Results tagged “strawbale house” from Sinead Jenkins Photoblog
The guest room. Plasterer comes in tomorrow to do the first coat on the straw bales. There are THREE coats of plaster. Which doesn't surprise me because most things in this house take the long, complicated route :)
Detail of the netting used to create the curve next to a door opening:
As with any build, we've had unforseen delays. For example this weekend the tiler who was coming to tile the bathroom before the plumber fits it out next week, didn't turn up. I was mildly unhappy about that. We'll have someone in this week though, who should finish on Saturday in time for the plumber. I will ring the toilet man today and shmooze him (I'd quite like a toilet). The digger is still sat on the property, broken. Otherwise things are ploughing ahead!
The gib board is all done, ready for the gib stoppers tomorrow who will make it look all neat and tidy. The floor is finished (apart from the inside of cupboards). My walk in wardrobe space is ready (crucial), and other behind the scenes things like switch board wiring has been done.
The digger came to dig a trench for the main electricity cable yesterday, but it broke on arrival so is waiting to be fixed.
This week should also see the tiling in the bathroom done, ready for installation of bathroom goods. The toilet system man showed up. I asked him how long until he could instal the toilet and he said "oooh, a couple of weeks?" I gave him a stern look and explained the gravity of the situation (I'm enormous so he didn't need any extra visual clues), and it turns out he can come next week.
The living area (above) floor finished.... and the kitchen below:
(that's Greg the builder's head poking up above the stairs there!)
Guest bedroom bales starting to go in:
Bales in Elmer's room:
Elmer with his earphones after a cake-break:
Our bedroom upstairs (less bales needed up here so it looks a bit more compete. The floor will be carpeted at some point in the future:
(his Dad is an electrician so we can trust the wires :)
I do normally wash his face...
So, we are still waiting on.... the kitchen, the bathroom, the interior straw bale walls, the plastering, the painting, the floor sanding, the floor tinting etc., the window sills, water, electricity, a few bits and pieces outside, and probably about 50 things that aren't essential at the moment but still need doing. 2 weeks to go.
Oh and we have STAIRS! Although no banisters yet... the stairs will be carpeted at some point.
The ceiling in the bedroom is a different shade to the rest of the house. The wood needs to be oiled, and when Steven applied it to start with in the bedroom, I didn't want the whole ceiling to be that warm shade of orange. So after some trial and error, the rest of the ceiling is painted with wood oil and white tint mixed in, to retain the shade of the original blonde wood. You can see the difference in the image below:
The ceiling - a labour of love:
The fire, almost finished:
Steven has cleaned out the inside, and almost finished half of the ceiling. Next step is either the strawbale walls or the floorboards, I forget which. Also the gib board for the interior walls. We have a builder coming next week to do the bathroom! I have yet to choose a bath... or a sink... or any tiles. I think after 4 years of house research, actually having a deadline for something comes as a bit of a shock!
See those posts on the verandah? That's where my hammock will be strung. Even though I'll have two children and a full time job when the house is finished, I still fantasise that long periods of my day will be spent hammock-bound.
I will take some interior shots soon and blog those too.
Anyway, the glass arrived yesterday for the windows in the house. That means that the flooring, the windows, the walls and the ceiling are all sat here waiting to go in. If we had another 50 Stevens around I'd say the house would be finished next week.
He obtained the head bruise whilst shopping for my Christmas present.
Lots of other unseen things are happening at the moment too, like measuring and ordering and more measuring. Checking the plans, phoning the designer, ordering flashings (bits that fit around the windows and doors), deciding on which wood to have on the ceiling. That type of thing. I'm looking forward to the BIG stuff now. Plastering! Floors going in! Windows and doors!
We have all the strawbales in our barn. We have the doors and windows ready to fit. We have the wire mesh that wraps around the building that the plasterer will plaster on (he is arriving start of December). Floor man is arriving..... at some point, I don't know when. It seems we are so close to all this stuff... and yet, possibly quite far. Hmm. Do I sound vague?
For a project that was initially going to take 6 months, we have now passed the two year mark. Sometimes when people ask me "how is the house coming along?" I have to stop myself asking "The house? Is someone building a house?" The build has become one of those mammoth entities that just plods along in the background, such a huge part of our lives that it is hard to imagine a life without it... or a life with it - with the house I mean. Imagine living in a house with more than one room, a kitchen with lots of cupboards, a bedroom for Elmer, a wardrobe in each room, an indoor toilet..... a BATH!!!!!!!!!
We bought some tree saplings this week to plant as a shelter belt behind the house and barn...
Cool ey? That last shot shows Elmer's bedroom on the far left, and the guest bedroom far right. Our bedroom is upstairs. The stairway is inbetween those big posts on the left. The second to last shot shows the before and after effects of sanding. Can't believe how grey and ugly the before is! That bit will be behind a wall when finished. Oh and any skewing of perspective is my wide angle lens and not the build. Steven adheres to The Law of Straightness at all times.
And where I'll live soon....
We're almost ready for the roofers. A council inspector visits on Thursday, Steven just has to box out the skylights, and then the roofers can start.... if it is dry.
It looks really big from inside. I can't believe we'll have all that space after two years of barn living!
(all those huge beams were hoisted up by hand!)
We were originally going to have a skylight above where our bed will be upstairs, so that we could lie in bed and look up at the stars. Sounds very romantic! But actually, when we did a test (by lying on some plywood on the upstairs rafters), it will be a bit too bright and overwhelming in the daylight. And we can see the stars out of the other windows anyway. So that's one less window to bother with. Hopefully that will speed things up!!
Elmer and I are home sick, we both have colds. We've read his favourite tractor book about three million times, and here he is now at my desk to let me know it's time to go again. Yey!
a) It was sunny and dry
b) It was not blowing a gale
c) Steven wasn't called away to do electrical work
d) I was at home to look after Elmer
e) Reece from next door was available to help lift beams
A day to rejoice! Some of the roof beams could be lifted up into position! Nobody would get blown off the roof in strong winds!
The house probably looks a little different to the last time I blogged. The roof is slowly being built, and once all the framing is done we will get roofers to come in and do the steel work. Otherwise everything you see has been crafted by Steven. On his own! I wonder when the roof will be finished? Soon I hope. But then today was meant to be a building day and of course the weather is disgusting. Nice to see blue skies now and again.
I tell you what, those beams are HEAVY. There's also a lot of detail work involved in building a post and beam house. Whole days can be spent chiselling out bits of wood that will dovetail together with precision.
When we watch Grand Designs and see someone whinging that the contractor they hired to build their 'self-build house' in it's entirety has taken 3 weeks longer than suggested, I want to travel over to the stylish cottage they are renting, with one of these large beams, and knock some sense into them. This is one of the most stressful and frustrating things we have ever undertaken, given the circumstances. I am so proud of Steven though, and aware that we are lucky to be here in New Zealand, able to enjoy such an incredible project.
Steven's brother Grant watching Elmer for us... although he looks more like a bouncer than a babysitter here....
The great thing about this stage is that we can see where all the doors and windows fit. Elmer is sitting infront of a big picture window below.. there will be a nice wide window seat underneath for lying on and reading books:
The dogs are thinking "That's it, you just stand around looking innocent cows.... but one slip-up and we're on to you.."
Even as I type this, there are about 6 other bits of wood joining these two, but I'm only just getting around to blogging. They are very tall, and make me think how big the house will seem compared to our little barn conversion.
The last few days I've been dreaming about the finished product. In particular:
- I want a wind-break slatted fence to go around the edge of the garden area to make the house all cosy and enclosed. I wonder if we'll be able to afford this when the house is finished?
- What type of bath will we have?
- I would like Elmer to have a really magical, colourful bedroom. I wonder what I'll do with his room...
Here's the boy himself examining his Dad's handywork...
I'll blog as much of the build as I can over these next few weeks. If it doesn't rain constantly that is..........
I presumed everything kicked off that early because it took all day to pour the concrete and finish everything. Not at all! By 8.30am Steven came in to tell me they were almost finished the pouring stage, so I had to race out with my camera to record events. I'm very impressed. Of course I've witnessed concrete pouring before on Grand Designs so I know how these things work, but great to see the pad being finished so quickly.
Its been a long time coming, but since we are paying for the house as we go along there's no point rushing!
He's not having a tea break - the coffee cup is for pouring extra water out. Quite a posh cup for concrete work I thought.
This is Ross smoothing out the surface:
You just want to squidge your hands in there don't you?
Exciting times! Those bits of wood on the edge are to level the pad up to exactness - it was 5mm out on one corner. Ross was very impressed, he said professional builders are routinely 40mm out. That's my perfectionist husband! I can't wait for the rest of the house to go up. I might record all these little perfect bits on our journey to housedom, take them to the bank and say "SEE?! You wouldn't give us a mortgage but we did it anyway. NAAH!"
It's so strange to be building a house (especially for someone who comes from a country where this is not common), and the only thing that makes it real at the moment is walking over to stand on the foundations. I wonder if it will match the image I have in my head when it's finished....or how long it will take to feel like home..
This wood will make up the frame for the stairs and the bridge-walkway above the living area. It is huge (see baby wellies for proportion) and it smells GREAT.