mystery missed post
Ooops just found this post – don’t know when I did it but I thought I should bung it in.
The next post says things that are already in this post, please ignore my stupidity 🙂
Took a Friday as a holiday and booked in to spend an entire day working on the house. No visiting, no putting little girls to bed, no shopping and chores could wait, just the house.
Planning ahead I managed to get the washing started the night before and odds and sods of other weekends and nights had left a half-finished job on the attic lighting. Sick of having halogen floor lighting – while doing the attic work – I’d done a bit of wire chasing while working on the landing light weeks before and had fitted a double light switch, one for the landing light and one for the attic. Last weekend I’d fitted a pendant light fitting in the attic, connecting it to the pre-fitted wiring and switch but it hadn’t worked, nada, no lights, so now to finish the job.
The first job was to carry on my trail of investigation, the light switch had seemed fine, the attic junction box was fine and the fitting was fitted fine, so where next. Well, the only thing left to do was work on the ceiling roses under the landing floor. Out with the impact driver and ten minutes later I had the full floor up, five minutes later and some inspecting and probing and testing late and I’d ascertained that the problem wasn’t there too, it was all getting power but where was the problem.
Hang on the switch wasn’t working, if one shorted out the switch in the rose it all worked so why wasn’t the switch working. Hmmm, a bit of exploring and there was a simple gaffe, although wonderfully wired the wires were incorrectly fitted to the wrong connectors, too much two-way wiring and the simple connection had been fitted incorrectly, a bit of unscrewing and screwing and all was well with the world and my attic light was now working wonderfully.
Now for the next job, the shower was now well on its way, the cubicle had been fitted, the tray and walls were in place and waterproofed and the shower was awaiting fitting. Trouble was I wanted to fit a power shower with an impeller motor that had been kindly donated from my sister and bro-in-law. The thing about impellers is that they can’t be fed directly from the main water supply, they have to be fitted to a water tank, I hadn’t got a water tank. Well, I had bought one, I just hadn’t fitted it.
Water tanks are heavy, well once filled with water they are anyway. I needed my tank to be fitted in the attic and as high up as possible to create a head of water to provide pressure to taps that wouldn’t be supplied with pressure from the impeller. So I needed to get up into the attic and build a sturdy platform onto which to put my heavy tank as high as possible.
I had planned ahead – again – and bought lots of timber, big bits of timber to support the weight of the tank. I had too some left over builders brackets to attach said timber to the attic joists.
So first things first and on with my respirator as I’d be mucking about rolling back loft insulation to expose the joists. A bit of sitting back and planning and then I was off downstairs and cutting my largest timber joists into four sections to lay perpendicular to the joists in the attic. Once cut down to size I took them up the ladder and using a selection of bracketry I nailed them to the joists and the main spanning beam in the attic. They were solid as a rock and would provide a great foundation to the platform.
Next, I rolled the insulation back, sorting it out in the process, adding bits and making sure the moisture barrier was as well fitted as possible.
I then realised I’d not enough stainless screws to carry on and I could also do with a handful of galvanised brackets to help the structure’s rigidity.
A quick order on the Screwfix website, a half an hour trip and I had all the parts I needed to continue. By now though the lights and the foundations had all added up in the hours. By the time I got home it was evening, so a quick meal later and I was finishing off in the attic for the evening.
I managed to get all the timber cut to size for the next day and I also fitting a few more rails to the orphan structure but it fell a little short of where I expected to be by the end of the day.
Next day I would have leapt out of bed if only I could, it seems as though months of doing rather simple work had taken its toll and I was now an unfit lump. Y’see my bum, my thighs, my knees and all things South of my waist were aching like billy-o, my bum was particularly bad as any hard surface was no longer an option for a seat, it was just all a bit painful.
Still, I pressed on and with a bit of teasing and heave-ho-ing, the platform was steadily taking shape. There was a bit of a problem with the 90mm stainless screws though, the heads just kept shearing off, it was only softwood and I was being ultra-careful but one in every two screws would just break. Not only a problem for those screws being screwed in but for anyone planning to take down the platform it would be a nightmare.
Anyway, I managed to get by this with shorter stainless screws and some longer Goldscrew screws that are my go-to solution for every difficult job. I would have preferred stainless but I’ll take back the 90mm stainless ones get some replacements and further strengthen my tower later.
Timing was tight on Saturday I only had up to 5 pm to work and a bundle of chores too.
Still, I pressed on and in spite of my heavy schedule, I managed to get the lion’s share of the platform done. The verticals and horizontals were all done on the box structure, the galvanised brackets worked a charm and I even got some bracing in place. All that was needed to be finished was supplemental screwing and the top platform.
Anyway, while the platform was all ready for finishing I decided to do something dangerous and get another light fitting placed in one of the two end sections of the attic. This meant a bit of daredevil work, climbing up onto the frame and balancing on the edge with an impact driver and fitting another pendant light fitting. Then working back along the roofline, sweeping away cobwebs and pinning the cable to the rafters with cable clips. Not a pleasant job and one that had my heart in my mouth once in a while, a bit too risky to do on one’s own. Still, it was a great job to get done and the attic is now wonderfully lit.
The flies like it too, there must have been some egg laying going on in there and once the light comes on they start appearing. The halogen floor lamps must have been doing an effective job in zapping the flies with their red hot bulbs all the previous times I’d been up there as now there was quite the swarm gambolling about now the lights were of the rather cooler LED variety. I really cannot bring myself to kill anything but in this case, a can or RAID was sought and once sprayed they must have fallen down through the hatch as every window ledge in the house seemed to sport a fly doing the dead-fly dance to add to my guilt.
Still, once the lights were on the platform was all set to have a day of finishing… next weekend, hopefully sans flies and with a much less painful bum too.