A tale of joinery day 2…

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Day 2 continued at a similar pace to day 1 with the electrician returning to run cables through the new wall as the joiner started to fit the second side. I’m learning that getting what you want from trades on a project like this is a constant negotiation and a fight against established working habits. My OSB wall is designed to be functional – it has to bear the weight of shelves, units and kitchen utensils as well has as hosting cables for sockets, switches and other electrical services – but it’s also intended to be a feature. I chose OSB for it’s raw/industrial appearance and I also wanted it to be an architectural feature of the house.

There’s a lot wrong with a 100+ year old house and it’s not easy to achieve a modern look on the limited budget I have. The original design of the wall included gaps to allow light through along the top and insets (created by leaving out parts of one side of the wall) to act as display and utility shelves. I quickly learned that there are technical constraints (such as the need to run cables from the top and bottom of the wall) as well as construction practices (stud walls generally have uprights at 600mm intervals regardless of the overall dimensions) which dictate how a design can be achieved. There are also conceptual issues which could result in the tradesmen being reluctant to build a design.

This isn’t quite what happened here but the joiner was reluctant to implement my ‘gappy’ design which he thought was nuts. After some polite diplomacy and a bit of compromise, we agreed a solution and the wall was completed. You can see the asymmetrical gaps in the pictures. There are further developments to come which will happen at the decoration stage of the project. I realise now that the success of even a straightforward project (as I thought this was…) relies as much on the co-operation of the tradesmen as much as their skill.

The next job was installing a fireproof wall in the loft. For reasons unknown, the loft had never been separated from one of the other houses in the terrace and so was effectively shared, as was the risk of fire, so it’s a critical, though not very interesting, job.

The wall will be completed tomorrow along with the final jobs, featuring yet more OSB, stay tuned!

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