Posts Tagged ‘round pole timber construction’

Another roof

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

I’ve been keeping deliberately quiet about the work we’ve been doing over the last month or so as it was a surprise for daughter number 2 who’s been in the UK for college interviews (and yes, she was accepted). Now she’s back in Portugal and has been duly surprised, I can at last post about our progress.

This time last year, we built a roof on the back of the main building as part of a strategy to keep the building dry. The dry-stone schist buildings on the quinta, as with most buildings of this kind in this area, are built straight onto bedrock with the ground-floor rooms cut out of the rock itself. As a result, preventing or otherwise dealing with rainwater runoff following the bedrock into the buildings is necessary before these buildings can become habitable.

This year, it was time to give the second building on the quinta a similar treatment.

The smallest building before work started

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Mission accomplished … finally the new log store

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

At the end of last June, we set out to replace the log store on the yurt terrace which had started to lean precariously. At the time, it was serving as a temporary home for our composting toilet, so to relocate the toilet, we ended up building the cob bathroom. Now, with the bathroom walls slowly drying and soon ready for their coats of plaster, it was finally time to rebuild that log store.

Compost bin and log store

Two years ago: the original compost bin and log store, newly roofed

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Cob bathroom – finally the cob!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

The one thing with a back-to-front build like this, building the walls last, is that it’s a long time before the building starts to feel like a real building. It’s been worth the wait though. A month ago, we finally started to build the cob walls.

Cobbing

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Cob bathroom build – the plumbing and electrics

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

It seems crazy that 2 months have gone by since I last posted about the cob bathroom we’re building here. Facebook followers will know where we are with it, but the blog is long overdue an update.

The bailarina's firebox - our 150-litre Portuguese-made wood-fired water heater

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Cob bathroom continued

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

We’ve been moving on with the cob bathroom. See the previous post in this series for the first part of the build.

Having successfully established the principle of putting the roof on first in case it rains (maybe I never got over Enid Blyton’s Big-Ears scoffing at Noddy’s impeccable logic?) we’ve carried on with fittings, electrics and plumbing so all can be thoroughly checked and tested before being built into the walls.

Back wall

First, there was the back wall to complete. This is how the original wall ended. Whether it was roughly built this way or at some stage was partially destroyed by the growing oak tree is difficult to determine, but at any rate it had to be closed off before the cob walls were built.

The rear wall at the base of the oak tree before construction

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Cob bathroom

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

This is one of those projects which suddenly materialised out of nowhere.

It’s not as if we didn’t have enough to be getting on with already. The last few months have been so busy, I’ve barely had a chance to photograph it all, let alone write blog posts about it. Then on top of that, both the computer and backup external hard drive chose the same moment to fail – what are the chances of that?! – and getting access to email accounts and websites again is requiring a fair few extra online hours to fit into the daily schedule. So it seems more than a little crazy to be adding to the project list. But with Liam, our ferrocement water tank specialist, going back to the UK for a few months and Wayne doing the same, work on the rainwater harvesting system came to a natural pause and this project sort of tumbled into the gap.

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More work on the back roof

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

With the sudden advent of summer, we’ve been moving rapidly ahead on the rear roof. Three days of solid work has seen

  • the roof lights installed
  • the two membranes laid
  • flashing around 8 of the 10 light frames completed (we ran out of flashing tape and none of the local builders merchants have any more in stock right now)
  • the finishing work done to close the gap at the rear gully
  • the last leg to support the purlins installed
  • the rear land drain laid
  • the gravel infill completed

PET soft drink bottle lights

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Slow your roll

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

There is a saying about building. There is ‘good’, there is ‘fast’ and there is ‘inexpensive’. You can have any two.

This time last year I hired a local team of builders to put up a balcony and trellis on the main building, finish the schist facing stone on the log store, and re-roof the small building. I knew their work – many foreigners locally have had them turn schist animal houses into habitable structures – and it’s generally reasonable enough for the price, though you get what you pay for. I figured if I didn’t throw too many unfamiliar techniques and materials into the mix they couldn’t go wrong with a simple wooden structure. The main rationale was that they had ready access to the sizeable amount of chestnut timber which was needed to construct the balcony, and which we were struggling to lay our hands on, but in truth I was also succumbing to the frustrations of slow progress.

Finished balcony and trellis

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Room at the back

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Work has been steadily progressing on the waterproofing-the-back-of-the-main-building project started back in January.

Rear of main building

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Of winter heat and summer cold

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

With all the clearing work we’ve been doing in the woods, there’s now a need to get all the firewood-to-be under cover to season well before use. The log store we’ve been constructing next to the main building at last has its roof – a patio area – complete. We just need to relocate the things presently occupying it – like the washing machine – which, as is the way of these things, ideally requires completion of another couple of stages in the project beforehand.

Log store patio roof under construction

Log store patio roof under construction – membrane goes down on screeded roof

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