When I started painting the extension, I soon finished all the woodwork to the left of the window. The top plank had been a bit of a challenge, but otherwise, this was the easy bit. I was working on a wide ledge, wide enough for my ammunitions box to function as a stepladder, and I was tethered comfortably to my handline. And then the next phase loomed.
The next stage would be the planks that run the entire width of the extension underneath the window. That meant that the further to the right I went, the narrower the ledge would be, and as soon as I would reach the bedroom window, I would not be underneath my handline anymore. So this would be harder! But there was help at hand.
I was just parking my bike in the garage when the neighbour approached me. He said he would be away for a few days, but if I wanted to use any of his ladders in the meantime I could just help myself. Normally he has them chained down, but because he knew I was painting he had taken the chain off. That was very kind of him!
That next day I took him up on his word. I took the longest ladder from the wall, carried it into my garden, carried it up the garden stairs, lifted it over the fence, and put it upright where I needed it. The thing about long ladders is that they don't go around the corner very easily! But I got it there. And I tried it out. And it gave me excellent access to the woodwork above the very narrow part of the ledge. That's a win!
With that ladder in position I could make good progress. By now I had put my Petzl Connect to use, and I quickly found out I could safely move between the ledge and the ladder. That made for fast work! Within not an awful of time I had scraped all the woodwork below the window. I did have to insert a little piece of wood where the original plank had been rotting, but that was done in less time than I feared. Sanding all the wood, wiping it and then applying a layer of primer is a relative doddle. And as soon as that layer of primer is in position, then not only does it already look good, but the wood has its first layer of protection.
I had realised the ladder was not high enough for me to safely reach the higher planks. And the neighbour has more ladders where this came from, so in theory I could just add one, but I was hesitant to do that as one ladder of this size is already quite something to deal with. I feared I would drop a second ladder through his window if I would try to stack it on top of the first. But there are more ways of getting to height. Stay tuned for how I will solve this last challenge! For now at least I had provided most of the surface area with enough protection to make me feel better. When I write this, it needs one more coat of paint, but that is only half-an-hour worth of work. I'm sure I can squeeze it in one day…