Sunday, December 7, 2008

Roofing starts at last.

The roofers have started-- can you see the green metal bits? They haven't finished yet because the stucco guys have to do the cupola with three coats of stucco and let it dry (takes two weeks) before they can do the rest of the roof. Ben says it will only take them three days or so to finish the rest of the metal bits. They are also installing my early Christmas present-- the dragon weathervane too.
You can just see the top of the chimney. Ben did the rock work on that. It is stack rock-- copper colour (concrete fake, but looks quite good. Real rock is way too exspensive-- though we plan to put our collected, real, rock mountain (from the excavation work) as trim along the bottom of the house and as a decorative front on the fireplace inside.)

The kids watching-- waiting

The kids have really been good about the whole project which has involved a lot of sitting around on their part while we do various jobs. Here they are sitting in the window openings on the deck-- three floors off the ground. The other picture is Claire peeking through the roof scaffolding.

Installing Windows

The windows all went in on one day. It rained! The guys had to be both outside and inside to install them. They put in the paper to seal the bottom of the window sill, then lifted the window from the inside to someone outside and pulled it back in to fasten. complicated and scary-- really scary with the five big, 6x8 windows not shown here.


More work on the outside of the house-- the cupola goes up and they tar paper the roof. We are really liking how the outside of the house is shaping up and looking. It is scary to visualize stuff just on paper. I knew I would like the space to live in, but I was not sure about outside asthetics especially after we eliminated a window.

Ben finishing concrete on the front porch

Our multi talented builder, Ben can do great finish work on concrete too. Here he balances and puts brush strokes in the concrete so it is not slippery to walk on in the rain.

Cobbing the Wellhouse

The Kids went to England with David for nearly three weeks. I could not leave the building project, but everyone was homesick and Grandma helped with the tickets, so we decided the rest of the family should just go. I spent the two weeks cobbing the wellhouse. I had to come up with a unique reciept for our soil and see if I could make it work. This has worried me since doing the class two summers ago, but it was actually easy. We have a very strong clay soil and I ended up doing almost fifty percent clay to sand. I also figured out another trick. Our soil is very rocky. That translates to hard on bare feet cobbing (jumping up and down on the soil to mix it!) If you try to cob in boots or normal shoes-- the clay just clogs onto your boot and it gets impossible to lift your legs. But you can use diving boots-- they are slick with no tread to grab clay and they fit tight to your feet like second skin. I found that they protected my feet from small stones and made me warmer/dryer so I could work longer. I did six to eight hour days.
These cobbed walls must look rough to you non cobbers, but I was delighted with them. They look just as they should. The cob will dry over some months then eventually I will put an earthen plaster over it and paint it. It will not looked spotted with holes and shaggy with bits of straw then. You will not be able to tell it from a normal plastered building--- except for the hippy style windows and glass.