May 012021

We continued the task of putting up reinforced wall posts for the hanging toilets for the cloakroom and for the en-suite of Bedroom 3 where we had to put down an additional footplate inside the knick-knack cupboard, to allow for a box to be built around the back of the toilet pipework and the sewage pipe going down into the concrete. We put another one of our homemade I-Beam element, but a shortened one.

Then we resumed putting up a forest of posts all around the remaining Ground Floor walls including the cloakroom, linen cupboard (where we put in a double post to support an extra wooden lintel over the doorway), the en-suites and finishing off Bedroom 2 and Bedroom 1.
Another section that had to be done was in the Great Room entrance way. This point is between the steel legs of the Skylight and it has a large C shaped steel beam (designed to hold up the first floor going over this doorway) and we needed to glue a couple of pieces of timber to the top and bottom flanges. The top one is an ordinary CLS timber plank, a 89mm wide piece but planed down from 38mm thick to 33mm thick to match up with the actual joist support level. The bottom flange however wanted to be a much wider piece, about 200mm in actual fact so we used our 18mm OSB boards and cut off two strips. We glued them together to form a 36mm thick planks and then glued this up on the bottom flange of the steel beam, all clamped overnight to dry and cure. After that, we could install the last set of posts for the ground floor, this time, the edges of the sliding door cavity
Then the final job was to lay on the two levels of top-plate CLS timber to tie all the posts together, to tie all the walls together and create a another solid set of rooms.

To conclude this stage of the operation of building the Ground Floor walls structure, we put on the second layer CLS timber pieces all the way around on the external walls and added a third layer across the doorway and window in our Utility Room because these have a major load from the First Floor Joists.

We finished the week by tidying up all the pieces of cut-offs, the tools and preservative liquid, to make the place ready for the next task. That is probably be installing conduits through our external walls so we can easily feed additional cables etc. from inside to outside when we need lighting or speakers etc outside.

 Posted by at 2:00 pm
Apr 302021

After a week of calculating, analysing responses and digesting options, we have finally placed an order for a collection of Joist Beams to build our First Floor support.
There are 61 joists and 455m in total, ranging from the shortest one of 3.2metres and all the way up to 10.8metres. These joists are a specialised hi-tech product, made entirely of natural timber materials but done in such a way that the weak points of using raw untouched wooden planks are almost completely eliminated. The joists are a wooden version of the classic steel RSJ beams (after all, RSJ stands for Rigid Structural Joist) and they have both that shape of a capital letter I, a large vertical webbing with a fitted top and bottom flanges. In the case of these wooden versions, the webbing is made of plywood or OSB to a thickness of 10mm and the flanges are a thick 36mm multiple layered plywood too. The only different is the width of these flanges, depending on how strong you want the joist to be. Of course, the other way of making stronger joist beams is to widen the webbing to spread apart the two flanges thus increasing the both the compression and tensile loads and stiffening up the whole beam. We have chosen to use one of the smaller webbing depth so that our joists are 240mm high. As part of the structural loading calculations we did several years ago as part of our submissions for planning approval, we knew that 240mm is sufficient for the job. We are using two size of flange, 96mm for the joist which extend out for the gallery and 53mm for all the rest.
So after a round of sending quotes off to various suppliers, bouncing back questions like what happens to the waste pieces and what stock length they hold in the yard, we have settled on buying their original stock lengths of these I-Beams and cut them up ourselves. It is slightly more expensive this way because it seems that one of our suppliers makes use of all the waste pieces in other projects but in contrast, the alternative supplier (we had only 2 to choose from in the end) didn’t bother with that and always charged us for the use of the entire length of the beam and presumably threw away the waste pieces and only supply our 61 pieces at our specified lengths.
But we had a very good idea of using these waste pieces ourselves to make noggings to help brace all the joists as required. We were going to use 18mm OSB sheets, cut up into appropriate sizes and jammed in between each joist to stop them slipping sideways and twisting. But making use of the waste I-Beam pieces, we got a much, much better and far stronger bracing the entire First Floor Joist structure together from one edge of the house to the other side.
Hence we were quite happy to spend a further £400 to buy a total 593m of beams and getting these waste pieces ourselves and will have a far better finished structure. The final choice came and after the second supplier added on their delivery charges (which turned out to be quite a major and surprising extra cost), we selected our first supplier, placed the order, then got the money transferred over and now we wait for our delivery slot which is a long three weeks away.
So in the meantime, we get on with different jobs like drilling holes through the exterior walls to install conduits to the outside world, putting glass wool and vapour barriers up on our walls and start putting on horizontal rails on all the walls and so on.

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Apr 152021

Whilst tidying up the house of the insulation foam rubbish, a new set of shelves was created to provide more room for tools and parts to be on hand for this phase of working inside the house. We moved the Ikea shelves over to beside the new wall between Bedroom 3 and added an extension […]

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Apr 102021

Over the last couple of days, the two rolls of artificial grass we bought, which are left-over pieces from the supplier at half the normal prices. They were 4metre long rolls and about 1metre wide, the plastic grass itself are 30mm long strands in a very dense weave. We chopped 640mm pieces off each of […]

 Posted by at 5:00 pm
Apr 082021

By Thursday, after a couple of delayed days due to icy cold weather that would have stopped the gun foam from working properly, we finally finished installing the 200mm (on average) thick layer of polyurethane (PU) “seconds” foam boards. The last section was around the Great Room, in the west end, finishing off the Patio […]

 Posted by at 5:00 pm
Apr 042021

Today, we decided to move the heap of timber planks we had stored inside our Great Room, on a raised shelving rack system. The main reason for tackling this job now, to move the timber outside, was because we needed access to our external walls to insert the insulation foam boards. We knew that we […]

 Posted by at 3:13 pm