Sunday, May 3, 2009

Honey, I just cut the house open

Try as we might we couldn't get a soul locally to take on the install of our stove in our wooden house. Calls were not returned, even after visits to inspect the matter, heads were scratched etc etc. This is how it came to pass that, after very very detailed communications between architect and local building control officer, Adam had to do the job himself.
From his silence (DIY round here is usually wildly swear-y), I could tell that ( though we had concise instructions on how to do this) he was rather worried.

To save space the stove is a Eurostove inset model, with its firebox in effect 'outside' the house in the storage recess under the big panoramic window. The twin falled flue therefore passes up through the cladding outside the window, upwards through the 'eaves' of the flat roof and out the top of the house (the flue isn't in in this pic). I have never seen any other stove installed this way, not had anyone else we spoke to about it! Hence Mr Building Control coming out to get his head round it and ours.

So effectively we had to cut out the SIPS panels under the window for the stove, loadbear onto temp. structures at either side, add an agroprop below the stove on the base of the building, and pray. I had a vision of the house turning 'V-shaped' and caving in, thankfully unfulfilled. Between the actual stove and the building (see diagram) there is a complex layering of things like vermiculite board, that I didnt know existed.

The stove sits on a bespoke cast concrete hearth made for us (and better still, delivered up the hill by hand) by the excellent Lancaster Cast Stone (also now doing a simple surround for us) (
And now, we have had the fire on, its gorgeous, and save for maybe adding a bit more chimney onto our roof for better draw, it all seems to have worked.

Bank Holiday pause for enjoyment

My sister and her family visit this weekend, the first in my family to see our endeavours since the site was a mouldy old log cabin on the hillside. It's given me an incentive to have a good clear up in the spring sunshine and even take a moment to enjoy the place. The light through the fresh leaves is astonishing, very Japanese, I could get quite emotional....

Over and out - I have to start grouting again.