Monday, 29 March 2010

Top Tip

"Never ask a French builder to give you a hand after lunch". I did but think i still have my teeth. Mind you I have a fat lip and was spitting blood for an hour. Schoolboy error! My "ami" had a bit of a wobble and while we were 4m up in the air dropped a 6m long 3"x8" which bounced off the roof and smacked me in the mouth. Ho Hum. Anyway here is the progress; purlins are up and the roof is braced ready for rafters.

roof still with temporary bracing

And some more permanent cross bracing

Next its the rafters and then some slates. The spacing of which is up for some debate. In France all slates are held on with wire clips not nailed. The clip hooks over the batten and supports the bottom of the slate. The next clip above holds the top of that slate and the bottom of the next slate above. The spacing of the battens depends on the size of the slate and the size of the clip. Easy, so batten spacing is derived from the following formula:

length of slate - length of clip - a bit / 2

The "bit" above is the amount you want the top of the slate to sit past the top edge of each batten, usually about 5mm. The divide by two is because there are two battens supporting each tile. So in our case we have 320 mm slates and were going to use 90mm clips

320 - 90 - 5 /2 = 112.5mm spacing

et Voila

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

oooer mi Noggins

After a short administrative break I'm back on the shed. Roof trusses are done and the wall now has some noggins. All in all the structure is looking a lot more rigid. And as we all know rigidity is the name of the game. I took a few picture of the progress, the colours of which are a bit funny but that's because it was dark!

Note the oak dowels, sad really!

Anyway time the raise the roof. I was thinking about this and how i would do it using all manner of complicated methods. Then it struck me i was being stupid, the shed has a first floor!!! So I'll just build the floor first and then I can work off that to put in the roof, easy...ish.

Monday, 15 March 2010

The new shed gets some walls

Today David and I constructed the walls for the shed. Using the compound mitre saw it actually was pretty straight forward, and a lot of progress for one days work. Julia is kindly providing a little scale.

And the view from the lounge:

Oh and yes the wood pile has gone down somewhat!

Looking at the shed today I think I may have got the decimal point in the wrong place on the drawings..Ho Hum, never mind. Still it wont look quite so small when the nice steep pitched roof is on!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Stage One Completed

Well stage one of shed is complete. The base is down, level, insulated and boarded. From this platform I can build everything else on top, so pretty much the hard bits are done...ish.
First off with Julia's able assistance we covered the frame with Tyvek and chicken wire. Tyvek as a breathable membrane and the chicken wire is to both hold in the insulation and protect against rodents.

Next I've laid in 145mm of insulation with an R value of 3.85 (Toasty) followed by DPM and then floor boards. The boards were the same price as chipboard and although a bit on the rustic side they are at least real wood (don't know why just don't like chipboard, even in a shed). Then the fun part laying the boards with David and his very cool NAIL GUN.

It was so much fun even Libby managed to get in on the action:

And then TA-DA the finished floor:

Except of course you can't see it because it started raining.

Ho Hum...

Monday, 8 March 2010

Ca Commence

Day 4 of the shed build and we are out of the ground. Levelling up took a while since the ground is frozen to about 4 inches. Many thanks to our friend David without whom the progress would be much less impressive. Having someone there who knows what they are doing is a big help. I promised my brother Nick that it would take 3 weeks to build the shed so I'm on a tight schedule....

Tomorrow it's insulation and floor boards. We have laid a fleece on the ground to help control the mud, but underneath that the ground is like concrete so I don't think its going to go anywhere.
And here is Julia's latest creation: isn't she clever..

Oh yes the shed really is that big.....

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Hunting and gathering - was it all bad

This week I've finished off the design for the shed, ordered the wood, cast the concrete beam in the wall and glued up the door for the first floor. We've also met some new friends and visited their house and a bunch of other stuff I've forgotten about already. Trouble is with moving out to live a tranquil life in France that there are lots of thing to either occupy or distract you! Anyway the wood was delivered today and we started to dig the foundations to the shed. Sounds easy given that this is digging through 12 inches of top soil but take it from me its not. Digging or indeed farming in general is in fact the work of the devil. Given the choice between hunting and gathering and farming, why we chose farming eludes me! Here is a pile of wood:

And then there was the digging:

Now when I started digging out the foundations I had envisaged just for the blocks not whole area. WHAT WAS I THINKING. Mike Duckett if you read this, I never learn!!!

Oh and the mechanical plough in the picture...doesn't help. Just makes you even more knackered trying to control the plough and you still have to dig out the mess. Ho Hum.