Mar 202019

A year on and it is time to empty our septic tank. The water was starting to go murky so we ordered the man with his smelly lorry to come and suck out all the waste and water from our tank.
We then gave it a quick wash down inside but it was fairly clean anyway.
One reason for the tank to be filling up quickly, is for the amount of kitchen waste we put down the sink, lots of peelings, green leaves and chicken bones etc. plus also flowers too!!
But when we have the main house built, we are having a water trap under the kitchen window, buried in the ground, which will collect up the solid waste in a wire cage and we will dump this on our compost heap instead. This would hopefully extend the life of the septic tank capacity and maybe only need to empty every two years instead.

 Posted by at 11:30 am
Mar 162019

For this week’s worth of work, with lots of weather interruptions along the way, we started the actual process of putting up our Slates! Using our new collection of tools and equipment, we projected a line up the roof at right angle from the Fascia to serve as the master reference line to work from. We started to use a blue chalk line to snap down lines from top to bottom but the rain nearly washed it away after doing the first 20 lines. So we reinforced the refernece line with a solid black marker pen and then marked each batten with 204mm spacings using a old metal tape which we prepared with marks so we don’t have to keep measuring the spacings each time.
After the marks were redone, the first job to do was to cover up the Gutters with our galvanised metal mesh (1 quarter inch spaced grid and holes) by aligning the bottom edge to the front of the gutter’s upright plank, stapling it down (on top of the rubber membrane already there) and then lifting the mesh up to the first line of the tile battens. Here we also stapled it down (using stainless steel staples) and then folded up the excess mesh backwards so we had a padding of this mesh to support the bottom line of slates hanging over the gutters (the padding acts like the missing third layer of slate). Finally, we screwed down a fixing cap of oak timber we had previously made, on top of the mesh and rubber, using stainless steel wood screws with nice large dome heads to clamp down everything. We trimmed off the excess rubber away and the whole thing now look neat and tidy.

Slates Start Going Up!


After that, We started in the bottom outside corner (the join between H and I sections of the roof) and working left to right, started putting on the slates. But the first task was to slice a dozen slate tiles to remove 112mm off their lengths, because the first layer which is hanging over the gutters needed this amount removed to align up with the bottom edge of the second layer. This ensures that any rain water flowing down the roof is still captured by at least one layer of slate before reaching the guttering. We had to smile because we nearly got caught by the “rookie mistake” of not turning over these shortened tiles upside down so the bevelled edges are visible from below and the first and second slates sit flat together back to back!
After that, it was a case of getting into the practice of nailing our nails in for each row before putting in the next slates (thus avoiding discovering afterwards that we missed some nails!!) and also remembering to turn the slates upside down when using the guillotine too, because the guillotine works downwards and causes the bevelling edge effect as the blade explodes through the slate.

We are learning as we go along!
The next thing for us to learn, is doing the diagonal shaped slates when we interface to the hip edge. After having sneaked a training video on the net, we had that one sorted too and we were able to complete 5 rows before the end of the day.

Slates Start Going Up!


Slates Start Going Up!


We continued on the next two days and doing three slates at a time for each row, working diagonally back towards the hip, this being the best compromise between doing more at once against having to lean over to far sideways (and slightly above) to nail in the next hooks and slide in the slates.
When we reached the inside corner, at the bottom of the valley between the I and J roof slopes and had to spend some time there to sort out the metal mesh, to shape it , cut it and bend it, to cover up the corner of the gutters and the end of the fibre-glass trough. We then completed a total of 9 stripes.
Slates Start Going Up!


Finally, on the last day, Saturday, we could work on installing the slates without pausing to cope with another challenge like a valley, we got about 300 slates up, we had to go and load up our three “boxes on wheels” (which hold about 110 slates each) with slates from the eleven crates waiting alongside our Loke.
We finished the day by installing the second fibre-glass trough section to join on to the first one. We are getting quicker and completed 15 stripes!
Slates Start Going Up!


We are about half way up and we will resume on Monday, weather permitting, and hopefully get the rest of the roof done by Tuesday. At which point, we will start on the J section at the bottom again!

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Mar 112019

Today, following on from Saturday’s work, we designed and built a slate cutting guillotine with supporting stand which has rubbish collection built in. The guillotine sits on top of the box like container and there are standard measured marks to help us repeatedly slice certain slates at various required sizes. The next piece of equipment […]

 Posted by at 6:23 pm
Feb 202019

Over the last 10 days or so (with interruptions), we had installed the new Oak timber pieces to form the Guttering for the roof sections I, J and K. We carefully measured each section so the base board overlapped the upright pieces in an even way, getting the angles correct for the outside corners (needing […]

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Dec 242018

We decided to take a break away from our building work and relax, to recover some of our mental balance and stamina. We did do some other little jobs that has been hanging about for a while, like tidying up the workshop, recycling some electrical equipment, install new lighting and of course, organise for Christmas […]

 Posted by at 6:00 pm
Nov 242018

We took the opportunity yesterday and this morning, to install two LED flood lights up inside our house. Each 300W unit was fixed right in the roof, just under our skylight on each narrow end section, pointing towards each other and downwards. We put a waterproof switch beside the Side Door entrance and ran the […]

 Posted by at 11:31 am