Saturday, 23 February 2013

Progress is made

Our incompetence at getting the timber upstairs left us wondering if we had perhaps bitten off more than we could chew. If we could make a hash of such a simple job, what hope had we of getting the floor flat, let alone at the correct level? Perhaps it was this that prompted us to adopt a less gung-ho attitude to fitting the first of the joists. This was to be fixed against the wall immediately inside the door, so at least we had something solid against which to lean it; other joists had to be fixed in mid-air as it were.

Finally satisfied that it was both level and at the correct height, I held it in place while Chris fixed a couple of the angle brackets. We checked the level and height again before screwing on a couple more brackets. We checked again, and stood back to congratulate ourselves on a job well done.

It would take four pieces of timber to stretch the whole length of the room, and the second piece proved trickier as there was no wall to use as a support. Not only did it have to be level and at the correct height, it also had to continue from the first piece in a straight line, otherwise we would have the wrong gap for fixing the loft panels.

But Chris and I make a pretty good team, even if we do have our moments of madness when we do things like trying to bend a length of two by three round the stairs. Having worked out how to fix the second piece of timber in place, we soon got into our stride and after just two days the floor was covered in parallel rows of timber.

We did seem to have a lot more brackets and screws than we needed. Chris and I puzzled over this superfluity while we ate dinner and came to the conclusion that we had planned to place the brackets in pairs along the new joists whereas in the event we had staggered them on either side, and our original calculations had allowed for ten screws in each bracket – five each into the joist and floor – but we were only using six. It was also distinctly possible that I had added an extra nought to the number when I ordered them. Whatever the reason, I now have enough screws to last not just my lifetime, but the lifetimes of my children and grandchildren as well.

I spent the next morning carrying loft panels up the stairs while Chris had the easier job of screwing them to the joists. That done, we spent an hour or so walking over every square inch of the floor to ensure it was firm and there were no squeaks, and another hour crawling across it with spirit levels to ensure it didn’t slope in any direction. Finally, we were happy with what we had achieved so far.

Making progress


Suldog said...

Stuff like this just amazes me. I like to think of myself as handy, but truth of the matter is anything beyond a hammer, saw, or screwdriver repair is not my forte, and combining any two of the above tools will usually result in me doing an injury to myself.

Uncle Skip, said...

What amazes me, beside the technical aspect, is there's a language hurdle you managed to clear, as well.

I can barely make the local hardware folks, who supposedly speak the same language, understand what I am trying to do.

Buck Pennington said...

What Jim said. This is a most impressive series of posts.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Thanks, guys. But it was Chris who did all the clever stuff and most of the hardware was bought in England!