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On my way to a - HOUSE!

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by milius2, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. milius2

    milius2 Maker

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    Wow, that is some reception! :D Thanks!!! I'm just doing what I think is right :D :D This house started as a tool box. I needed a place to rest my bones and keep my tools safe. But I ended up building a house and hopefully I'll be able to move there with my wife next year. :)

    So more things has been done over last week and a bit:

    [​IMG]

    You can the cross beams and the ends of second floor beams resting on them. Some of the materials dried out twisted, still don't know what causes it, maybe its a bad job from the mill people, maybe it's the natural twist in the tree that comes up or maybe it's because the wood was cut ice cold during the summer. It's a trouble for me, as I'll have to work them quite a bit later to get the floor board on straight. But that next summers worries.

    [​IMG]


    On the other end there was no wall, although there is solid foundation underneath. We build a chimney that is going to receive a stove before the winter. Later the wall will be build in an centuries old fashion that is going to get warm from the fire in fireplace. But it's a big job so we left it for next year. We have something to rest the beams on and that is it. Pillars will hold one end of the beams and the chimney holds the weight on the connection.


    [​IMG]

    Custom made arch door. Very pleased that my mate who is a professional wood worker had a few days off and came over to make it. It's going to be fitted with some custom made doors next year and I hope I will manage some cool blacksmith hinges from my forge.

    [​IMG]

    From inside.

    [​IMG]

    Window opening has got support beams from each side. Just to be sure there is no collapse of the cob later.

    [​IMG]


    Thats the big room view. Quite spaciuos living room almost 10 square feet.


    [​IMG]

    I bought some big windows very cheap and build this oak frame to host them, it's just some old benches regrind and fitted in the round front wall. That front wall is a big challenge and one element I'd rather not have done, but maybe it will pay off in the end. Anyway keeping thing square is way better, then trying to fit some round in a square building............ you live you learn and then you die stupid. :)

    [​IMG]

    Second floor will have two attic bedrooms, this is the main bedroom floor.


    [​IMG]


    The end of the beams don't just sit on the wall. Under them there is a thin beam that spreads the weight over the wall, if you'd sit the beam on the cob it would sink different in places and you'd be in big trouble.

    [​IMG]


    On top that's the last piece of frame that is going to hold the spares of the roof. So with this we reach the top of the wall, cob covers all the spaces and gaps and then there is the roof coming up next week.
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    To make the mixture I use a garden tiller. Got an old robust kind from Germany and it's the most treasured tool in wall building, it does most of the job. First i get the clay in small bits with it. Then it's being kept in water over night the sand added and then in the morning next day I work it with this machine to a somewhat cream texture, the straw comes in at last, being worked in by feet and then when it's good in mixture being pulled by hand and put on the wall. Each and every case is different but if I would have followed the popular book advice and did everything by hand I would have done even a half by now. So it is quite important to think for a while and adapt to situation accordingly. If I had access to a small tractor or bob cat I would have done a big trench to produce even more cob at once. I used small room downstairs for this purpose and I made 4 cubic meters of cob per day. That was enough to work full day. I made this last bit in the back of the tractor, because I could move it the spot I need.

    Alright, again, thanks so much for such a nice welcome to my efforts. Someone asked how big the house is going to be. It'll have a large living room and a studio/kitchen downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. Later I think to build an attachment with a bathroom and maybe a separate kitchen or storage. I left the north wall with no windows for this purpose so whenever I have the time and funds I can extend, but before that I still need power supply and running water.

    Cheers, Andy.
     
  2. Goatboy

    Goatboy Full Member

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    As the others have said, brilliant stuff. Enjoyed reading so far and really looking forward to further installments. Looks like it's going to be a great place to live, and snug too.
    All the best with the build and please keep us up to date.
     
  3. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Great stuff Andy - but I'm not lending you my tiller :)
     
  4. Niels

    Niels Full Member

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    Really nice read. More please:)
     
  5. mountainm

    mountainm Full Member

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    Had you built this in the UK you would've got on TV for sure. Amazing and inspirational project. Keep up the good work.
     
  6. milius2

    milius2 Maker

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    BR - I hope none of my friends decides to try this and comes to lend mine!! :)

    Mountainm. Sure it is something else here too, all the town thinks I'm mad... :D :D

    Cheers guys I'll be back with more.
     
  7. bilmo-p5

    bilmo-p5 Maker Plus

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    I'm sure you will have the last laugh. :)
     
  8. fredster

    fredster Forager

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    Best thread on BCUK - amazing!
     
  9. MertzMan

    MertzMan Settler

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    Lithuania has much better planning laws than the UK thats for sure!
     
  10. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    How long would you have to live to go through planning, building control, suppliers etc. in the UK? We don't seem to like innovation in building projects here, do we?

    This is really cool stuff Andy, and projects like this should supported, encouraged and applauded :)
     
  11. bushwacker bob

    bushwacker bob Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Are you going to build a forge too?
     
  12. milius2

    milius2 Maker

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    The planning permission is simple. If you register as a farmer (you need to own at least one acre of land) you can build on your land buildings that are not bigger than 80 square meters ( and that's a lot) with very simple aplication form. In my case I only told local mayor my plans and he said "go for it" and we will sort out the papers later when I'm done. It would be hard to convince any architect to sign for the plan like that upfront.

    In the ideal way I should have went for some support from some funds to help me with the build, but then I would be upset with loads of paper work and all sorts of visits from office people so I decided to make it from the money I make and keep it all to myself :D :D :D muhahahaha

    Yes the next building on the property is going to be an old fashioned blacksmiths forge. I already have a timber framed workshop plans in mind all I need is LOADS of timber :D :D
     
  13. swotty

    swotty Space and time

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    Fantastic stuff! Looking forward to watching this progress :)
     
  14. Tracker NTS-054

    Tracker NTS-054 Forager

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    Inspiring stuff!!!
     
  15. sandbender

    Mod

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    Oh I can only dream of that kind of laissez-fair attitude from the authorities here, unless I can slip them enough to help partially fund their next BMX X4 it isn't going to happen.

    You are lucky and that is going to be a great looking home.
     
  16. thejollyroger

    thejollyroger Tenderfoot

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    Andy this is really cool and looks really well built!
    I really like the arched door frames!
    I can't wait to see more!
     
  17. milius2

    milius2 Maker

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    Cheers guys! :)


    I think it's only because this is one of a kind project in the area and no one takes it seriously and people are curious about the outcome. And I don't mind this at all :D


    Thanks thanks! Yep, there is still a lot of stuff to come. But it's a slow process so - patience:)
     
  18. bigbear

    bigbear Full Member

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    Outstanding post, wish you all the luck in the world with that, it will be stunning when you move in there !
     
  19. Biker

    Biker Full Member

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    That looks fantastic! Wishing you all the best with this project. I've seen a few cob houses over here in Normandy and loved 'em! if I had to build a house from scratch and had the resources to call upon (The clay for instance) I'd love to have a crack at trying that. Looking forward to seeing more of this project as it develops.

    Bravo!
     
  20. milius2

    milius2 Maker

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    Thanks Bigbear! I hope so :D :D
    Biker, there is sometimes opportunities that comes up as you go. Let's say I had laid the foundation to the house without having the clay. I was hoping to find it in some suitable place where the machinery could easily pick it up and only by chance I found the freshly dug pond where this fantastic clay was up for taking and only needed to be delivered 30km. In other case I would have chosen a slightly different method with maybe less or no clay involved in the process. It is in any case thing you have to prep up for a few years and is not like going to store and buying up the chipboards... Talking about which, I move on to my most modern part of the build - the roof.

    I wanted a turf roof for this house. No matter what was going to go on the walls, a green roof was a thing I really wanted to do from the start, because I want to blend the house into environment as much as possible and I want it not to stand out in the landscape. So there is a few problems with the turf roof. One of them is: it is very heavy. So it takes a bit more solid construction than any other modern roof. Second: it is moist all the time, so it needs a good base and insulation from the wooden parts of the roof. One thing I noticed in some of the @natural buildings@ that I saw, they are too lazy and poor to make a good roof and then it starts leeking and water coming into building. A lot of this is due to lack of knowledge and poor choice in materials. I'm hoping to do this right and this is how it is done:

    [​IMG]


    We started by putting up the rafters, they are 16 inc apart, so the chipboards would fit on top nicely. They are also A framed at the top and more upright supports would be installed later on when the floor is finished for final strength of the heavy roof loads. When this job is done we always hang a "green crown" and have party to celebrate the @most of the job is done now@. We also sealed all the spaces between rafters and 2inch net is installed to protect mouse from getting into the roof.

    [​IMG]


    I will not go into a lot of details on how the fresh air should get into the roof and carry out any moisture, but once that is arrainged the chipboards goes up and gives the roof it's final strength. Now I got to admire the final shape of the building and to see the chimney out of the roof is great. I remembered an old cartoon where they showed siberia and arched chimneys and made on just like that, looks kinda funky :D :D

    [​IMG]

    Upstairs now have two rooms that makes one small and one large bedroom. This is the small bedroom with the ceiling at 1.9 meters high, cosy small space.




    [​IMG]


    Me looking down on you! :)

    If the weather is with us I should have the final layer of water insulation installed next week and that is going to be it for this season. Building will be ready to spend the winter and the turf is going to be put only when one more layer of insulation will be in place. It is no joke, it's better to make it right rather then just any way and then pull it all back!

    Cheers and see you soon!
     

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