Thursday, February 11, 2021

French renovations, Day 52: Beam preparation!

10,827 steps

Today was a big day: we sent off our applications for the 10-year Carte de résident! We had a final meeting with our immigration specialist this morning to go over everything one last time. (Totally worth the 80 Euros for 2 hours of excellent advice and insider tips!)

Bringing the papers to the post office felt like taking a final exam. I hate that feeling. Instead of finding out the results a week later, though, we may have to wait a year.

I was so excited and relieved that I took a celebratory picture outside the post office.

Then...time to make a mess. Eric helped me move the scaffolding to the back room. I figured out a better engineering solution for cutting the big lower beam. I was worried that 2 eyebolts might be inadequate to hold the weight of the beam (see yesterday's illustration).

I had the idea to chisel out a channel *above* the load-bearing beams on the ceiling so that we could put a lifting strap (also called a DD sling, or "élingue") all the way around the beam on both ends. The two ends of the strap will be connected by a carabiner, which will also serve as a pulley for the support ropes on either side.

The plaster on the ceiling came off like butter, thanks to the jackhammer. I think we should take all of the plaster off as it's loose in many areas. With everything opened up, we can run all of the wiring in the ceiling, install acoustic insulation (maybe a thin later of spray foam?), and cover everything up with drywall.

Once the plaster was out of the way, I drilled into the crossbeams at a shallow angle, just enough to be able to pass the strap through. (Don't worry--I didn't drill into the main beam.) It was tricky because I only had good access from one side and had to do the other side by feel, awkwardly hanging half my body over the edge of the scaffolding.
 


When I took my clothes off to wash and change, I released a shower of plaster dust and paint chips that had fallen into my shirt.

I ordered the straps and carabiners this evening. I have a few days left on my French Amazon Prime account and I'm going to take advantage!

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