The biggest visual changes this week have been to Mike’s study, which now has a first layer of wall, a ceiling and three sets of windows.The dark space behind the temporary staircase is the study and you can just see one of the corner windows and the front window. The next photo shows the house from the front drive with the study window on the right. The front door will be where the big gap is on the left of the photo. Having the staircase means that both us and the cat now have easy access on to the first floor, where you can get a feel of the two interlocking cubes that make up the house. Other jobs have continued around the rest of the house with flooring now covering all the first floor joists and the start of fixing the slates around the base of the house. The wood cladding will not reach the ground in order to prevent rotting, but will overlap these slates.
This week the frame has been working its way round the rest of the ground floor. If you look at the house plans you can see that the house is the intersection of two cubes, which makes for a tricky wall where the two cubes intersect. This is particularly true where the west wall of the first floor does not have a ground floor wall below. The first photo shows the beam running from north to south which will support the west first floor wall.The next photo shows the frame for Mike’s pod with the west wall beam jutting out on the left to form one side of the triangular overhang of the porch.Not only has the outside ground floor frame be finished, but two-thirds of the first floor has been laid. This photo show the ventilation ducting threaded through the joists under the floor.
After weeks of ground preparation, the frame of the house has started going up. The photo shows the I-beams forming the frame of the ground floor. One side of the I-beam rests on the concrete foundation and then cantilevers over the insulating polystyrene which surrounds the concrete. Stacked up on the concrete floor is the rest of the house in kit-form. The I_beams have also been used horizontally to produce the base for Mike’s study which is cantilevered off some concrete piles. It is covered in plastic in the previous photo.And so what is an I-beam. It is a mixture of OSB board and wood in an I-shape. Here is a close-up of one.
The last few days have seen the scaffolding go up, which has given us our first indication of the height of the new house. The top boards are just below the roof at its low end on the left and a metre below at the high end.
Despite “Grand Designs” habitually having problems of windows arriving late, ours have arrived before the start of the build. However, as it was discovered that they were being transported on a large artic with no crane, they have been offloaded in Pershore and will stay there over Christmas awaiting a smaller lorry with a suitable crane.
Wednesday was the day for concreting the foundations, so it was all hands on site as it had to be smoothed out before it started to set.
From start to finish it took a couple of hours, but speeded up it only takes 16 seconds.
And Mike has been try out his helicopter flying for an aerial view of the site.
For a change this week, there has been movement out of the ground instead of holes being dug and filled in. These are the pillars which will hold up the cantilevered floor of Mike’s study.
More trenches being dug this week – water to one corner of the field and electricity to the other.
Only one small surprise when the existing electricity turned out to be not where the plans from the electricity company said it was.
Another two weeks of digging holes and filling them in. This is a photo of part of the one of the two 25m long septic tank spreaders which wander into the wood. All now covered up and hopefully will silently work over the next few decades.
Photos of holes and filled in holes are not very interesting, so the blog has been quiet for a few days. The drive and garage base are now finished with electric/gas ducting going between the garage and the house.
The re-enforced concrete from the barn has been broken up and transported off site, and the hardcore underneath recycled as part of the drive.
Now we move to the next stage which is dealing with sewerage – no mains drainage here. So a large 3m deep hole was dug for this concrete tank.
Not that much shows once it is filled in – looks rather like a submarine. Apparently they went through 4 layers: Topsoil, yellow stony “head”, red mudstone and finally reaching a clay.