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. On Saturday October 25 I will be installing windows! 

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.





Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Walls Are Complete

The walls are finished! There will be no more wall construction on this project. All work from this point forward is finish work.

 

The walls were built in 104 days spanning 13.5 months. All the work was done myself with the exception of two days where I had helpers. I started wall construction on August 31, 2013 and finished on October 15, 2014.


This was the last section of wall to be completed. It was above the door. This is what it looked like before, from outside.


 And this is what it looked like after, from inside. 591 batches of cob were prepared for wall construction. It is estimated that 8900 balls of cob were placed into the walls.


This is the loft where I'll be sleeping in a few months time.


And this is a view out of the loft window. Based on the amount of cob prepared I'm estimating that the building weighs about 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) including the recycled concrete foundation.


I figure I lifted the weight of the building about five to seven times over moving materials around. Was it a hardship? Not at all. The work was broken into small chunks and it was enjoyable, perhaps the most enjoyable thing I will do. Ever.


And the reward for all the work is yet to come.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Roof Is Complete

The summer heat has finally broke and the building season has commenced. And it is especially exciting to start the season with a major milestone. The metal has been added to the roof and the roof is now finished.


I had help with the roof metal. A neighbor and his talented crew did the installation.


Also a significant portion of closing in the walls to the roof has been completed. Here is the southeast corner before...


 And after...


  And also the northeast corner before...


And after...

 

 I'm very happy to be building again. Next will be closing in above the door to the roof then all wall work will be completed. Another milestone accomplished.


Here some of my neighbors are taking a rest. This is the view out of the west window of the cottage.


Here I am testing out the building as an office space. It passed the test!


When the wall work is finished next up will be preparing the walls for plaster, windows, door, floor, ceiling, countertops, and sitting area.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Update

The summer heat is here and for the next four to six weeks not much building will be done. I was however able to get some protective stain on the rafters.



There have been some incredible storms this summer. The cottage has been pelted with fierce showers on numerous occasions, the kind where it is raining sideways. There has been some minor wash out but the building has stood up extremely well. But I am looking forward to applying the protective plaster in the fall.






Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Still Going

I've been building but at a reduced rate due to daytime heat. Early morning is when building is being done now. I'm finding that being limited to a few hours a day provides a nice comfortable pace where the process can really be enjoyed. The walls are still being filled in to roof level. Here are some before pictures...




And after...



And now the southwest corner is filled in too. Although the progress is not quick these days, without deadlines it is enormously rewarding. I can visualize myself living in this cottage now. That day is drawing closer...


Here you can see the remaining gaps that need to be filled in. Within about 9 more building days wall construction will be complete on this building. Then the focus will shift to the windows, door, floor, and perhaps exterior plaster.



Until next time meet some new friends of mine.




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More Closing In

The east wall is now nearly closed in. It is becoming more difficult to show progress so here are a series of before and after pictures.

Outside before.


Outside after.


The wildflower pictures in the last post were a hit so here are some more.


Inside before.


Inside after. Puck lights will be mounted on the top shelf to illuminate the kitchen counter. On the top of the shelf will be a rope light. Anyone who has been inside BA's tiny house will know where those ideas originated...


More wildflowers!


This is the same east wall and the kitchen and dining spaces are located here. The sink will be on the left near the window. In the middle shelves will hang from the shelf that is already in place. To the right will be a table and chairs next to the windows.


The loft has ended up being a good size. I think even a king size mattress could fit into the space. It is going to be such a cozy space to sleep in. Even now sitting up in the loft is very calming and relaxing.


This morning there was a full moon on the horizon about to set. What an incredible sight! This also happened a couple of months ago.



Friday, May 2, 2014

Back to Cob

The wildflowers have started blooming.


Now that the roof is on work has begun on closing the building in.  Cob is being added to the space between the top of the walls and the roof. I need to go all the way around the building like this.