One year on

A year after we began to build the wooden structure which is gradually transforming into our Wikihouse home, we have been able to step back and admire the fantastic achievements of everyone who has helped us get this far. After the first 2 frenetic weekends, the pace slowed, then slowed some more, ground to a complete standstill, re-started slowly and has now swelled to 2 or 3 days per week once again, with 3 patient friends from the village being our main source of help. On Sunday they successfully scaled the South face and managed a cheery wave as the final piece of oak cladding butted up to the gutter.

There are a few things which we would do differently if we were to turn the clock back, but mostly we are delighted with the house so far. Today we proudly showed off the fantastic inward-opening patio doors to some visitors and discovered that the top edge of the doors are higher than our planned height for the ceiling! I think we might have to use smaller battens at that end of the room! The other end will have to remain as planned because of central heating pipes crossing over each other.

Minor details such as these did not prevent the ladies from the WI enjoying themselves when they joined us for a coffee evening. When their programme of events was printed last November we weren’t sure what stage the house would be at. But fortunately our younger son has been storing some furniture in our largest downstairs room (which will one day be an office and dining room), so we made use of his settees, chairs, rug and coffee tables to entertain 16 members before giving them a guided tour.

Our current task on the inside is to finish routing bright red plastic air ducting around the house to join each room vent to the heat recovery unit. This has involved the emotionally agonising process of cutting hatches in the upstairs floor. In Wikihouses of the future – I am sure there will be many – these could be fully designed in to the original cutting file.

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