Saturday, 21 January 2012
Thursday should have been a relatively easy day. Had the delivery company taken note of Sparks's warning about narrow lanes, sharp turn into the driveway etc, they might have showed up in sensible lorries. As it was we took delivery of most of the building materials for the project in 2 hits, one on a full size 40 foot artic which assumed we'd have a forklift, the other on a 28 foot Hyab (flatbed lorry with crane), neither of which could make the turn.
This meant that both deliveries were going to be made to the country lane and we'd have to wrangle stuff up to the house. Add to that, some of the stuff was to be the modern composite wall insulation boards, plaster board bonded to thick foam sheets. Plaster board in any form hates to get wet (goes soft, sags and forms bellies in your ceiling which do not go away even if it dries out, as anyone knows who has had a plumbing leak above a ceiling). It was threatening rain and kept delivering heavy squalls which had us racing to cover any exposed stacks before running for shelter ourselves.
Luckily, just along the road from us is one of those magnificent 'Celtic Tiger' big houses which never got occupied (more than one visitor has asked why we didn't buy THAT one!) but which has a hard lay-by out front big enough for a 40 foot artic and a van alongside on the roof-rack of which to tip sheeting from the lorry floor, with still room for cars to pass. But is was another arduous day (not as bad as clay-shovelling, but close!) taking sheets off the lorry 10 at a time and shipping them to the house on the roof rack of Sparks's van.
The 40 footer was emptied by 1pm and we had a 20 minute break before the Hyab arrived, laden with our one ton bags of gravel and sand, the joists, floorboards, door frames, wood for stud walling, bags of cement and plaster, rolls of bitumen sheet for the extension roof, sheets of plywood for same, lead for flashing etc. At least this guy had the crane, so was able to drop piles in and around the entrance or over the hedge. The boys then had to wrangle it up the drive in the van or on the 2CV with trailer in between the showers. Knackered again by about 5pm they left some sheeted till the morning and one of the one ton bags right in the middle of the drive.
This is all a bit physical for Mum so she heads for Dublin to take a belated chance to visit family and friends who we have not been to see since moving over. Questions were starting to be asked! Luckily, Mum's wee Fiat can slip out between the sand bag and the gate post.
Friday is then, of course, filled with squaring away the remaining building materials, left the previous day. It had rained all night but, as seems to be the way of these things, by morning it was clear and sunny and plaster board could be unsheeted and moved at will. We have to move all the stuff from the entrance up to safe places; the timber, the plaster board and the plywood roof sheets for the extension roof. None of it is particularly heavy - plasterboard sheets are 25kgs, so they are mainly awkward and need two men to carry them. They all get carried upstairs one by one and stacked flat. We have now and embarrassment of building materials, meaning the build is turning into a bit of a game of solitaire. We need to move this to get to that, but we can't start that because these are in the way. Sparks is scratching his head trying to plan a sequence of moves and tasks which will work. The wall sheets alone take up the entire living room floor to ceiling.