Sunday, 11 September 2011

Clearing from the top

After a while dithering over what to do with the top couple of floors, which we probably will not be able to afford finishing in this first iteration, we decided the best thing to do is completely clear them so they are in a clean and raw state. That way, when we do begin to build upwards, we won't be dragging piles of old wood and extremely dusty clay and straw plaster (daub) down through the finished parts of the house in years to come. So, the best plan: a clearout, starting from the top.

First task, removing the half-dilapidated floor/ceiling from the top attic floor, to so-called Spitzboden.

Before: Lots of planks and rubbish.
The view from below before commencing..
After considering half-floors and galleries, the simplest thing to do here is open up the floor to fully expose the beams, and perhaps build a half floor, accessed with a ladder. Would make a cool place to stick a bed.

So, trusty crowbar and hammer in hand, after a few hours I cleared the east half to leave the beams and piles of clay and wood. This is extremely dusty work, and the shot below is only after pulling a few handfulls of loose clay plaster down.

The rest was done from above, hacking at the clay over the laths, and simply letting everything drop down, later sorting out timber from clay for proper disposal. It's like exposing the bones of a beast, but it's worth it, as we're left with a blank canvas to build on.

After: nice and open, ready for lining the inside of the roof.
The view from below, after the dust settled.
From the other end, imagining a half floor.
Not as fun as last weekend, when I had three others to help, but satisfying nonetheless. The west half (basically a mirror image of the above) needs the same treatment, and I'm sorely tempted to give the the floor below the same, so we can refresh the floor boards, replaster between them (the oak staves between the beams are currently visible, with bits of plaster still clinging to them) and hide cables at the same time. But that's another day's work.

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