Random post, see if Planet RDF's picking this up again yet.Â
Had a very inefficient week, loads of work to do but also a bit overwhelmed with new things to think about -Â overall the cerebral equivalent of a village pub at closing time on the day the landlord won the lottery.
Been glued to the computer all the time, so today wanted to try and clear the fug. Going for a long walk not very appealing, weather foul. So instead I decided to do a bit of stair-building at Number 10. After doing virtually nothing for us all summer/autumn - had other outdoor jobs presumably - the builders have been cracking on brilliantly. This week we even had electricians & plumbers, Which has meant the bits I'd planned to do are bubbling up. Caro's help renovate a lot of the old window frames which has saved me loads of time - probably only now got a couple to make. Which leaves 3 sets of stairs. (Aside from the fun of it, a rationale behind doing these bits is that instead of paying a joiner I can buy tools instead - so I'm reasonably well-equipped).
There are stairs in the 'new' part, but it's an inconvenient way around to the old part, and there was no connection to the bottom roomsÂ - one of which we're leaving unconnected internally, it'll be a little workshop, the other will be The Music Room. So stairs are needed music room-kitchen-living room. The room that'll be the office/book repository has a really high ceiling, so we've put a platform half way up over one side, which can serve as a spare bedroom or whatever. Thinking of a simple flight for that, the other two are trickier.Â
An architect friend Laura from down the valley drew out out the general stairs design we're going with. Not really a great deal of options, had to fit in with existing beams etc. The house is pretty old (different periods, hard to pin down - there's a stone over a door marked 17-something, but also a bit of wood over the fireplace marked 15-something) so there aren't really any straight lines or right angles. Which means it's not really possible to plan too far ahead with something like the stairs. Having the floors done shifted levels a bit, so I've had to redo Laura's plans to insert an extra 2 steps.Â
Most pressing are the kitched-living room stairs. They'll go up 6 steps to a little platform, then you'll turn 180 degrees to go up another 6 steps. I made the platform carcase a few weeks back - in principle made of wood, but I used so many brackets and screws it's hard to say. Caroline has compared it to the QE2. Today I made the stringers - the zigzag pieces that'll carry the treads. Very pleased with progress, though I did manage one miscalculation, should have left more on one end for attaching. But naturally as a software person I know how to work around such things. Cue potential book title : "Hackers and Hackers".
Shouldn't take more than an hour or so to get them fitted tomorrow, then hopefully I'll have an idea of how best to do the separator between the flights, and hence be able to get the scantlings for the remaining wood needed to do the platform top & steps.
The wood is local castagna (chestnut) - been used around here for millenia. Lovely stuff, the only drawback being it's not really seasoned. Expect interesting creaks in the night for a year or two.
Anyhow a total change of activity does seem to have cleared my head nicely. A longish blog post and hardly a mention of platforms...Â@en