We have been extremely blessed with the autumn weather so far which has been dry and warm for days. Today is no exception and our guests are even outside this afternoon using the sun loungers – not bad for 21st October.
The dry weather has also allowed me to continue with the work I started last week and finish the demolition of the manshed. At the time of last week’s blog I had managed to remove the exterior cladding leaving only a frame and the roof.
My main achievement last Monday was to remove the roof. It was amazing how much rubbish had accumulated in the ridges of the corrugated sheeting over the years although it would have been great to add to a compost heap – something that we don’t yet have either. It’s on the list!
Monday afternoon also saw the first delivery of gravel
that we will need to tidy up around Grange and refresh large parts of the driveway. This delivery is of stones classified as 0/20 which is basically dust (0 mm) up to 20 mm. This was recommended for using on areas which are dirt and haven’t been gravelled before as the dust and small stones work their way to the bottom and form a compacted layer – at least that’s the theory! Our next deliveries will be larger stones but, having seen the damage the lorry made to my new drive I’m not going to order until either the ground is completely frozen in the winter or baked dry again next summer.
With the roof removed from the old man shed I was able to attack the, very rotten in places, frame. I mentioned last week that 4 of the 8 uprights were rotted through at the base. Having dismantled the frame it was evident that 7 of the posts were actually rotten and only one was attached to the floor by a metal bracket that it had been bolted to.
With the frame down it just left the end breeze block wall that, we assume, was part of a previous, more solid, building on the site. It would have been good to keep this wall but it had been built centimetres inside the boundary talus and meant that I had no access to the hedge. My plan is to leave a narrow access between the new shed and the talus so I can get up and cut the hedge. It has also exposed am attractive, and large, stone wall which we will keep but reduce in height.
With the demolition progressing on Tuesday I ordered the bulk of the materials for the new build which were delivered on Friday so no excuse not to make a start next week.
Towards the end of the week I made a start in moving and using some of the gravel. Starting behind Grange, next to the wood-stores, I moved around to the end and the bin area. Where I had to dig down a little to allow the new gate to swing we hadn’t decided what the best thing would be to reinforce the step up to the bins. However, as there is so much slate around what else but another small wall would be the obvious choice!
The access looked immaculate for about 18 hours between Friday night, when I finished laying the gravel, and Saturday morning. On Saturday we had a farmer deliver a cord (3 cubic metres) of firewood which we had to have dumped on the drive. This gave me my activity for yesterday and this morning – splitting the larger logs, and tomorrow, when I can make noise with the chainsaw, I will cut the longer ones. It has given us some full wood-stores although we still haven’t yet felt the need to light the fire – although will probably do so soon.
M plan next week is to actually start the blockwork for the new man shed and see how quickly we can get that built – hopefully fairly swiftly if the weather continues to be kind to us.