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Sunday, 27 May 2012


A quick picture dump again, another section of wall is nearing completion.

 Laying the corner square to the already built wall, and laying the damp proof coursing for the wall between the bedroom and kitchen/bathroom.

 section of wall being worked on, bit on the right will be a pillar made of reinforced concrete to take the load of the roof + wall.
 Wall all built up, just waiting on the pillar, looking from the lounge at the corner of the livingroom where the new chimney + fireplace will be on the other side.
 Bedroom side, managed to get the lintel up above the door using a pulley system and some assistance, stupid thing weighs around 60KG or so! but that's nothing compared to the "monster" lintel going above the 1.6m opening which is also full size, I dread to think how that is going to get up there but we'll deal with that when that time arrises!

 A view of the pillar's inside, 4x 10mm rebar tied together with 6mm squares to keep them at the right distance away from the wall of the pillar.
 Side view of the pillar, its 50mm ytong sections but because it has to be 30x30cm, and the ytong blocks are 599mm long, loosing about 5mm when cutting in half so 594mm, cut in half by hand, not perfectly straight or central, there's a few mm missing here and there, as a result it looks a bit "wonky" but its only superficial and will be planed down later and rendered.
 Filled with concrete!

 Whilst waiting for the concrete to go off the floor in the other room was removed, wooden beams very very rotten indeed, and discovered there was a layer of about 5-20cm of sand underneath it.

 Used the sand to level out the bedroom floor, along with the laser gadget set into a hole in the ground to the right level.

 All levelled out and laser hole filled in.

and 10cm insulation in place along with 3cm perimiter insulation, you can see the "step" that has been made to cover the foundation edge and also in the foreground of the picture a single course of 150mm blockwork to make the 4th wall of the bedroom, so we can lay the concrete right up to the edge of the wall.

The room needs rebar mesh adding to the floor and the dampproof layer, and technically it could have its floor poured, but we will wait till there's an opening large enough to get a wheelbarrow through so the livingroom floor can be dug out whilst the bedroom floor cures.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Fried Mice anyone? And Load bearing wall removal :)

So, started removing the load bearing wall and the electrical gubbins.

Original plan was to simply lift the electrical box to above the roof beams and leave it up there for now.
To make a long story short, all meter boxes require to be outside now, you can't get them to come and disconnect the meter to move it as they have to take it outside.

We want the new electrical cable underground, underneath the road, rather than hanging above the road, entering somewhere on the roof as it is now.

So we need to dig the road up and get it put there, but at the same time we want to connect into the sewage network which has finally been signed off and residents can start utilising it.

So to hit two birds with one stone, we want to dig up the road and connect the sewage into the main sewer (3 or 4 m underground) and using the same trench (at 1m depth) for the new electrical cable going to the meter which will be at the front of the property, so the meter reader man no longer needs to come into the premises to read the meter.

Anyhow, all this is still weeks away, and since I don't want to get behind schedule, the fuse box (With  meter) needed to be relocated now, but not outside.

 So, wall broken down, electrical box balancing on the wall.
Other side, with the three phase coming off on the left and the single phase on the right.

 So, to make it all safe, time to remove the master fuses coming into the house, i notice they are FULL of crap, all three phases, and there's a skull on the right... and another skull on the left.. not looking so good...

 Protective plate removed to be greeted by this...  looks like a mousey BBQ took place in there.
Cleaned out as much of the crap as I could safely with the electrical non-conducting screwdriver.
Incommers (Top of the picture) which were still live, looking at them...
Left Phase... looks alright.. Middle phase (Brown wire) burnt to buggery, about 10cm of bare, burnt wire showing. Right phase, burnt to buggery, insulating material torched but still intact, about 3cm bared.

There is no way to switch this off other than turning off the whole street at the transformer... the wooden beam which is above the box appears to be scorched so it has definately been on fire, presumably a mouse bridging the conductor of one of the phases back to the box itself, which is Protective Earth-Neutral bound.

 The death toll after clearing out the fuse box... the fuse box supposedly is only 20 years old or so.

This is the temporary setup before it moves out... the bakelite pannel with the meter has simply been lifted up, placed on some planks and secured to one of the roof beams to keep it upright.

New fusebox bought, 2x single phase with 16A plugs, one for grannies side temporarily and one for me to work with, each fused seperately.

And a 32A 3 phase also fused with its own fuse, which powers random things off single phases throughout grannies side and the workshop.

Simply disconnected all the outcoming from the meter and stuck them into a terminal block, as I didn't want to void the seals on the meter, making sure its all still legal (Despite them making a boo boo as the push switch (Black one) is between the master fusebox and the meter.. and you could disconnect it there to bypass the meter if you ever wanted to...)
All the old wiring is still aluminium right up to the new connector block with 3 phases, neutral and earth now.

Theoretically we're now ready to have the new box moved outside, and we can connect into this small little fusebox for now until the walls are built up so we can install the new master fusebox.

 Anyhow... trying to clean up before taking some pictures and Aron decided he had to keep on barking at the shovel and trying to steal the spade, so here I present: Doggy timeout.
Simply stick him into the wheelbarrow for 2-3 minutes and it calms him right down, as you can see by the expression on his face he doesn't really like it!

 wall taken down all the way to the foundations, far enough to construct the first pillar.
Foundation, old foundation and new foundation! about 2m of wall removed.

The right hand side of this image where you can see the fireplace and the chimney shooting upwards is the section that is to be build up next, then the roof beams can come back down onto the wall and the next section can be done.. but first they need to move the darned electricity main fuse box out of the house and bury the cable under the road and move the meter outside!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Build up... Break down!

Little bit of progress.

 Section one of the deviding wall between the livingroom and bedroom is up, the beams are resting on it, and 3 temporary blocks to support the third beam for the time being.
 Picture from the livingroom side.
 The rest of the chimney and wall has been removed, temporarily propping up the other beams incase they decided to go walkies, but thankfully they stayed in place perfectly fine.

The final wall that needs to come down, mud and rocks along with the odd brick, the main brick section is the recess from the other side where the electrical (wooden) fusebox lives, which will need moving slightly.
Ceiling render knocked off, very hard work they must have gone nuts with extra nails and wire on this one, took most of the day to remove it, its where the main roof meets a lean-too roof above the lounge area to be.

Roof-beams propped up in lounge ready for dismantling the wall that supports them.

 And the "lean too" or "cling too" as I like to call it.
Its been fine for 50 years, but It needs some attention.
There is wind-driven rain coming in next to the big window, so that needs attention, but that's not the major concern.

The major concern is shown above... a piece of metal angle iron which is tacked onto the main roof beams with some nails, however the main roof beams ends are disintegrating, the whole metal bit is wobbly, and its only perhaps 2cm of a ledge.

Add to that this above... notice the big roof beam on the left, both nails missed it of the edging board, and you can see daylight coming in.
And follow the edging board back to the right, you will notice another 2 nails which are in thin air.

It will require beefing up, I can't believe this roof is still up with the weight of snow in the winter!

Oh well, onwards we go! :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

The laser leveller!

Having hunted around for a while searching for a method to build the new wall square to the already existing new wall, being faced with every single old wall in the house not being square, I needed a method to "project" a 90 degree line from the new existing wall, to the outside wall over 5 meters away, accurately.  Ended up buying a "Fukuda EK-234P" laser leveller, with 4 vertical, 1 horizontal and 1 downpoint laser.

First, measured from corner of new room to where the wall should be, and projected a line straight to it.

 measured the distance of the line parallel to the new existing wall close to the device itself.
 And measured far away from the device, also parallel, straightened it up if needed so the line was parallel to the existing new wall, and the perpendicular line was still touching the mark painted on the far away wall.
 Device all set up and projecting away :)
 Here you can see (Ignoring everything above the first course of blockwork, as its just there as a dry fit, not glued in place!) how the line projects out perpendicular from the existing wall.
 Holding a level surface against the blockwork showing the position of the line just skimming off the surface.
 It also makes a nice cross on the ceiling :)
 And at the same time projects a line out across the entire ceiling, great for projecting where the new wall will end, and how much clearance will be between the edge of the wall and the next beam (to the left in this image) for the new chimney to fit.
It also projects a nice level horizontal line if wanted.

Or if you want, 4 vertical lines and one horizontal, or 2 vertical and 1 horizontal :)
Great for checking if your courses of blockwork are level (Although this is just illustrating it, its not at the right level)


 Shuttering removed and rubble levelled out.

 More rubble added and levelled out.
 Took the opertunity to "free" the old fusebox cupboard and figure out where all the tubes etc go coming from it and leading to it.

 Big 3x 63A fusebox is on left for incomer, going to fusebox.
 big one on left is incommer, two thin ones are 3 phase out, up and to the right of the fusebox cupboard

 New wall, bottom has been mortared and levelled in place, all the rest above it are just placed dry to make sure it will all fit.
 From the other side.
 And the top part of the wall ready to fit, just can't reach! (Someone's borrowed the platform ladder..)
 And the whole wall lined up on the floor, ready to be glued in place, as soon as I get a new drill to mix the glue with.. The old drill apparently "broke"during aforementioned borrowing.
Also built up another course of 150mm to make the end receiving wall 300mm wide so the new lintel will fit up ontop of it.