Update – June ’13

A long overdue update and just another collection of photos. The walls are finished and wrapped. The doors and windows are installed. The roof is almost completely slated.

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Progress report

We’ve been busy. So here’s a selection of photos showing where we’ve got to since my last post. What’s not shown in these photos (because I haven’t found the right ones yet) is that the second layer of panelling is complete on the roof, the roof felt is in place and we’re currently putting up the second layer of wall panels. More photos to follow when the rain starts again!

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Today, the last of the rafters was nailed into place. These rafters are an aid to construction and provide an aesthetic to the interior but are not actually structural themselves. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to the feel of the building. Suddenly there’s a real sense of the volume of the house… of our house!

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Topping out

So… After many more months than originally planned and thanks to the timely help of many friends and family members, the structure of the house was finished on the 14th of September. The last of the roof beams went up with the aid of a modern (and slightly unusual) take on a very old idea. The videos below show the beams going into place. High winds (and a minor technical hitch) delayed the first lift, hence the two stages and significant change in weather. Since the last of these videos, the frame has been adjusted and pegged.

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Update… again

So… I’ve been a bit remiss with the updates. Building the house seemed to take priority. So, in lieu of an actual history of the build so far, here are some photos showing progress since the last update.

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Frame building

It’s time for an update. Life has been somewhat chaotic since the arrival of the timber, but half of the frame has now been cut and erected. I’ll publish a blow-by-blow account and details of what not to do if you’re attempting this once we’re not so busy, but here are some photos of progress so far.


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Slating the shed roof

Our planning permission dictates that the roofing material for the shed be the same as that for the house, or black steel sheeting. Since we are planning to put a slate roof on the house, and this would involve a certain amount of learning, we decided to replace the existing shed roof with slates by way of practising the art of slating. Continue reading

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How not to load a van!

I had to collect some wood for re-roofing the shed. The quantities were too small to justify a delivery (which would have cost half as much again as the material), but a little long for our small van. I’m not sure that this was what Renault had in mind when they put the ladder hatch in the Express.

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Our house…

in the middle of this… forest!

I stopped in at the sawmill (visible in the left of the image) to check up on the schedule for the frame, and while I was there, I asked where the wood for our frame would be coming from (Ideally we’d have liked to get most stuff from France to avoid large amounts of shipping). The plantation of trees that the green arrow is pointing at is the plantation of Douglas Fir that will be used to make our frame. Meaning that from harvest to our house, the wood will travel less than 25km. It’s hard to describe how happy this makes us!

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Running to catch up

As acceleration goes, the shift from planning to real construction outdoes most experiences. A few weeks ago, we were simply collecting quotes and working out roughly when we would be attempting each task, along with updating quotes and finishing plans and models. So when we received a phone call on the Monday from the builder who wanted to double-check a couple of the dimensions on his plans, we asked if this meant he was about to start. “We’ve already cut back the banks and we’re about to layout the position of the house” he replied.

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