A study in chilliness
I very rarely get to bask in the evening chilliness of my old living room lately, generally I’m at work or looking after my little girl. Last night though was one of those super nights when I got in from work, managed to throw on five layers of clothing and worked in my freezing cold little ex’ living room till the night ran out… oh what a treat.
First job was to get home before it got dark and leap straight into the unlit garage and have a quick mooch around to hopefully find some timber to replace the rotten beams I’d discovered. The beams in the room (it was to be a study eventually and not used as a living room) were mostly in pretty good shape but in the bay window they’d suffered from water ingress from badly leaded bay roof – fixed now. The main stretcher beams were fine but the corner ones were in a state, I’d tried covering them in wood preserver but they were totally rotten and only useful as firewood.
The timber I’d managed to find in the garage turned out to be a bit lacking in height inches, coincidentally though in width the timber turned out to be exactly half the height of the beams. Take two bits of timber cut them to size and screw them together and one had a wider and stronger replacement to slot into place.
Cutting was a bit complicated so I rigged up some patterns by cutting some board insulation to size and then marking it out on the timber. It wasn’t an exact science but hey it was close enough to rock and roll and I was happy with the results so on I progressed giving the wood a liberal coating of wood preserver before screwing it down.
Meanwhile I cut another bit of timber to size to make the end-piece for the boxed in section near the air vent. I’ve gone through this before but basically the air vent sits below the floorline but it vents into the room between the joists and not under them. This bit therefore cannot be insulated – insulating between joists that is – as the other sections and needs to be boxed-in. Anyway a bit of sawing and a bit more wood preserving and it was ready to go.
Once the timber was all reasonably dry I screwed it all together, a bit higgledy-piggledy and all but it was all as solid as a rock. I then screwed the air box end into place and there it was, two hours of my life gone for a bit of shoring up. I rounded off the night in the new study with some foil taping of the joints between the PIR sheets to allay any draughtiness and by ten I was half way through doing the room. Hopefully by the end of the weekend (2 days this weekend) I’d be out of the floor insulating and into boarding out, well one can only hope.
The rest of the evening was spent getting my fire up to heat with lots of rotten timber. Emptying the car of all surplus objects ready for some scrap timber I would be collecting the next day. So all in all a pretty productive evening, even though there was little to show for all my endeavours.