"No real progress"… now really, come on.

April 17, 2007 at 5:06 pm (House renovation) (, )

A couple of posts ago LMR said “Bought a kitchen … but no real progress”. I have to take issue with that 🙂

I spent three days, three mind-numbing, throat-choking, back-breaking days, in the loft that Easter weekend. Including Easter Sunday when I should have rightly been chowing down on chocolate. And it was unusually sunny too! Grrr.

We’d been thinking that the plasterer was due in the next week to sort out our bedroom ceiling (oh silly us for thinking that). We’d just had a structural engineer in to talk walls – but whilst he was with us, I took the opportunity to talk about the loft. He recommended that we strengthen the support for the ceiling, as the “binder” for the span was a little small. Eeek!

So I popped to the shops and got some bits of wood, to tie the “purlin” to the “binder”. I needed to use some additional wedge shaped blocks to pack the space between my new tie and purlin, as it comes out at an angle. In the picture above you can see two ties either side, sandwiching the supports. There are another two on the other side, slightly staggered because of the chimney breast.

I also bought some hardboard and screwed this to the eaves (allow plenty of room for ventilation – it’s the law!)- which took a lot longer than I’d anticipated, because it meant crawling into spaces that really weren’t designed for my 6’2″ frame :S

This allowed us, sorry me (don’t forget it was me that was in the loft for 3 days. Did I mention that?! 😉 ) to fill the loft space above the bedroom with the extra 10-15cm of Warmcel that it needed. I still have to do the other side though. But at least we have a loft-hatch now. See a forthcoming episode!

(DIY Tip: I used some Fasten Master TimberLok screws, which were amazing. They come with the hex bit for your drill, and no pilot hole needed. Expensive, but they save so much time! BTW I’m not some kind of salesman, just thought these were ace. Don’t know what the pros think of them…)

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Warmcel Arrived!

December 21, 2006 at 9:51 pm (DIY, House renovation) (, )


The Warmcel insulation arrived today! Unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate fully that by ordering 80 bags (2 pallets) of the stuff would mean they’re actually delivered ON the pallets! Of course, they wouldn’t fit through our front gate (and being a mid terrace we have no drive way) so the driver had to leave them on the pavement (sidewalk to yous guys Stateside) and we had to quickly re-stack them inside the house. I am sure we were breaking some law about “blocking a public byway” or somesuch. See pictures above.

Furthermore, we were numpties not to go into our loft sooner (the opening to the loft is inside the upstairs airing cupboard, and the ceilings are nearly 9ft high, so even with the ladder it’s tricky getting in)….

Anyway, I went up there today and it’s really, really dirty. 😦 We can’t lay the insulation up there until we clear it out. This will involve taking up the old knackered glass-fiber insulation (and taking a lot of the dirt with it), then getting an industrial vacuum up there.

I also saw a dessicated mouse and several old wasps nests (which we knew about from the building survey!).

Guess what we’ll be doing between Christmas and New Year’s? 🙂

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Insulation eco-style

November 28, 2006 at 12:42 pm (DIY, House renovation) ()

We made our first major purchase for the house renovation — 80 bags of Warmcel insulation for our roof/loft. We’ve decided that we want to use as many sustainable, toxin-free and eco-friendly products. We chose Warmcel because it wasn’t much more expensive than other types of insulation, is extremely easy to install (simply open the bag and spread the loose filling out between and over the ceiling joists in the loft space) and it comes from a sustainable source — old newspapers!

As it turns out, it received high accolades from Which? magazine, and combined with it being winter, we were warned that they might be struggling to keep up with demand.

There is currently minimal insulation in the loft – only 1 inch thick (25mm). It was recommended that we top it up to 250mm but we’ll shoot for something like 225mm. I’m planning to keep 5-6 bags aside to insulate the roof void over the bathroom (currently insulated with ancient styrofoam tiles) during the bathroom renovation.

As I’ve been typing this, I just remembered that forgot to order the kit that helps insulate/draughtproof the loft opening. Better go do that.

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