SInce the steel beam was put back in place after the storm damage the joiners have been cracking on with the house at a great pace – despite the dismal driech November weather. At least the lack of wind has allowed them to get the common rafters in place without them being blown off!
To make installing the valleys and the jacks (technical term for difficult looking rafters!) easier and to secure the common rafters, the joiners installed the first floor. The joists and chipboard for these arrived the morning 31st October. Like everything in the house, these are no ordinary floor joists! They are posi-joists, engineered to allow easy installation and access to the services which will run between the floors.
The house is designed to be very air tight and to ensure this, the inner face of the stud wall has an air tight membrane attached to a layer of chipboard. This has to be installed prior to the rim board, which the joists then attach to. The fact that the membrane needs to be taped, ideally in dry conditions – of which we had not a lot of as we have no roof – and the complicated detailing of sealing the membrane around the steel beams meant that the installation of the floor took longer than Andy expected and hoped for but 1st November saw the majority of the joists installed and by 5th all joists were in and floor cover on and the joiners were cracking on with the remaining rafters.
Now that the rafters are on and secured we are slowly running out of jobs while waiting for the woodfibre insulation for the roof to arrive before any work can start inside. One big job that needed to be done before we can tick off wind and watertight was to install the windows. What a choice of windows there were out there – to be honest before we started this project I thought windows were windows – airy single glazed sash windows which we have at the farmhouse – and we can’t wait to be rid of, double glazed and triple glazed, PVC or wood. However, even with the various technical specifications specified by our architect, Kirsty Maguire, limiting our options the job of choosing a window supplier was a still feat in itself. The options presenting themselves were Inwards or outwards opening, all wood or wood and aluminium, which windows to open and their dimensions, sliding doors or balcony style – we actually opted for both and finally colour! After many hours deliberating and finding ourselves with a RAL colour chart at the site looking to see which colour suited It and also at friends houses with larch cladding to see if it would look good against the weathered larch we finally decided on Katzbeck windows. An Austrian company with good reviews, a very helpful sales rep in Euan Baxter and at a price we were willing to pay! We also decided that as we were paying a fair amount of money for these windows and were able to have pretty much any colour that you would have wanted we steered away from traditional greys and went for purple red!
This was one item we were determined would not hold up the build and we ordered them well in advance. Unfortunately we were running slightly behind and the windows arrived bang on time – about 4 weeks early. As always, Northmuir took great care of them until they were installed and added extra protection until the roof was finally completed.
Kirsty happened to be in the area on 14th November and stopped by the site, as we drove down the track Andy and Scotty were just finishing installing the last of the windows – the large one above the front door. I have to admit that they look really good installed, the sliding door slides a treat.
One of the last few jobs on the list that could be done before the roof goes on was to fit the external strapping that the cladding will attach to when it arrives. This visually breaks up the house I think and makes it look more in proportion.
it seems so nearly at the wind and watertight stage now, until you look up and see the lack of a roof. Hoping that the woodfibre arrives next week as the outdoor jobs list is steadily getting shorter, and sadly as are the daylight hours and the days of fine weather no doubt 😦