Saturday, 6 April 2013

Well plastered!

Once more I apologise for this post having taken a while in coming..... I'm sure I have an excuse somewhere...


As the title suggests, we have been doing lots of plastering, clay on walls, and the gypsum on ceilings. We opened up for a 4 day long muck slinging event, and I estimate we had over 50 people come through helping with all tasks of the clay. At the end of it all, we had pretty much all of the downstairs walls scratch-coated and all of upstairs slip-coated.
There are still some awkward bits to sort around some of the windows, but 'tis all coming along very well.

Outdoor kitchen structure

In the submitted plans we have a structure on the west of the main building which will be our 'outdoor' kitchen. This consists of a double pitch roof with a lean-to which effectively extends the verandah roof along the entire south side.
We intend to build a cob oven, and dedicated rocket stoves as well as have a defined fire pit to use for the more clement(?!) 6 months of the year.

To this end another cruck frame was produced, once more with help from Duncan and also this time with his partner, Jodie and their dog Rudi. (Although Rudi didn't lend a paw of help on the frame, he did enjoy chasing our cat, Willow and eating all of his food!)

The frame is sat on built-up ground which has been retained using a rammed earth tyre wall. We had fun compacting the pad spots after all the rain- one in particular was very 'spongy' initially, and we had to add quite a bit of dry shillet to finally get a solid base.
Cross beam and king post

The next task was to tie the frame back to the house with the wall-plates. A little bit of inventive framing then took place to support the house end of the main ridge pole, as there was no easy way of connecting this in the same way. I ended up with a cross beam sitting on the wall-plates and a 'king post' running up to the ridge.
Then came the rafters, and the next task will be to slate the back pitch.
The front pitch is to take the solar water heating panels (see previous post about roof angles). I am contemplating building these into the roof structure itself rather than mounting them 'above' the rafters. Effectively what you would see from outside is just the plastic roof sheets (of whatever description we opt for). Whichever way I do these they will be a retro-fit as it's not a priority to have them in place.

We're hopefully looking forward to a better, drier year as we are still 'aiming' to move in sometime in September or October. Some of the system components, such as the hot water cylinder and main power generation will need to be transferred at some point, which means no running hot water and limited electricity whilst this takes place. Ele's looking forward to that!

Anyway, 'till next time I find the time to post, regards to you all.


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