Feb 152020

We got on with the work we left standing on Saturday, which is putting up the cladding battens onto the walls, ready for installing the Larch cladding.
We proceeded by drilling clearance holes top, bottom and middle of each long piece and just top and bottom for the shorter ones. Also the shorter ones were dipped into the timber preservative solution to ensure long life.

Cladding Battens are affixed to Walls


The first wall we tackled was the two back sections, “K” and “O” and after confirming where the bottom of each batten comes down to (overlapping onto the concrete block) and double checking with another batten on another section, we were happy that things were consistent. We used lots of PU construction glue to stick each batten to the cement board, lining up over the nails (fixing the cement boards to each leg) and then screwing down tight the three (or four) stainless steel 70mm long screws.
Cladding Battens are affixed to Walls


The rain (and one heavy thunderstorm shower) interrupted this process so we got on with predrilling the rest of the battens, dipping the cut ends in the preservative and distributing the battens to various sections around the house. We made extra ones where needed and we also realised that the inside corners where the downpipe channels lie, we need an additional batten to allow us to fix the ends of the cladding around the boxing of the rainwater channels.
After a another day of other commitments plus also rescuing a friend’s pergola that was nearly blown down by Storm Ciara ..
We resumed work Wednesday on putting up the battens on the outside of the house walls. Applying the PU glue and fixing them down using our stainless steel screws, we managed to get all of the “K”, “L”, “M”, “N”, “O”, “P1”, “P2” and “A” sections done before it got too dark .. and blooming cold too!!
Cladding Battens are affixed to Walls


Upon the next day, Thursday, with the heavy rain showers in the early morning fast disappearing off over the hill, we managed to get the rest of the walls done with the first set and largest bulk of battens to go up. We had to make some rearrangement of certain battens as we saw that we needed longer ones for particular walls, especially the ones that has porches sticking out. Then, we got on with sorting out the smaller pieces for above and below the windows, drilling holes into the thirty or so pieces and then dunk them into the timber preservative and having them distributed to each window around the house, ready to be installed on Saturday.
We made a simple guide tool to ensure that the small pieces under each window are aligned up to their longer siblings on either side of the window.
Cladding Battens are affixed to Walls


With Friday lost to external meetings again, we resumed on Saturday and finished putting up the smaller pieces of battens underneath and over above each window. The small piece under the window is so small that it needs a concrete screw to be used in place of the traditional wood screw so we had to drill a 5mm hole into the concrete blocks and then screw a 70mm long concrete screw.

The rest of the day, after lunch, was spent in the workshop (to keep out of the way of Storm Dennis!), to start designing and implementing a set of methods to allow us to assemble our Oak Window Frames in a controlled manner, to achieve exact measures and angles, namely, nice and straight and square! We tried out various screws, counter-sinking tools and methods of drilling and screwing into the oak. We also cut four pieces of our aluminium strip so we can put together our test window frame (it was our old narrow window that we have abandoned), this strip is 3mm thick by 38mm wide and we also tested what will work with aluminium as well.
It was all spent in doing lots of tests and discussions, in ways of mounting the metal strips to each piece of the Oak Framework, in what order and so on.

Cladding Battens are affixed to Walls


We would carry on with the aluminium strips and oak pieces if the weather is wet and horrible, but for the last part of the task of putting up the cladding support battens, these being inside the two porch sections and we will tackle that job next week, depends on what Storm Dennis brings!! Fingers Crossed!

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Feb 082020

After skipping Monday for other commitments, we got on with making doors and ramps for our three entrance ways in our main house.
We finished off the Front Door, putting on the hinges, filing wobbly edges and then mounting the door into place. then putting on door jams. We also put on two sliding security bolts and a little hook to keep the door fixed open when we are using it.

Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


Then, we got on in making the ramp and door for the Conservatory door, which is a very similar size, except that we decided the ramp only needed to be 4feet long, hence it is steeper. We won’t be delivering much building material that way into the house. So the ramp is 1550mm wide by 1220mm slope.
The door is slightly different as we wanted the door to be flushed to the outer surface to try minimise the amount of rain water that may be flown on to the wall and door. This door doesn’t have the same protection (at the moment) compared with the Front Door and the Side Door.
So it was made of two vertical 89mm CLS timber pieces and two 63mm CLS pieces for the horizontal top and bottom edges and the same whole sheet of plywood plus a little strip to make up the total door width of 1490mm. It was the same height of 2240mm.
It was assembled all together and mounted into the frame, using our two little air bags that can be pumped up to lift each side up or down to get it positioned just right. the four hinges went on ok and then put on outside rain guard strips over the joint and discovered that the door wouldn’t close any more.
So on the following day, we put in some spacers behind the rain shield strips to loosen the grip on the door and as an extra accommodation, we also sliced off another 5mm off the width too. All is good now. We then put on two sliding bolts and a hook to secure the door and hold it open respectively. Oh yes, we also put on a rain deflector at the bottom of the door. The whole door then got two coats of a green all weather timber protection paint, to keep off the rain water and stop it absorbing into the plywood and delaminating the layers.
Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


The next job was to install additional racking elements on the inside framework of the “I” wall where we had put in a new window. Because that corner of the building could potentially have the full force of the wind unimpeded and the new window meant that the wall is a little bit weaker so the extra racking elements were required. We put on two metal bands diagonally from the bottom right corner, going up across three legs before reaching the top plate. We also installed a stiff rigid element going diagonally in the opposite direction, from the top left down to bottom left, up to near the new window. This was a piece of wooden batten, glued and screwed into place.
Cross-bracing-on-I-wall (lot's of dust reflecting the flash)

Cross-bracing-on-I-wall (lot's of dust reflecting the flash)

Now we could remove the cement board from the window to open it up. The heavy duty outer was employed with a half inch cutter and went in the clockwise direction to slice away the excess cement boards. We now have a new window hole ready for the Oak sill (which fitted nicely) and the glass.
Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


We cleared away all the ton bags of insulation foam pieces (two bags of those) and a further 3 ton bags of oak trimmings from our planing of our oak timber. They are all tidied up alongside the “I” section including the slicing table too.

The last job we got to start, was making the third door for the Side Door, which is only 1030mm wide by the usual 2240mm high. We used just the 63mm CLS timber pieces, laid flat around the edges and put on just two hinges (the door is much lighter) and got it mounted onto the wall frame. The last quick job was to put on a door hook to hold it open during the night and stop it swinging in the wind.
Upon the following day, Thursday, was putting on the door jams to limit the swing through the wall and then mount an electronic locking mechanism with a remote sensor to pick up the little portable badges.

Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


Temporary Doors and ramps for the Three Doors


We can now open the door easily without having to use a traditional key and even while we are carrying something! SO we now have three doors fitted and when we got the windows installed, we will have a secured building which will allows us to store more equipment in there and not worry so much about items being nicked.
The final couple of days were spent preparing for putting up the larch cladding to the walls. We needed to fix internal bracing battens to reinforce the cement board so when the external batten is installed, it got something far stronger and more secure to hold the external batten up against the wall. The inside corners, where we have the gutter’s downpipes located, need these extra battens. So we did the 7 corners around the house and screwed on 13 pieces. We had already put one up last week when we were doing the foam insulation.
Next, we calculated the length of the external battens we would need, coming down from the rafters and stopping 200mm off ground zero. But because there are three set of angles on our roof (32, 40 and 45 degrees slopes), each batten is slightly different in length. So after analysing each wall, and their windows, we had a list. we set up the chop saw and put together end-stops at each required distances, and proceeded to make 42 pieces at 2740mm long (14 of them were made from two left-over lengths), a further 20?? pieces at 2730mm long and finally 19?? pieces at 2710mm long. All these are full height battens but we need shorter ones that goes over the windows and also underneath as well. The calculations came up with a further 7 pieces at 730mm, 5 at 710mm and another 4 at 700mm long for above the windows and 19 lengths at 290mm long for underneath.
That pretty much concludes the week’s work. We can start on gluing and screwing each batten into place next week.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Feb 012020

At the start of the week, we needed to make sure that we had all the required cladding support battens in place, especially around the drainpipes. The cladding needs something to screw into and it turns out that the walls don’t have anything on the inside surfaces (it is just a single 10mm thick cement […]

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Jan 142020

After our Christmas and New Year celebrations, we resumed work this week with the outstanding task of sealing all the cement boards covering the walls of the house. We resumed the grinding operation and washing tasks to clean and smooth the joints. We completed the remaining segments, namely the J, K, L, M, N, O […]

 Posted by at 5:00 pm
Dec 142019

With Christmas fast approaching, with various interruptions occurring, we had only managed to do a couple of days of work. We got on with the task of sealing all the cement boards covering our walls around the whole house. The first part was to grind all the edges of each board because they were smeared […]

 Posted by at 5:00 pm
Dec 072019

After our conclusion of the slates on the roof (the front porch section) on Monday, we finished dismantling of all the remaining platform modules apart from two full height modules that we managed to move inside the house and a further three modules were cut down to provide a new lower working platforms. We then […]

 Posted by at 2:30 pm
Dec 022019

On this very chilly Monday morning, and a bit of the afternoon too, we finished off putting slates on the last section of roof, the “C” section which is our front porch roof facing our Loke. Another 100 slates went up, followed by about 80 slates for the flashing up the two hips. This concludes […]

 Posted by at 3:00 pm