Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pregnant pause

This week there are many kind of invisible but important things happening on site - windows being measured, bathrooms being delivered, lighting plans being discussed. The sunny weather has meant that our builder come farmer Gareth has been on the silage more than the building!
Meanwhile Adam and I progress with the porch, which is fast becoming a work of art. The steps - though of (deliberately) rough timber (a local larch) took us 3 goes to get right - unbelievably. This had a lot to do with every bit of that lovely local timber being a slightly different profile and a lot to do with my inaccurate tape-measuring.
Now we are roofing it and doing 'noggins' which are the 'fill-in' bits between the uprights and roof beams. I'm trying to forget how much this finish reminds me of my school gym, a site of many humiliations as bad as getting the steps wrong twice.
Ultimately a lot of the porch will be clad over the sterling board, to match the house.

In the bottom picture those of you who haven't been on site can just see the rear wall of the old 1960's 'shack' - we have kept its floor and back wall as they're useful for working on and propping stuff against.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Now that's what I call an imposing entrance

Between showers

When the house gets going the blog gets quiet!
I'm not on site as much as poor Adam, whose doing this week on his own mostly having -ahem- let our main builder go home a little early.
So where are we now?
As you can see in the pix, the SIPs carcass is now covered in a grey fabric membrane (very 80's) which is part of the waterproofing, and blimey do we need it with this insane weather.
The timber porch (seen here from above) and walkway have been very demanding but are really stunning. The porch especially is a surprising and truly inspired element - with shades of our architect Sutherland Hussey's celebrated Tiree ferry shelter. It's very tall and imposing, with a door inset. Once through this you are very much in the 'compound' and you then ascend 14 shallow steps to the house - the line of the stairway apparently took donkeys years to get right in the design... You see, the ground is uneven and steep and the house is uphill - easy huh - you just build steps right?
Kind of - but to get them to run in a steady angle uphill (esp. when your engineer has set the house level too high) is not so easy. But it's been worth it - it's an amazing entrance.

One unexpected thing is the degree of 'out' of the SIPS carcass, which makes the (local larch) cladding very tricky and slow - it's an inch out in places instead of the 'tolerance' of 1cm, meaning the battening needs to be individually measured and fitted beneath. Other ongoing probs include sourcing a 360cm long window for the main room and the little matter of having no mortgage yet.