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Today was woodwork day; the doorframes were finished off and the doors to the new bedroom and bathroom went in. This means we can shut them when the cats are racing around the power tools - much to the disapproval of the cats who love the new play space. They’re standard, fire regulations, four panel doors. Dave is going to check with the buildings inspector about what doors we have to have internally, in case we catch fire; I think it’s self-closing fire doors on the habitable rooms (bedroom, lounge, kitchen) which will have the cats tearing up the carpet in no time. Still no door on the bathroom but I’m quite used to showering behind a dustsheet now! With the doors in and the tarp over the roof dome (sbisson: we have a dome! Me: yeah, dome at home!) and the space where the hall window and door will be, the new hall is undersea dark. Mem to self: consider padding on sticking-out edge of tank cupboard.

The bedroom and bathroom are bright though, even at 8.30 in the evening; we opened the roof windows ourselves for the first time, to look out at the roof and across the roofs of Putney. We can see the tower of the church and the fireman training tower. The tiles on the front roof are nearly finished, with zinc flashings. The back roof, terrace, mansard &etc are waiting till the flat roofer gets back from holiday.

The oak boards were delivered; they couldn’t deliver the bamboo for the bathroom as the order was too small, so Simon drove round to collect it. The bamboo goes down in the bathroom before the bathroom fittings go in, so they don’t have to try and cut the base of the loo out of bamboo as a neat shape. They’ll have to cut around the soil pipe, but the loo base will cover that so liquids won’t get into the open end grain of cut wood (cue big Dave attempting to explain with some delicacy what liquids this might be and how they might get on the floor!). The oak boards are rustic grade - so grain and some knots - prefinished with oil so it’s easy to renew and if there’s a dent or scratch we can sand off just that area and re-oil it.

The banisters, spindles and rails are in for all the new stairs, right up to the landing out onto the roof terrace, so it’s much less vertiginous. I think the cats miss the plank though! The plan was not to put in the banisters for the hall until the floor was laid but the floor has to sit in the house for 7-10 days and acclimatize to the central heating (dubious if this quite works with no radiators in the room and no door on the hall, but hey!); Instead they’ve used slivers of the flooring to raise the banister base to the right level, set at alternating widths (I don’t think I can explain this better than a photo but: slice of oak board - gap that’s the width of oak board - slice of oak board - gap - slice etc). Longer boards will slot in to the gaps and shorter boards will butt up against the slices and it will all fit nicely, with some kind of beading to cover the edges of the boards below the banisters. The boards have tongue and groove edges and they’ll be nailed down at various points as well!

Interesting conversation with big Dave about how being good at what you do ties you to it instead of allowing you to supervise other people who aren’t any good at the job, at least when you’re self-employed (sometimes in big companies, sometimes not). He’d love to ‘swan around’ with small Dave selecting parts and telling people what to do, but he can’t find other people who are as good at doing the work as he and Dave are, so he can’t.

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full steam ahead
marypcb
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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