Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Brunswick Road 07 - Loft, fireplace, kitchen clearing

Penrith, Cumbria. October/November-2021

A mixture of construction and destruction tackling the loft, fireplace and kitchen. We gained space in the loft and lost some in the kitchen. 

Boarding the Loft. 

I’m getting the hang of this loft boarding malarkey. Much easier when you don’t have to wrestle existing insulation. Note the sarking boards supporting the tiles - typically Scottish but also found elsewhere.

The other end shows the light well above the stairs (currently used for access) and the space where we will have a hatch and ladder installed when we can get hold of a joiner.

I wasn’t even half done when the suitcases, hifi boxes and Christmas tree were up there. It’s even fuller now.

Restoring the fireplace. 

The next big piece of work is restoring the fireplace, Opening the hearth and installing new uprights. We used the same stonemason as for Benson Row. The stonemason discovered unsupported brickwork inside the chimney (!) so there is a now a second concrete lintel supported on brick pillars hidden behind the stone one. We now have our own mini Stonehenge. 

Still to do: cleaning and superficial distressing to get a better colour match.

Acro props to hold up the lintel (and probably the rest of the chimney!)

The middle section that used to be a back boiler now gone.

Cutting the new uprights in the back alley.

New hearth stone in place ready for the uprights.

New uprights in place.

The stone dries lighter as the cement dries out. The lintel has been given a light chiselling to remove the old cement and plaster.

Now we have to decide what we do with the fireplace. We could line the flue and have a real fire grate or log burning stove. For now we will put in a decorative fake stove.

Clearing the Kitchen.

Next up is redoing the kitchen floor. The door opening into the utility room will be moved and expanded ready for the floor works. The concrete floor will be dug down so that a multi-layer sandwich can be laid: waterproof membrane, insulation, electric underfloor heating mat, self-levelling screed and finally lino. Hopefully the latter will be down just as we leave for two weeks over Christmas and New Year.

The kitchen has to be cleared for this. All the old units are gone as are all our temporary work surfaces. We want to keep the sink as long as possible so are doing a cutaway unit to make the floor accessible. Nothing like a power jigsaw for cabinet destruction.

A flying sink so the workmen can dig up the concrete floor beneath.

All kitchen units have now been ripped out. The bridge table will go shortly.

Dining room now with the kitchen corner. With the delayed timetable from our kitchen fitter we have treated ourselves to an Ikea induction hob and a combination oven and microwave.

The next couple of months are going to be challenging in terms of eating and dishwashing. 

The mantra is “It'll be lovely when it’s finished”.

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