Building Work (Week 2) – Holey Home

Walls came down last week – here was the start of it.  Back door and pantry door are out, window is gone and the bricks are coming down.

Wall Half Removed

A whopping great big hole!  Also the suspended floor has all been removed.  You can see the rubble under the quarry tiled part of the kitchen.

Wall Gone

Did you spot the barrel of beer cans above?  Here’s a close up.  I’m not sure if that was all of them or some of them had already been taken to the recycling point (which by the way is about 300 yards away – making the collection all the more shocking).

A barrel of cans

Those neat little holes upstairs look less neat and less little now.

Steels Upstairs with wall gone

So the next job was to dig out the old wall foundations so that steel could be put into the floor.  See that slightly deeper patch before the blue bag – that’s as all they managed before the first whacker gave up.

Start of the ditch

The full length dug out.

Ditch for steel

Here’s the steel – it came in bits and was all wired together.  I only took a photo of this end as Dave was still working on the other end – he was on a tight schedule as the building inspector was due and I don’t think my photographing him would have helped the situation!

Steel for floor

The reason for this floor steel is because the RSJ which will go in to hold the wall up will be supported on either end by a steel post, those steel posts would have too small a footprint alone so a whole steel support has to be put through the floor filled with concrete and agitated to make it even stronger.  I completely failed to appreciate this complexity at the plan stage – or rather the complexity I created by insisting that the pillars which hold up the RSJ be as small as possible (I think I gained 20cm each side or something ridiculous). If you ever see a dotted line on structural engineer’s plan – beware, that may mean steel in the floor and a world of phaff and expense!

Here it is laid, concrete poured and curing over the weekend.  Plus overalls that scared the bejesus out of me when I came for a skeet in the twilight.

Floor Steel In Place

Oh the other thing is that the steel guys came to measure up and burst my little bubble from last week, the joists can’t go into the RSJ – there isn’t enough surface area, they have to go above it, which means the RSJ will hang down into the room. See the marks above the door in the picture above (click the photo to enlarge)?  That’s to show me where it’ll come down to.  The first short line is the actual RSJ, the next wide dark line is plus the plasterboard and the line below is if I want spotlights in it.

I was also right about the two stray bricks being set out to teach me something – it wasn’t what I expected though.  Dave wanted to check I was happy with new bricks not being quite as smooth as the old bricks, I had to admit that I didn’t think I would have noticed in a million years but it’s nice to be asked!

While all this was going on at the house I spent every lunch break last week getting one astronomical quote after another – my ‘worst case scenario’ spreadsheet is starting to look a little optimistic!

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