We came back! After a long break (we never made it for Christmas) we came back for a four week "holiday" determined to get some of the outstanding jobs sorted out.
One of the most important jobs was the construction of both balconies, finishing the render to the rest of the outside walls and boxing out around all the windows and doors.
We arrived on Sunday night to find the place had been "tidied". Matt has been living in the chalet for the past 5 months whilst he works on Robs farm project and he has moved everything around. Everything has been moved into one of the unbuilt bedrooms downstairs. Feels a bit weird to have had everything rearranged without knowing about it.
Started on Monday with the shower room, figured out what bits I had after searching around and what bits I might need to finish the sink and toilet. I need to box everything in so several bits of chipboard are employed the holes. I find all the toilet bits so I can start by plumbing that in. I have to make up a reducer from 16 to 14 to 12 to 10 so I can connect the cistern up and turn the out let through 180 degrees to get it to flow properly but eventually its all working and water flows in, flushes and flows out. The sink is next which is easier as its all flexi pipes to the taps and a bit of drainage. So the shower the toilet and the sink all now work. I think I should leave it a couple of days to see what leaks so in the mean time I look at the huge amount of tiling that needs doing. Starting at the top of the house I disassemble the dalek do I can move it out of the way and take a look at the base. Found the signatures we signed when it was laid back in 2009!
Laid a few tiles and rebuilt the dalek:
Wednesday, the shower room needs a light and that is supposed to be from a cabinet on the wall like the other bathroom. This means breaking a channel and embedding cables for the cabinet. So get out the hammer drill and break a channel in the wall, dust and bits of concrete everywhere. Arrange the wires and make sure its all going to fit through up through the sink supports and up through the plasterboard wall out along the channel I have hacked out and up into the back if the cabinet to the lights. I also figured out the heater supports and that the light switch needs moving. In the evening I started to tile the top steps.
Thursday, was tiling day and I tiled more steps, and finished the hallway. I tiled the splash back of the kitchen
and began tiling the shower floor. This involved cutting round the curved shower base, cutting the floor tiles as close as possible with the tile cutter then trimming them down with an angle grinder. At this point it was about 6 in the evening and I was finishing up when the neighbours complained about the noise. I suppose they had a point but it could have been a whole lot worse! Anyway that kind of stopped my grinding and cutting tiles for the evening. Try to do something a bit quieter that evening and fix the bath plug which has popper out of alignment and needs completely taking apart to fix.
Decided that Monday was going to be rubbish tip day so we cleared out one of the downstairs bedrooms, moving all the wood and stuff that Matt had stacked in there into the front drive. We made five piles of stuff, wood, cardboard, metal, plastic and sweepings. Tidied the garage, moved loads of stuff outside for the tip. Took all the insulation of the garage walls (most of it had fallen off anyway)
Built shelves and generally cleaned up the garage and the bedroom. Laid the insulation down on the bedroom floor.
Monday: To the tip, loaded up the entire car and the largest trailer we could cadge from Matt, and went to the tip with all the rubbish. Dumped it.In the afternoon I began to prepare for building the balconies. The existing timber has been sat in the sun and rain for about 7 years and the varnish is looking pretty sad. I resolved to sand the timbers down and recoat them with varnish before building the new balconies on top of them. This turns out to be a major task. After sanding them down they need covering in preservative, luckily I have plenty left from when Matt tried to preserve the chalet. Then the timber needs varnish. Both balconies back and front need the treatment. Some time during this the timber for the balconies arrives from Vioron. I have chosen to make the balconies to my own design and the easiest way to do that was to simplify the order for Voiron. I figure I can make the entire balcony from planks and posts. The uprights are rough sawn timber so I set top work sanding down a few of the lengths. Takes an hour or so and makes a tonne of dust.
Borrowing Robs new chop saw (he broke mine, dropped a log on it and cracked the stand, so its only fair) I chop out some uprights and bolt them on to the balcony timbers with some rather large screws, (12mm diameter and 160mm long)
After the uprights I rip a plank into three thin battens and screw these to the uprights. The floor starts next and for this I am using decking. Planks of decking chopped up and screwed down onto the freshly varnished timbers. The top hand rail is to be made from two planks laminated together. So two 5m planks are glued and screwed together over night.
The next morning I have to use my favourite tool, the router. I bought it ages ago and havent had a good use for it before this but I have really wanted to have a go with it. I need to cut a slot in the top hand rail to slot the top of the planks into. I set the router up and cut the slot. It really cuts well and was really easy!
Now this laminated handrail can be fixed to the uprights and I can start with the planking.
Loads of planks later:
A bit of sanding
a bit of varnish
Now its time to start the other side!
Super Sue put nearly all the planks on and got very painful shoulders after doing up all the screws. I bought 1000 and had to buy more so I am calling it the thousand screw balcony. Super Sue then painted both balconies three times, once with preservative and twice with varnish
On a visit to Voiron's I found the mesh for the outside walls which made me much happier and I could finish the walls.
Wednesday, fixed the mesh over the remainder of the walls on the outside until I had run out of bolts to hammer in. Decided to box out the bedroom doors as the the walls were in full sun and rendering in the sun is hard work as it goes off really quick. So chopped up some wider planks I had got from Viorons and boxed out the doors.
Thursday, started rendering the outside.
When this was finished I could get on with boxing out the rest of the windows and doors.
During this hectic time of balconies, rendering and boxing out, we tiled the shower room and tiled the bathroom. We built a wall in the bedroom to fill the gap, plaster boarded the gap. Built a tongue and groove panelled wall to cover up the cables, rendered all the other walls of the bedroom with the textured paint. The walls were also painted and the window and door had timber strips fixed around them.
I finally got the lights to work in the stairway and tidied up a hole load of electrics. At some stage during the four weeks I fixed the roof as well. About half the ridge tiles had cracked for some reason. Did not have the opportunity to replace them but patched them up with mastic and will look to replace them as soon as possible. Patched up a couple of other cracked tiles at the same time.
Well all that was four weeks of really hard work with only about one day off.
Did not get everything done I hoped to but got quite a lot finished. Hope to be back in October when the next holiday starts, maybe I can get the last bedroom finished and the last bathroom started.