Monday, 9 September 2013

Post-holiday update

It might seem like little was done during August, but before we disappeared to Ireland for a short holiday, it was all action with small bits and pieces. I'd continued to install the floor underconstruction, with pretty much all the first floor done now, apart from half of the living room, as a beam needs to be replaced before I can continue there. The floor beams at the  back half of the living room slope up towards the back of the house, so to make it even, we'll have a small, c. 5cm step midway in the room.

The first floor bathroom finally got what looks like a proper wall, after erecting some OSB sheeting on the stud partition.

 And as we couldn't wait for the sheep, I cut the grass out back for the first time in... well, a long time! Want to keep it short before the pears and nuts start dropping. The cherry plums have already been harvested. Over 70kg again this year!

Over the past week, since returning from holiday, I had to prep the remaining uninsulated walls, the half-timber ones that I first plastered so long ago. Being the first time I'd ever plastered, they needed some evening out! Not that it had been easy to plaster very uneven half-timbered walls, but I've learnt a lot since then.

They needed to be pretty even to allow me to stick on the new insulation panels that arrived just before we went away. Holzfaserdämmplatten, or wood fibre insulation boards, are highly breathable as well as environmentally friendly. The idea here is to use as breathable material as possible on the timber framed wall, to ensure moisture doesn't condense behind an impermeable membrane, so it can wick in and out. They're not cheap, when compared with styrofoam, and they're not as easy to work with. Styrofoam is like play, cutting with hot wires, spraying on some foam and sticking them together. With the fibre boards, it's a plaster-like goo that gets mixed, applied with a serrated float, and then pushed onto the wall. A bit messier, more preparation, and hell on my tennis elbow.

Nevertheless, after a half day last Saturday, I had the guts of the bedroom and the hall done.

And in other news, my wife invested many hours rescuing the flower bed in front of the house. Six months ago, it was full of grass, weeds, concrete, plaster and broken roof tiles. Looking like a proper country garden now :)

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