Worked as much as I could on the evenings during the week – to little effect – but knuckled down with a sterling effort at the weekend.
I only had one day to work this weekend but I did surprise myself with a rather busy Saturday, no slouching at all, up at seven and working by eight. The Danny Baker radio show I normally join when I start work was now a late starter and begun an hour into my shift. I cracked on all morning and took lunch at one, then stuck in for the rest of the afternoon and evening with a short break to see Izzi’s fantastic Anna (Frozen) outfit and then a trip to the Chinese restaurant to pick up a take-away and chat about the Chinese New Year and admire the remnants of previous night’s lunar eclipse. Even after the Chinese meal I pressed on and worked until ten.
It was a shame I didn’t get everything done I’d planned, the flooring had faltered due to the chipboard running out (and Travis Perkins not being open on a Saturday afternoon) and I didn’t get to hanging a new little radiator or doing the skirting boards. I had however done lots and lots, the evenings when I’d not been working on the house I was catching up on paperwork and doing odds and sods of jobs that needed finishing, I’d had a pretty useful week even if it didn’t manifest itself in DIYing.
So what did I get done?
Well I filled a flexi-bucket with rubble that had been left under the floorboards.
I insulated the trap-door under the main radiator and dropped this radiator into its new home. It’s bejeezus heavy, especially now it‘s full of water and moving it did result in some new body art on my forearms.
I fitted a much-improved pipe tidy system, the one I’d planned, just using double pipe clips, was turning out to be an ugly mistake. To remedy this I’d used single pipe clips that could be clipped together centipede-like to make a continuous line of pipe clips. This worked excellently and the results were far better than employing single double clips that have a tendency to spin due to only employing a single screw fixing. Twenty clips, clipped together, screwed to the backboard and hey-presto a good solution, solid and straight too.
I capped the two pipes that had been used to supply the heat dump radiator in the bedroom. This might sound simple but I was worried about the circuits not being properly isolated and the room filling with water. Not a problem though as I didn’t get a single drop of water from them, not a drop.
I ran the pipes through for a second radiator in the small bedroom. I’d only planned to have one radiator in this room but upon switching on the first radiator I did feel it wasn’t up to the job of heating the full room. I might have been premature and didn’t let it heat up adequately and/or didn’t allow for my new layer of floor insulation but I thought I might as well add a radiator while the floor was up. The little radiator could fit neatly under the second window into its natural recess and wouldn’t’ impose at all on the room aesthetics. It didn’t cost too much at thirty odd quid and it did pack a punch for such a small unit and would supply oodles of heat to supplement the main radiator. These radiator pipes though were a bit of a nightmare to route, I should have adopted a bigger drill bit – and will in future – they were all a bit of a struggle.
I then lagged all the remaining pipework that would be under the bedroom floor, I knew I’d be insulating completely under the floors later but why spoil the ship for a ha-porth of tar.
I insulated the floor in the small bedroom. Basically one layer of 100mm insulation under the pipework and then a second layer over it. The idea behind this is to isolate rooms from one another, if I’m heating the living room I don’t particularly want the heat leaking through to the bedroom above, it’s good for sound insulation too. Anyway what first appeared to be a two minute job became at least two hours of crawling along joists one my knees, not easy work but the results were good as the front room seemed to heat up nicely – for the first time.
Once I’d done this it was a matter of boarding out the room with P5 structural tongue and groove chipboard. I knew I had some sheets left in the garage so I was quite comfortable with finishing this job in the day. It turned out though that when I visited my garage I only had four sheets left, for some reason I thought I’d had seven left so I was left a few sheets short. I was about to whisk off to Travis Perkins to supplement my supply but was surprised to find that they weren’t open on a Saturday afternoon. Anyway the work did drag on, I needed some joists supplemented with timber to level out the flooring where the hearth had been and I did go a little over the top putting in hatches to allow access to valves under the flooring, so the missing timber wasn’t too much of a loss and didn’t hold me up at all.
I did manage too to sort out my garage, the underestimated chipboard supply was partly due to the garage being a mess, I’d filled it with pallets I intended on breaking and burning on my fire and it was all a bit haphazard. Anyway an hour of labouring and it was now a garage one could traverse without having the skills of a mountain goat.
So not a bad week, I would have loved to have finished the boarding, perhaps got the little radiator fitted and the skirting boards too… with a touch of paint even. But despite my best efforts it didn’t happen, I really did shake a leg, I couldn’t shake it any harder, I could have surrendered my Chinese and daughter’s fashion show but I do think that might be taking it all a bit too far. I’m happy with my lot and if that means doing it another night then that’s what’ll have to happen.
A big pat on the back for me.