November 5th and I had hoped that the tatty clothes that I wear for house-building would be stuffed with newspaper and burnt alongside the other guys at tonight’s village bonfire. Instead, I am still wearing them! But at this time of year we are able to spend many more days each week working on the house again. Tell-tale signs are that my hair, which always has a mind of its own, has reverted to being shaped like the inside of a hard-hat, and breakfast-time conversations are once again punctuated with questions such as “Where is the TV aerial cable going to come in?”
The fantastic mild, dry Autumn that we are having, has allowed us to concentrate on getting the oak cladding on the outside. All the walls are clad to the top except for the fiddly bits round the windows and the corners. My fears that we would run out of planks of wood were justified, but with careful selection of previously rejected offcuts, we had exactly the right amount to finish the end that most people will never see! We have also fitted the gutter fascias, which cleverly hide the gutters from view (unless you are flying overhead!) and the barge board on the East-facing gable end.
The soil stack (the vent for the foul drainage) is finally finished. This involved working out precisely where the waste pipes for the bath, shower, sink and toilet would go so that we could ensure the joining boss was at the right height in the bathroom. Having fixed that position we could then work out the length of pipe needed to end a full 900 mm above the skylight to comply with UK building regulations. Unfortunately lots of decisions that we had made 3 months previously had to be re-made because neither of us could remember the outcomes of our earlier discussions!
With with the roof work all complete and the sides clad we asked the scaffolding hire firm to remove their scaffolding. They arrived on a very rainy Sunday morning so we stayed indoors while they worked. It was a real ‘wow’ moment when we came back out and had a clear view of the house for the first time. Some of the timber has already begun to weather. Eventually all of the golden colour will be lost and it will silver with age, just like its owners are doing!