Saturday, 26 March 2016

Installing a window, and fixing a loo

My elder daughter's plan for part of their stable block (as they don't keep, and don't intend to keep, horses) is to turn a couple of the rooms into a pottery workshop for her husband. Our latest trip to South Wales involved a diversion to Telford to pick up a window frame purchased on Ebay for the princely sum of £5 which was to be installed in one of the stable's end walls to admit some natural light. When the roof (the patching of which was covered in my last post) is eventually re-covered with profile sheeting there will be GRP sections to let light in from above.

Again I took a Land Rover full of tools, in particular saws of all varieties, electric and hand - but the most used star of this show was my Bosch multitool with its small, oscillating blade.  This offers such accurate and reliable cutting that most of the window work and the cutting out of a door opening from one stall to the next were achieved without even changing the blade.

The stable walls are built with timber studs, board lining and tongue and grooved cladding. First I removed the board lining and cut out the cladding to the required size.

Then parts of 2 studs were cut out and a new stud inserted to the left of the window as we look. The frame went in sweetly and was secured to the side studs, with bits of repair needed to the cladding.

I know what you're thinking - the cladding (and, in fact, the studs and the lining) at the bottom of the wall are rubbish.  You're right.  This is why phase three of the work will be to remove the rotten sections and build a sleeper wall of concrete blocks to protect the woodwork in future.  I will probably renew all the cladding on this elevation as it faces the prevailing wind and has taken years of punishment.

The glass for the frame cost six times as much as the frame itself but we still thought the project a bargain.  Son-in-law is pleased with the amount of natural light now available inside.

This job took most of the time available during this visit.  However, plans to rebuild a downstairs bathroom and utility space in the house were radically transformed by the discover that a malfunctioning toilet doesn't, in the event, need to be moved at the cost of massive disruption.  Investigation of the cistern revealed that the water valve had been installed 'out of the box' without adjustment, with the result that only 3 litres of water were available for every (not surprisingly inadequate) flush.  Ten minutes to remove and adjust the valve and bingo! a 6 litres flush doing the job well.  No need to dig up the floor. Hurrah!


  1. That's one job saved! Typically, the glass boosts up the cost, but I'm glad all in all it was a bargain.

    1. Yes, we're all relieved that the floor doesn't have to come up. Just shows it's always a good idea to check the obvious - in this case the water level in the cistern.