Tuesday, 10 March 2009

No rest for the wicked skillz

No sooner was the first room finished, and the lovely lodgers safely installed, than we had to start thinking about the next room, the middle bedroom of three.

The finish, as throughout the boat, is ok, but quite rough as soon as you look closely, with very little quality finishing touches, a rough and ready job.

The first step was to start ripping out the existing fittings and see what we were dealing with. I gave Lorna a claw hammer and an electric screwdriver, and she got to work smashing stuff up...

One thing that we immediately saw we could salvage and reuse elsewhere was the tongue and groove flooring, which we took up and plan to use in the office.

As with the previous room, the hull wall was in mercifully good condition, with just a bit of flaking paint to scrub off with the wire brush

before we repainted it with iron oxide undercoat.

We also took the walls and the ceiling panels off, revealing decent stud walls, and the same wooden boards in the ceiling as before, which look great.

Then it was time to order another giant pallette load of celotex, and start cutting it to fit the ribs in the wall. We got it all neatly fitted in...

...and then had to take it all out again in order to angle grind some clean patches onto the ribs

and use them to weld on the brackets for the battens to hold the wall up.

Once they were on and painted we could quickly get the celotex back in, seal it round the edges with expanding foam, and fix the wooden battens on in front of it.

After angle grinding some spots on the top section of the wall

welding more brackets, attaching battens and poppig more celotex in, the top section was done too.

And with all the triangular rib sections sandwiched with celotex and foam and secured with silver foil tape

the hull wall was all insulated and ready to go

with just the original rockwool, of which we had a gigantic pile,

to go in over the top before we got the wooden walls on. Rockwool is horrible stuff that gets in your skin and eyes and down your throat, and i was very glad to get the last of it in and to be able to stop having to handle it.

We were now almost ready to start putting the walls on, but before we did we just wanted to move the wall that separated the room from the corridor, as for reasons unknown it stuck out a few inches into the corridor, compared with the next room along. This would also enable us to put a proper doorframe in.

We pulled down the existing studding and took it apart, and the i had the fun task of pulling dozens of giant nails out of all the pieces of wood

Before rebuilding the stud wall

temporarily tacking on a piece of scrap wood on the back

and packing the cavity with (more) rockwool.

The next barrier to taking the walls off was the fact that there was a radiator mounted on one of them. In the last room this was fine as the radiator was floor mounted, and with a little lifting when we put the laminate floor down it wasn't a problem. This one was a little more in the way. Luckily when we lifted a piece of floor up we discovered that not only were the pipes going to the radiator flexible plastic ones, there was enough give to allow us to take the radiator off the wall, lay it down, do stuff to the wall, and remount it without having to disconnect it and therefore drain the whole system.

Once we'd removed the plywood skin of the wall we just poped the radiator back onto the battens, safe until the next stage of the process.

Similarly, we lifted another section of floor and found that al the pipes for the central heating, into which we plan to plumb a coal stove with a back boiler, are easily accessible and just in the right place for what we wan to do. Hurrah!

And so the DEstructive phase of the conversion came to an end, and with the room full of huge piles of STUFF and everything looking chaotic, it was time to start putting it all back together again.