Note that there are no workmen on the scaffold. Thats because, not only would their fingers freeze off, which of course, as the boss, I am not concerned about, but more importantly, the adhesive would freeze before it set, so the brick façade would fall off again soon. Yes, we are now into the New York winter. This is where the delay of the delivery of the SIPs has a knock on effect. It is now minus 11deg.
One piece of good news, which the observant amongst you would have noticed, is that the chimney that was in this photo two posts ago is now not there. After some negotiation with the neighbor, we were given the go ahead to take it down to the level of the wall and extend the operational flue back up above the roof. That gave us the opportunity to put in a window that will bring in the only west light in the building. And no, we havent yet finished extending the flue.
This flags up another issue facing people working on town houses (also called row houses, or terraced houses), which is that of relations with the neighbors. We were very conscious of the need to build some trust with our neighbors right from when we first bought the place. Fortunately, both sides have been very friendly and accommodating. Trust notwithstanding, our contractor took photos of the party walls from their sides so we could be sure any impacts on them were not pre-existing.
We have had several delays when we discovered something that then took some time to discuss with the neighbor before we could proceed. This has been compounded by the fact that the owner of one side lives in Texas.
Not only are there building and structural matters that can affect them, but even the noise and Saturday working has to be communicated in advance. And then there are all the unexpected issues. I wrote about cutting thru the phone cable that was not noted on any survey or public document. We also had the situation in which the approved plans included removing our rear extension. It was only just as we started demolition that I realized one wall of the extension was co owned with one of the neighbors. Even tho they had nothing attached to it on their side, it was still technically theirs to connect to, so we had to take photos of the existing and send to them, and get their permission both to remove the wall, and to go onto their property to lay a protection surface from falling debris.
Recently we had a diabolical storm, at a time when we discovered the tarpaulins were taking all the rain from our roof onto one side wall, The rain found its way thru a hole, gushed down the inside of our wall, hit a joist set into the party wall, found a gap thru into the neighbors wall, along a ceiling joist and came out thru a light fitting in their sons bedroom and landed on his laptop!!! We were very lucky that there was no damage to ceiling or laptop and our extraordinary site manager was able to plug the leak immediately.
We found that the solar panels of one neighbor were mounted half over our side of the party wall, right where we wanted to build our new wall going up another floor. Hopefully the plans for remounting the posts will be approved shortly, and we can move along.
And then there are the myriad little flashing details where we have to ensure that rain hitting our new taller building doesnt run down and get into the wall between us.
I will be happy when the outside of the building is complete and we are only working indoors. I will also be happy when it warms up - hopefully by March.