Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Lime, Clay and cladding

Hello once more, and again I apologise for a long delay since last I posted.

Much has been happening, not least I've had my 40th birthday and have had to deal with all the merriment, and the reflectiveness that has come with such an event. We had a fantastic party here the week before the day, with music, poetry and a little alcohol to help things along. Much fun was had and the site, and the house survived the whole affair- is it a sign of maturity that no-one threw-up, no glass was broken, and no-one was taken to hospital?

Anyway to the house progress.....


We have stopped on the lime for a while, due to weather and the number of hands available to help. We have however got a single coat on the whole of the outside, with most of it also having the second coat too.

It has been interesting trying to get definitive information about the lime, though I have to say our local company have been extremely helpful. In the end we opted for a 2:1 sand:lime mix throughout. A more liquid 'slip' as an initial coat, and a slightly thicker, drier second. After some experimentation we opted for smearing these on by hand (gloved of course!). Where we were covering timbers within the render we used a plastic mesh and overlapped in each dimension by approx 100mm. We also then added polypropylene fibre to the mix covering this. Between each coat we scored a crossing pattern to provide a key for subsequent coats.


We have also now fitted most of the window frames and are imminently ordering the glazing to fill up the holes! Some of the windows have been manufactured (by FD Hall and Son, who have also done the machining of the floorboards) and some are being built direct into the stud frames, this saves on workshop fees and and non-opening windows units can be fitted quite easily.


Another process we have started which is great fun is throwing mud at the walls! Well actually more accurately it's clay soil which we have wet sieved.  The picture to the right shows Ele mixing up a bucket of 'slip' with a drill powered mixing paddle. It has been nice moving from the Lime, which is caustic and necessitates the use of goggles, gloves and overalls, to the clay, which you can get stuck into with feet and hands. The children have certainly been looking forward to the opportunity to throw mud at the walls, and really get properly involved with a process on the building.

The first stage has been to make up a mix with just clay and straw to use as a stuffing mix to fill holes and indents in the wall (left is Adeon doing exactly this). After this a liquid slip (again no sand in this) is smeared on the exposed parts of the bales and this provides a key for the second coat.


The first few boards of the cladding have also been placed on the south gable end. This has once again proved to be a more involved and fiddly process than at first assumed, as each board has to be scribed to fit the posts, and of course they do not sit flat, but angled- each one sitting on top of the one below.....
The other slightly awkward bit here is that we have a lean to roof coming forward of the house at the point where the cladding starts- well actually we don't and herein is the problem- we have needed to provide for this and work out how to flash the join to prevent water running down the inside edge. Ah, 'tis all fun 'n' games you!

Anyway Dave is back for a while but is starting a job at Trevalon next week, and Hannah and George are back for more 'fun' (nutters!).

As always thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment.

Until next time,


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