It was a fantastic weekend with a house full of people at Easter, when I briefly, but happily, deluded myself that life at the barn was all about relaxing by the fire and consuming G&T.
But now it’s back to reality with a bit of a bump! As I think I said at the end of the last blog, there’s still a very long list of things that need finishing, so tempting as it was to have a nice long lie-in on Saturday morning, unfortunately the overalls were waiting and there was work to be done.
There’s nothing delusional about 15 rolls of insulation that need to be put into the loft. Bought a while ago, I wanted to get them laid before the Invaders arrived, but that was yet another one of those jobs that I was a bit too optimistic about.
Actually there was a bit of intentional procrastination going on as well. I hate insulation – it’s nasty stuff to work with; no matter how carefully you try to cut it, it gets everywhere. I’m probably not sufficiently ‘Health & Safety’ conscious as a rule when working on the house (as any picture of me up a ladder will demonstrate!)
But think about it – this stuff is a supposed to be an eco-friendly sort, made out of recycled glass bottles. I’ve never figured out how you make ‘wool’ out of glass bottles, but does it mean that all the little particles that fly around are actually bits of glass? Who knows – but I don’t think I’ll take any chances. So it’s full battle armour – overalls, gloves, boots, face mask.
Of course, this had to be one of those rare weekends in a Scottish spring, when the sun appears and the temperature almost reaches double digits… A weekend when any self-respecting Scot dons shorts and T-shirt gets outside to enjoy a bit of fresh air.
A perfect weekend to get suited up like you’re part of a bio-hazard squat team, I don’t think.
The first problem I encountered was getting access to the loft. A few months ago, when Bodgit and Fudgit had such a disastrous week up at the barn, they not only managed build a gutter that required water to flow uphill, but they were using my ladder when they did so. By the time I got it back, it could have taken pride of place in a modern art gallery under the title ‘Abstract: Ladder killed by Concrete’.
It was taken away to be jet washed, but was apparently so bad they couldn’t get it clean. Instead they replaced it with a new one – which was a little bit bigger and a little bit longer than the old one……
……So it doesn’t actually fit straight up into the loft hatch. The only way I could get it to work was by leaning it against the side wall of the roof light and taking a bit of a leap of faith into the loft!
OK. That minor detail sorted, it should all be relatively simple from now on. Just measure width between the rafters, cut insulation, roll it out, job done.
Well the cut insulation bit is easy enough. One thing I have learnt is that if you saw it while still wrapped it creates a lot less dust, is easier to cut, and easier to manhandle afterwards.
But after that it all goes downhill.
My loft is a plastic pipework graveyard. Every conceivable length and diameter of plumbers pipe has been left up here to die. All those trips I kept making to B&Q to buy ‘a short length of pipe I need to plumb in ……’ – all totally unnecessary as I appear to have a complete stock of everything in my roofspace!
And then of course there’s all of the miles of ‘live’ pipes and cables that I clearly need to avoid cutting, piercing, breaking, moving…..
So, just cut a piece of insulation and roll it into place…… I think not.
Cut a piece of insulation, manhandle, manipulate, (swear a bit), coerce, and occasionally brute force shove it into place is a bit more like it! All while roasting in full body armour in an attic space that’s got a bit of sun on it.
As with all good project management, I appear to have over ordered on the materials, and underestimated the amount of time it would take!
But now my roof is as snug as that proverbial bug – bring on the snow…