Week thirteen

So, Monday came around and Danny was back from his holidays. He immediately sensed something was up and I imparted the weekends’ developments. He pondered for a moment.

“So……do you want us tae start takin’ it doon?”, he said, tongue firmly in cheek and we all fell about laughing. It broke the atmosphere and we got back to concentrating on the job at hand. There was no way I was giving up now, after all the work that had gone into it so far.

There were actually only a few elements of the contract left to be done, so that day was spent digging the trenches for the new sewer and rainwater pipes from the extension to the access chamber in the garden and laying the finished surface slabs on the new doorsteps and platforms.

The following day, the pipes were laid and bedded in. Unfortunately, the Building Standards officer couldn’t make it to site that day, so it was the following morning before the drains were tested, passed and back-filled.

And that was that. Danny would return to site for the last time a few days later to mastic around all the door and window frames, after the roughcaster had finished patching in around the openings but essentially, that was it. An approximate ten week schedule of blood, sweat and Irn Bru, with a two week break for pre-booked holidays and, give or take a few days, despite the above mentioned spanner in the works, it was finished on schedule. The required wind and water-tight shell was now complete. The rest was up to me.

It sounds simple when you say it and up until the revelations of 23rd August detailed above, I was looking forward to this part. However, the wedding “reception” would now be taking place in the house on 10th October. The contract had finished on 7th September. In that intervening period, I now had to fit a working kitchen and heating system, insulate, board-out and have working electrics in the ground floor of the extension, re-organise a wedding ceremony, reception and entertainment, source new catering and look after a crippled fiancée. Oh yes, and it would all have to be done at night after getting home from work.

I did think about going through the detail of it here but I think it is more effective and conveys the feeling of the time better, if I just list the elements/jobs as I recorded them in my day by day diary :

8/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Finished first fix plumbing. Ran cable for TV Aerials. Strapped downstairs walls ready for plasterboard. Fitted rockwool and DPM Polythene. Finalised wedding invitations, ready to be posted. Sourced mp3’s of songs for wedding playlist. 12.15am finish.

9/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Finished laying kitchen floor. Removed cupboard, built stud wall to divide Skye’s room and form corridor to new bedroom. Strapped ground floor walls ready for plasterboard. Fitted rockwool and DPM Polythene. Sourced mp3’s of songs for wedding playlist. 1.00am finish.

10/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Finalised layout and dimensions for en suite stud wall. Built en suite stud wall upto normal ceiling height. Strapped ground floor walls ready for plasterboard. Fitted rockwool and DPM Polythene. Organised trip to Costco for wedding catering. 12.25am finish.

11/9/09 : Day job until 4pm. Strapped ground floor walls ready for plasterboard. Fitted rockwool and DPM Polythene. Finished building en suite stud wall upto ridge height of vaulted ceiling. 12.45am finish.

12/9/09 : Weekend – Went to Slaters to order kilt. Started plasterboarding ground floor. Cookie, Graham & John all on site to help. Adjusted eight socket positions in kitchen. Ran wiring for extractor hood. Removed last remaining kitchen units. Kitchen boarded out. 8.30am start – 11.00pm finish.

13/9/09 : Weekend – Continued plasterboarding ground floor. Started moving new flat pack kitchen units into extension from storage. 9.00am start – 10.00pm finish.

14/9/09 : Day job until 4.30pm. Continued plasterboarding. 11.30pm finish.

15/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Continued plasterboarding. 11.00pm finish.

16/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Continued plasterboarding. 11.40pm finish.

17/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Continued plasterboarding. 11.45pm finish.

18/9/09 : Day job until 4pm. Continued plasterboarding. 11.30pm finish.

19/9/09 : Weekend – Continued plasterboarding. 9.00 am start – 11.00pm finish.

20/9/09 : Weekend – Finished ground floor plasterboarding. Made and fitted final internal glazing beads for windows. 10.00am start – 9.00pm finish.

21/9/09 : Day job until 4.30pm. Finished fitting internal glazing beads. Painted doors and windows internally. 10.45pm finish.

22/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Continued painting windows and doors internally. 11.00pm finish.

23/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Started moving 57 sheets of plasterboard from ground floor to first floor. 10.30pm finish.

24/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Finished moving plasterboard from ground floor to first floor. Finished painting windows and doors internally. 12.15pm finish.

25/9/09 : Day job until 4pm. Tidied up site and stacked plasterboard off-cuts. Checked and arranged kitchen units in order of required construction. General clean up and ordered materials via web. 10.00pm finish.

26/9/09 : Weekend – Started fitting spiral staircase. Graham on site to help. External lights arrived. 9.00 am start – 9.00pm finish.

27/9/09 : Weekend – Finished fitting spiral staircase. Re-fitted all electrics removed for plasterboarding. 10.00am start – 9.00pm finish. 28/9/09 : Day job until 4.30pm. Started building studwork hand rails around top of spiral staircase opening. Started building kitchen units. 11.45pm finish.

29/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. Finished building studwork hand rails. Continued building kitchen units. Ordered materials via web. 10.55pm finish.

30/9/09 : Day job until 6pm. External lighting finished, tested and signed off. Collated wedding acceptances/regrets and finalised numbers for the ceremony and reception. Finalised playlist and sourced remaining songs. Briefed friends and volunteers on what had to be done on the day. 12.45am finish.

1/10/09 : Day job until 6pm. Mother finally moved out. Stayed at Jacqui’s to avoid possible “regretful incident”. Organised wedding details and slept. 11.30pm finish. 2/10/09 : Day job until 4pm. Ordered skip. Cleared out kitchen of all materials. Marked out positions of all new base and wall units. Started fabricating customised units. 11.15pm finish.

3/10/09 : Weekend – Started building kitchen units. Help from Graham. Visit from other friends for much needed pep talk/confidence boost. Much appreciated. 9.30am start – 10.45pm finish.

4/10/09 : Weekend – Continued building and fitting kitchen units. Help from Graham again. Suffered wrist sprain catching falling beech worktop. Worktop was not damaged. 10.00am start – 10.30pm finish.

5/10/09 : Day off from day job. Skip arrived on site at 8.05am. Flooring arrived 9.30am. Fitted oven. Continued fitting kitchen units. Wrist slowed work. Started filling skip. 7.30am start – 11.00pm finish.

6/10/09 : Day job until 6pm. Continued fitting kitchen units. Opening cut for sink and worktop fitted. Old patio doors put in skip. Not lightweight. Wrist still slowing work. Annoying. 11.55pm finish.

7/10/09 : Day job until 6pm. Now on holiday. Continued fitting kitchen. Opening cut for hob and worktop fitted. Removed all scrap materials/boxes and filled rest of skip. Ordered materials. 12.05pm finish.

8/10/09 : Fitted new sink and tap. Plumbed in tap and drainage. Ran wiring for and fitted microwave and oven. Gas hob in position but not connected. Extractor hood wired in and fitted. Final wedding preparations. 12.50am finish.

9/10/09 : Skip collected and paid for. New sofas delivered. Collected wedding kilt. Moved white goods into kitchen. Finished fitting customised units. Re-arranged furniture for reception/party. Sorted out sound system. Gutted out all rooms. Removed all tools and materials. Tidied up garden. Fitted all kitchen unit doors and handles. Checked kilt. Checked rings. Checked best man was still ok. 2.30am finish.

10/10/09 : Wedding day.

11/10/09 : Slept.

And that was it. The deadline was made. I lost a stone and a half. The wedding took place, the people we wanted turned up, (that’s another story on its own), people cried, people laughed, people danced, there were no fights or heart attacks, no one had to be carried to the toilet and there was somewhere watertight and warm to have a party.

“Is that it ?”, I hear you say.

Er….no. I had a structurally sound, wind and watertight shell. Now I had to turn it into a home.

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