So having realised that the fragmented nature of work on the build means that roofing isn't going to happen in one go, and accepting the likely onset of bad weather before long, I decided to put a temporary roof of d.p.m. (damp proof membrane) and roofing lath over the structure. This can be rolled up to work on the roof, but means that the inside space is now relatively dry and timber can be kept in better conditions without spending a long time each day uncovering/ recovering materials. Although the d.p.m. is much tougher than the polyethene used to cover the walls, it will still be vulnerable in high winds so I'm looking to get the roof on asap. External wall insulation work continues, as well as prepping for the installation of windows and doors.
A great weekend, thankfully dry, spent with lovely members of the former Nautia housing co-op who came along to lend a hand. Floor joists were fitted at the north end allowing us to lay out sheets of ply to form a safe working platform at either end. The remaining purlins were raised into place and secured - almost at the end of the big-section timber jobs. So really satisfying and definitely getting a feel for the spaces. Now the big question is one of prioritisation in terms of weather proofing - whether to consolidate what we've done so far, or to crack on with the roof. I want to avoid the ply getting wet, especially on the outside where moisture could get trapped by the foil faced insulation that'll go on next...
Happy with todays progress if mentally and physically bruised!
So excited about todays work that the pun just had to happen, and some bigger photos. Very relieved to have the two big trusses now secured in place with temporary diagonal bracing until the purlins and plywood are installed to give the required structural integrity. The hand-cranked forklift proved up to the job and everything appears to be the right size. South gable wall panels to fit tomorrow, before the lift goes back to the hire company - boo!
In preparation for the trusses we set about lifting the north gable panels into place, using the Genie lift that we're planning to use to get all the big stuff up.
North gable all up by the end of sunday, spot the flaw with the blocks supporting the purlins.
When time is short updating the blog is always a bit tricky, so looking back over the last couple of weeks the focus has been on building the two large trusses that break the length of the build into manageable spans. The timber sizes got beefed up by the structural engineer, so principal elements are made from great big 225x100mm timber, bolted with 3mm steel plate and M16 bolts. I estimate the finished trusses are between 275-300kg each, so lifting them into place on top of the edge beams is the next big challenge!
After a week in Wales and various other things going on we're back to the build. A bolted softwood edge beam avoids the complexity of lots of lintels and provides a consistent bearing for the upper wall panels. North elevation has no openings so no beam there. Younger family members were put to work!
Excited to make a start on the timber frame panels. Thanks to a Wild Peak work weekend we had 2 great volunteers who spent the day cutting 100x50 (4x2") C24 graded timber to a variety of lengths with the fantastic new chop saw. These were then pinned together with 90mm nails fired in by a borrowed nail gun - fast work. Sash clamps useful for holding frames in place while nailing, diagonals checked repeatedly to ensure squareness. By the end of the day we had frames for the west and north elevation complete up to the level of the edge beam. Although it would have been very satisfying to put them up they'd be vulnerable to warping in the sun and rain, so covered in tarpaulin until the rest are completed... Once up they'll be sheathed in 18mm plywood to keep the structure rigid, then insulation, a breather membrane and external cladding..... before winter sets in!
Mike Hawkins is a co-op member and is responsible for the design and management of the build. He'll also live in it when its finished - hooray! He teaches future architects at Leicester DeMontfort and Birmingham City universities.