An exciting first 3 months to this year with four notable highlights: On New Year’s Day we were able to have a bath in our own home for the first time in nearly 20 years! Then we completed the outside drainage – connecting the drainpipes to a channel that feeds eventually to our large soakaway. Because of that we have been able to insure our house contents – see below. And we returned to the Design Centre in London, where we first saw a ‘Wikihouse’ structure, which cemented our self-build decision back in 2014. This time we were privileged to attend the launch of Wikihouse Skylark. Wikihouse Skylark Launch
The system that our house utilised was called Wikihouse Wren, which quickly morphed into Blackbird, which has now been superceded by Skylark. Our cutting files were obsolete before we had even finished joining the pieces together and for most people Wren is now a thing of the past! None of us realised that it would be another 7 years before our house was fully complete, but we are nearly there.
Because we can now use our main bathroom, we have been able to put the final finishing touches to the downstairs wetroom, including adding the shower curtain which has sat patiently in the cupboard for 3 years. We just need to repaint the door which is showing signs of slight water damage.
With internal and external plumbing all complete we have been able to get normal house insurance rather than ‘site insurance’ and we think we shall be fully compliant with UK Building Regulations once we have built a permanent slope up to our front door. The prospect of the house being ‘signed off’ is really exciting, but working out which composite decking will give the best anti-slip properties while being good-value-for-money is really tedious!
We have two samples which complement our now-silvered oak cladding. Ever since moving here I have admired the Rugby Cement Works structure which dominates the town’s skyline. Depending on the weather and the time of day, it can appear as pale as unprinted newspaper or as gloomy as a cave interior. And I’m delighted that our house has the same ability to change colour. Now that the original brown colour has washed away, it is silver-grey when dry, but after a day of heavy rain the timber is such a dark brown it is almost black. It tells us of its mood. No decking will be as expressive, nor will it match the cladding all of the time, but hopefully it will be able to stand steadfast and serene to welcome our visitors.
Central photo below was taken by David Edward