Strawbale House

This blog is intended to chart our progress through the self-build process, from half-hearted plot-hunting through to completion of the build. The twist is that we're building the house from timber and straw (hence the blog title).

Click on the image at the end of each post to see that day's photos.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

July 18th - Gable-ladders

Started on the sarking with Mal, Melvin and Jack first thing, but were soon beaten back by the weather. Persistent drizzle set in, making the roof too slippery to work safely. Pottered around inside fitting joist-hangers until I had to leave to look after the boys while Anna conducted a funeral. Immediately called back to site by Mal because Mick had arrived with the telescopic forklift to help install the huge gable-ladders, and all hands were needed. Shoved the boys into shoes and took them with me. By the time I arrived the first ladder was in place, and the procedure had been "slick", according to Jack. The second was anything-but, and felt to me a little fraught, handling a very heavy and unwieldy timber structure on a wobbly scaffold tower and an aluminium ladder. Having missed the first one, I felt a bit out-of-the-loop and useless, but under Mal's cool direction the difficulties were overcome and the monster was secured in place.
My contribution to the second pair was to spend a bit of time making the scaffold at the east end a lot more stable than the first one had been, and this combined with the experience of the first pair seemed to make a big difference. The second two ladders were knocked off in a much more relaxed fashion. Mick had shifted a load of earth around so he and his marvellous machine were working from a level platform, which also made a big difference.
We all celebrated with a cuppa afterwards, by which time a horde of kids had arrived with Michele and Anna. The weather had improved and the roof was dry, but we couldn't really motivate ourselves to get back into it after such an epic struggle, and Jack had a bus to catch back to Penrith, so we packed up and left at around 4:45. It's been grand having Jack here. The kids love him to death and he's been very useful to have on site. A bit tentative at first, but growing in confidence as time went on, with some excellent contributions to the ceaseless banter.
I hope he's learned some useful skills, despite being left-handed!

Roof 180707

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