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, 25 July 2007

July 24th - External walls and roof

I arrived bright and early at the plot, knowing that I'd have to sneak off mid-morning. Rolled out and stapled two courses of membrane - one on each pitch of the roof before Mal and Melvin arrived, then carried on in the same vein with Melvin while Mal continued to frame up the external walls. Ideally this would have waited until the straw is in place to make their installation easier, but the framing is needed to support the windows and doors, which will be mounted in 18mm ply boxes, cantilevered out from the main load-bearing frame and supported by the smaller external frame. It will also help to stabilise the straw, which would otherwise tend to collapse outward or bulge in the middle when a certain height is reached.
The roof-work is now complicated by the fact that we've filled in all the empty rows of sarking, which we were using as foot-holds for climbing, but which are now covered by membrane. To work in any degree of safety on the roof, we're now having to nail temporary blocks to the sarking as fooholds, and redeploy them after each course of membrane. This obviously slows progress.
We've still to fit the bottom few rows of sarking, but have nothing to stand on to do it. Some of it can be reached from the velux apertures. The rest would be a lot easier if the entire building was surrounded by eaves-high scaffold. I was unwilling to splash out to buy or hire this much scaffold, and we don't want to move the scaffold towers from the east end until the barge-board and facia, which should arrive tomorrow, are in place.
I returned in the afternoon with all my kids, who immediately stripped off and frolicked in the stream with Paris and Boston. Ellie's just back from three weeks in London, and was exultant at the opportunity to play outdoors without the strictures of city-life.
Melvin had spent most of my absence cutting lengths for Mal. We worked together on the roof until 5, fitting about as much membrane as we can without the scaffold.
Melvin's in a fever of anticipation, waiting for the Paslode nail gun I ordered for him on Thursday. On the same order is a box of Paslode collated nails, which have been rechristened "belated nails".

External walls & roof 240707

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