of a weird bodge made to accommodate the then upstairs fireplace; we are not going to use the fireplace so we can revert to a simple single house-deep joist beam there). We will also need to re-end or repair a couple above the front door in the short bit of landing, and possibly a couple in the Dining room ceiling. They have suffered rather from woodworm or near windows where possibly because of the single glazing and 15 years being closed up, the condensation has left them continuously damp.

More in the next post

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