Week 26

Can you say “grey tiles”? Armed with my trusty samples of flooring and window frame, I’ve been playing Where’s Wally in a forest of grey.

The brick guys are matching up the facing bricks along the oak, and I’m so confident in their work that I must confess to having taken the perfect lines and balanced cuts for granted. But I’m also relieved that the bricks and the oak go so well together. It’s such a gamble making these big decisions and hoping for the best. It requires and open mind first of all, then lots of listening to experts paired with hours of research behind the scenes. But decisions made or not, the brickies continue to bring the building up and up and up. Mick had a big birthday over the weekend–Happy Birthday!

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Dave building up the front wall
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perfect facing brick, and blockwork that will live behind hanging tiles

I chose a beautifully sunny autumnal day to come to site, and James took me for a tour of the newly set-up roof-tier scaffold.

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through the rear bay to the front
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looking south to Surrey

The back bay is being supported by some rogue struts before the roof ties it all together. You can see these in the photo. In fact, the oak guys are installing the ridge beam that connects the frames, so we’ll see them again in a few weeks. When the extra struts are removed, it will leave nail holes temporarily, but because they’re not drilled, no wood has left the system, so they’ll just close up in time. Clever in an olde-worlde kinda way. The whole process of building this house is as interesting as I hope the finished product will be beautiful.

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back bay
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our bedroom

The red steels are there waiting to be installed as the lintels over the internal doors. There are I beams and C beams, and for the life of me I forget which is used where. I think the I beam is for the lintel over the double doors to this room, and the C beams are …., well, um, yeah.

James took a bit of lead that had been knocking around his van for the past year and installed our first section on the west side of the front porch. A Finish–Hooray!

Martin from the window company came round on Tuesday to measure up before we went into production at the window factory. The bronze frames and the double glazed windows are manufactured separately and put together onsite. The Window Date is 9 Jan 2017.

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more leadwork to follow…. much more

There is a slight hiccup in the levels in the front porch area.  Dave is coordinating a solution with Tony, Tim, Ben, Neil and James. The whole landing is a little high on the first floor of the oak frame that hangs above the front door.

elastigirl-fThere is a debate about whether to keep the concrete floor planks and lower the level by reducing the screed, or by replacing the concrete with timber flooring which gives way more scope for changing relative heights. No one is excited about swinging the 1.5 ton planks anywhere near the wood, especially the crane driver. So clearly installation is another issue. Replacing the concrete planks with timber joists would fix the height and installation problems, but we had debated about this many moons ago in the planning stages and decided then that concrete was the way to go to give the building that really solid feel. Is it a compromise to change to timber or just an expedient solution? Or, is laying concrete planks on an oak frame a daft idea? We’ll have a good think over the weekend on which way to run with this: concrete or timber, but everyone is pulling together to work it out. The main things are to be flexible and listen to experts.

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artsy wood
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looking up through the back frame

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Claire who is designing the kitchen and utility spaces. I’ve interviewed many companies, but Claire has got the vision just right. What do you think?

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ta da!
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ta da from the other direction!

The scaffold team were busy on Wednesday and accidentally knocked the camera. It’s time to move it anyway…


One thought on “Week 26

  1. That oak framing is gorgeous, especially next to the brick, and very fun to see the view out your front-door-to-be. I’m not sure what exactly is uneven but I love the Elastigirl cameo (sometimes you just gotta Elastagirl it!). And since you didn’t ask for my opinion about the grey tiles, here it is ;). I think the large amount of movement in the wood looks better with a calmer tile.

    And that’s amazing you can get such a real picture of your kitchen design. Very white and clean looking and I like the subway tile backsplash and the cloche style pendant lights.


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