Thursday, 26 October 2017

The second week

Rubble, bricks, cement mixer, skip on the road outside the house

Summary of week 2: the foundations are completed, a new wall rises and old walls disappear. A stair disaster is averted, my pipes and the site are inspected, then it rains a lot.

I was sorry not to be around on Monday because there were further developments around the expensive pipe. Someone came round to put a camera down it, and I would have been most interested to see how that was done. Anyway, the verdict is that the pipe is intact, it serves only my property so that means Severn Trent don't have to be involved and it will cost slightly less money. They have added an extra rodding point, so that's nice.

The door between the kitchen and the rest of the house is now blocked off, with access to the building site now through the French doors in the living room or the garden gate. Son of Ulf started to demolish some walls, and although many bricks were damaged they have retrieved some that survived intact, including some that are stamped 'Leamington Brick Co'. These are being re-used in the new walls. Two pallets of new bricks were delivered, and a small cement mixer appeared. I have covered my living room with dustsheets.

Brick stamped with 'Leamington Brick Co'

Bricklaying Ulf arrived and started to build new walls once Son of Ulf had been sent to fetch the right bricks (the wrong ones were delivered). Bricklaying Ulf is not a talker, but we exchange a few comments and he is happy to share bricklaying tips and shows me how the new wall is attached to the old. He prefers strong tea, one sugar. A small cement mixer appears, and the other Son of Ulf seems to be in charge of supplying Bricklaying Ulf with mortar.

Then they started taking the old roof off, but only took half away leaving shelter for the lonely boiler still in its old place, and also for Team Ulf when the heavens opened all of Thursday. The floor in the extension bit has been filled and a damp-proof membrane laid, and apparently it has also been inspected. It's a pity I'm not around for these visits, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ulf would prefer customers and inspectors not to meet, especially customers who ask a lot of questions like I do. 

But then it was extremely lucky that I did start to ask questions about the stairs, which are also due to be replaced. Ulf the Stairs came to measure up on another day when I wasn't around, and then I had to discuss newel posts and handrails with Ulf and it suddenly became apparent that the stairs were to be made out of MDF, which is most definitely not what I want. A good thing that this came to light before the stairs had actually been made. They take pains to give me choices of irrelevant things like the colour of the skypod which can't be seen by anyone, but then make huge assumptions about stair materials. And it turns out that I can't choose the skypod colour anyway because the building inspection specified aluminium, which I did point out at the time.

Four family-sized packs of bourbons have now been devoured (one pack went in a single day), the digestives hardly touched, and the Hobnobs seem to be grudgingly acceptable. I will be supplementing the bourbons with Maryland choc chop cookies next week.

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