Week eight

However, when Monday morning arrived, so did the rain and because of the rain….no roughcaster. (apparently they melt in the rain…..just like the Wicked Witch of the East). So Saturday and Sunday’s backbreaking 14 hour shifts were probably not necessary after all. There would be no one on site today.

Nevertheless, at least that part of the job was done and I went off to get on with my day job.

Tuesday arrived and Danny was back on site to fit the concrete sills. It wasn’t raining so he was “disappointed”, (ahem), to note that the roughcaster was not on site. Several phone calls were made and it was established that he would definitely be on site on Thursday….if it didn’t rain. That evening was spent in front of the computer again, organising the schedule and checking materials orders. Rock and/or Roll….

On Wednesday there was nothing that could be done on site until the roughcaster had done his bit, so all was quiet. On Wednesday evening I decided to drill all the holes for the external lights cabling, deciding that it would be easier to be accurate with the positioning, before the walls were roughcast. By a stroke of sheer luck ,(or maybe sheer genius…who knows ?), all of the cable holes fell within mortar joints. A job I had set aside two hours for, then only took twenty minutes. Hallelujah. I then retired for a very necessary early night.

Thursday morning, there were new bodies on site as the roughcaster and his team arrived. It wasn’t raining. After a short briefing on what was required, including my by now British Standard Certified Guidelines on “How to keep cats out of cement mixers”, I left for work.

When I arrived home that evening, the scratch coat was done over the entire extension and both cats were still alive and cement-free. I spent that evening at the top of the scaffolding, fitting the final timber capping piece between the two triangular windows. It was a small detail but it made a big difference, pulling the two halves of the window design together to look like one large single window. It was one of many details I had noted over years of surveying, that I wanted to try. Luckily, it worked out ok.

Friday and the gas fitter was back on site to finally install the new boiler. This time, there would be no excuses. All possible parts needed, were there. All possible tools needed, were there. Following previous hold-ups, where I’d been informed that he couldn’t muck about with the timber framing as this was a joiners job, I’d installed extra noggins for mounting the back plate, myself. It took me all of ten minutes. I have no idea why he couldn’t have done it, other than the way he served his apprenticeship was of the “old school”. He was a “Union” man. Wood is for joiners. Pipes are for plumbers. Well, getting the job done, is all the client cares about. A little initiative would’ve gone a long way. Anyway, off I went to work expecting that to be that. Not so. About 11.00 I got a phone call from the gas fitter saying the new boiler was a bit heavier than it looked and would I be able to get back to help lift it. Luckily, thanks to the joys of flexi-time working, I was able to get home at lunchtime and the two of us man-handled the boiler up to its position. Sadly, that was about the extent of the work done with the boiler that day. What do you expect ? It’s Friday.

That evening, Danny phoned to go over how work was progressing and ensure I was happy so far. Everything was going fine as far as I was concerned and we confirmed what would be done the following week.

That weekend was spent making the window panels I had designed, from the Idigbo delivered ten days previously. These would be non-opening glazing panels, so it was a relatively simple job to make up the frames and rebate them for the glazing units but as with all building work, time appears to go into some kind of vortex and 9.30am on a Saturday becomes7.30pm in the blink of an eye. Sunday was more of the same but it had to be done. By Sunday evening, the frames were glued, screwed, sanded and ready to be painted.

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