Tuesday, January 27, 2015


The floor is now complete and has it ever transformed the house.

It is made of recycled flagstone and some purchased flagstone. When I lived in the city a neighbor had a stack of flagstone on their front step with a "FREE" sign on it. I loaded it up right away...

It took about eight days for me to install it. Next time I think I could do it in half the time.

I didn't really know how it was going to turn out but I am pleased with the result.

Now two coats of clay plaster is the only thing left to do before I live here...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


There isn't a lot of commentary for this post but enjoy the pictures of the newly installed loft area. At 7' by 7' it is very spacious. There is also an adjoining shelf and storage area.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ceiling - Part Two

The ceiling has been completed.

 It really brightened up the cottage.

Now work shifts back down to floor level where the floor will be installed next. In preparation it received a final layer of gravel.

In the meantime here is a preview of the post that is to follow. What's different?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ceiling - Part One

The ceiling is ready to be finished.

A radiant barrier was added. It's not very natural but energy efficiency is the whole purpose of this cottage.

The insulation is cotton. Recycled denim. It was a joy to work with.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Closed In

The cottage is now closed in thanks to a new door.


The door was assembled over one and a half days.

The door was filled with a layer of poly-iso foam insulation.

And it was installed just in time. The first freezing temperatures of the season will be tonight.

The previous week a lot of work was done filling gaps and holes in the building to help it get closed in. Here some gaps in the foundation are closed up.

Inside some of the storm wash out from last year was smoothed over with a clay mixture.

Until spring all the remaining work will be done inside. I missed the window of opportunity for applying lime plaster on the exterior. Lime cannot freeze so lime plastering is now on hold until spring time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


All of the six windows have been installed.

Surprisingly the installation went according to plan with just a couple of minor deviations.

The frames were built and installed in the building last year and had to wait a long time to receive their windows.

About ten days from now lime plaster will be applied to the exterior, weather permitting.

Then a door needs to be built and all the remaining will be done inside.

And this is what the building looked like on this day last year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Preparing For Plaster

The building is two steps away from being closed in. All that is needed are windows and a door

One goal is to finish the exterior plaster before winter. In preparation for plaster a cob mix was applied to the walls. I was actually dreading the job but quickly found out how fun it was. Applying this layer of clay has been one of the most fun and enjoyable parts of the build so far.

Here it is possible to see three different phases of covering the walls. On the right is a layer completed the day before, in the center a newly applied layer, and on the left the wall has been soaked with water in preparation to receive a layer.

Two severe storms came through in the summer and the building was not unscathed. I'm told one of the storms put out 4 inches of rain within 30 minutes with an accompanying wind of 50 mph / 80 kph. Despite these tropical storm conditions the building held up well but did suffer some wash out which can be seen in this post. In many places a quarter to a half inch of clay washed out, and some pockets were as much as one inch deep.

The layer that is being added now is not waterproof and I'm fully aware that another severe storm of this nature will see me doing this work again. That is fine - the building did very well last time. But the push is on to add an outer layer of lime plaster that will assist in shedding water.


Lots of additional minor work was done to ready the building for close-in. The gaps above the windows were filled in, the window frames were cleaned and readied, and the rafters and eaves received another coat of oil / stain.