Posts Tagged ‘schist’

Timber-framed grey water-processing greenhouse – part 2

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The last post on this build finished with the laying of the chestnut ring beam which forms the base of this sweet chestnut timber frame construction. The next part was to raise the main supporting structure.

Splitting out braces with a small axe


A grey water processing greenhouse for the main building

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Another of this last summer’s principal projects has been restarting work on the main building. After the salutary lesson of the badly-built balcony and trellis, this time there would be no short cuts. We started taking apart the roof of the balcony back in spring to reuse the roof tiles on the wee house roof extension, and as work continued there on the toilet and battery house, we frequently raided the balcony for pieces of chestnut timber for floor and roof joists and for pine planking. So when it was finally time to demolish the balcony at the end of May, there wasn’t a whole lot left to take down.

Demolishing the remainder of the balcony


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


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.



Saturday, December 31st, 2011

In a coincidental but fitting end to 2011, we’ve been finishing up several jobs that were almost but not quite complete. Both upper rooms in the larger building now have new floors and finally we have finished the roof!

Finished schist roof


Stairs finished

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Following on from the last post on the subject – and a bit overdue since they’ve been completed at least a couple of weeks now – we have finished the stairs on both sides of the building. This makes 3 sides of the building now protected from the weather by an extra overhang. All that remains now is to complete a lean-to roof along the back wall, dig a large drain into the bedrock behind it, and we should have a substantially watertight building … even without all the windows and doors.

Outside stairwell on schist dry stone building


Floorless 2

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

As well as work on the outside of the larger building, we’ve also stripped out the floor in the left half of the building in preparation for reflooring and started cleaning and preserving the chestnut timbers. We stripped the right side of the building last November and it still hasn’t got its new floor yet … ah well … the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men …

In doing so the building revealed more of its life story: something we hadn’t been aware of until letting all this extra light in.

Back wall of larger building



Saturday, August 13th, 2011

After a break of the best part of 3 months, we’ve been able to start work on building renovations again. The first priority is to complete the roof of the larger building. The roof over the main body of the building itself is done, but we need to extend it either end of the building to cover the external staircases, and to butt a lean-to roof up to it along the back of the building before it’s finally finished.

Extending the roof area right round the house in this way will, aside from providing covered walkways, give all round protection to the walls from most direct weather action: a major consideration with dry-stone walls, especially ones that are going to be clay-pointed.

The larger building


More on renovations

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Progress. The balcony, patio area and log store outside the main building are now substantially finished.

It has been quite a transformation.



Friday, November 5th, 2010

Building work on the quinta has been progressing really well lately, despite us beginning to have to watch the weather forecast to plan what we do from day to day. Rain is forecast for next week, so today we removed one of the floors to clean and preserve the chestnut beams so we’ll have something we can get on with under cover next week.

Floor removed from first floor of building

No floor!