Exterior panels all on

Over the weekend we fitted all the exterior panels to the end walls, so the basic shape of the house is now complete. And already we are thinking of taking one back out and ordering an extra window on Tuesday! This is because it seems a shame to have covered up so much of the view from our upstairs lounge.

Our volunteers have also waged war on polystyrene by measuring, cutting and carving the blocks to fit into wall, ceiling and floor spaces. And yesterday the waterproof membrane got tucked neatly round the eaves at the gable ends and extended down the panels.

Now it is a very rainy bank holiday Monday and I am sitting in the portacabin listening to the rain and trying to do some more preparation work for returning to my job as a part-time teacher. From now on the build process will slow down as we shall be working on it for a maximum of 4 days per week, but by the end of today we hope to have achieved our aim of getting a waterproof structure erected by the end of the summer.


Roof wrapped and more photos as promised

After a long slog yesterday, we finally have the waterproof membrane over the roof and in the next day or so we hope to finish the end walls so that the whole building can be wrapped and weather-tight.

We are still amazed at the way in which people have set about helping to build our home and the speed with which it is transforming from hundreds of individual pieces of wood into a sturdy house. There is only one job that no-one likes: holding the end of the belay rope when someone is working on the roof – sheer boredom!


Exterior panelling going on

In a bid to beat the rain, several people worked hard to get roof panels and wall panels fitted today. We didn’t quite manage to get all of them on before the band of rain reached us, but the ones that were on made it much easier to pull the covers over without them snagging. After a late lunch, work continued inside the covers. fitting flooring panels downstairs and more roofing panels upstairs.

Another huge stride forward. Thank you to this weekend’s crew.

That’s another storey

Each team worked on a different task yesterday morning, but in the afternoon everyone on site worked together to raise 8 frames to form the ‘ribs’ of the upper storey.

One week, half a house

After just one week, we have half a house!

Frame Frenzy

Over 4 days we have made new friends, a bit of a mess (which we have cleared up) and the 9 downstairs frames which are the main structure of the our house.

Emotions have ranged from

bewilderment: just how do all these parts fit together?

panic: have we got enough screws? (We hadn’t, so we have now bought the entire stock of a certain screw size from 5 different Screwfix stores across the Midlands, and a B&Q, as well as ordering over 100 more boxes!)

amazement: so many people have given up an entire weekend or more to help wield mallets, cordless screwdrivers and drills to construct the frames.

pain: I was stung by a bee!

awe: the frames went from a being in a neat pile on the ground to being vertical with surprising ease.

gratitude: to everyone who has helped in any way including WI members providing cakes for the crew.

hilarity: watching Molly (one of our collies) attempting to join in!

forgiveness: I won’t mention the missing connectors which are stopping us from raising the other 5 frames!

Hopefully the impending rain won’t manage to penetrate our massive covers and we shall be able to work inside them to construct the floor.




More ingredients

We now have a temporary garage full of Wikihouse panels, which will fill the gaps between the arch-shaped frames, and a polytunnel containing enough polystyrene insulation to build a very impressive model igloo village! Unloading both lorry loads in one day is certainly keeping Martin and me fit.

At the moment everything appears to be going to plan. Architecture 00 have sent us the assembly guide and we have bought 35 boxes of screws to hold all the plywood house parts together. 9 people have kindly signed up to help start the build on Saturday morning (15th Aug) with several others joining us later in the week. Despite today’s rain, the weather forecast is looking good.

Over the last week I have paid several very large bills, but we are all keeping a close eye on ‘the spreadsheet’ and we are currently just within budget still. I might yet have the central vacuum system that I’ve been hoping for.

… the parts have arrived

These are just some of the pieces which will fit together to build the entire frame of our house. They have been cut by CNC machine in a workshop in Sheffield. We have had 2 deliveries so far, with 2 more scheduled this week.

The foundations are down…

We have used local contractors to build the foundations as this is the critical bit!The pipes sticking up are the drainage routes from the kitchen and utility room sinks, the bathroom and downstairs wet room. The three long runs support the walls, the two ends have vent holes in to allow air to flow freely underneath the home, and the little block will support the stairs.