Not so much a blog as a weather report! Lots of fog, freezing the air and the ground, weakening the already weak sunshine. Creating a big fat inversion layer above Loch Lomond but allowing the grandeur of the mountains to rise above.

More news next time, we're just catching up with life and activities disrupted by the winter weather and preparing for the next lot. The fire's lit, we're warm and we're getting ready for Christmas. Best wishes.

Brochure management..!

Now we're on a mission to make sure we're ahead of the game on 'client supply items', we're starting to get rid of the accumulation of brochures as we actually bite the bullet and start buying stuff!
So far we've bought the sanitaryware for the three bathrooms, external insulaton system, chosen the wood stove and heat pump, and ordered and fitted all windows and doors - all of which we separated from the main build contract to retain maximum freedom of choice. Today our fridge freezer was delivered (Liebherr A+ rated) marking the first delivery of kitchen items.
The focus now is on the overall kitchen as Debs mentioned in her last blog, with Magnet and John Lewis very much in the running and we should have costed designs from both by the end of this week.
With regard to the overall build program, the joiners we're back last Friday fitting the internal airtightness/vapour membrane and tomorrow we should have a full crew including the slaters who probably have around two weeks of work to do in order to complete the roof. That said, we have snow and gales forecast tonight which might make roofing work a little tricky in the morning!

Not quite wind and watertight after Christmas...!

On our return from Christmas with family down south it was clear that the house had taken some battering during the short festive break. The area and our exposed site had been hit by severe gales on Boxing Day, resulting in significant areas of roof and wall breather membrane being literally torn off.
This was probably no big surprise with regard to the wall, as the breather membrane is simply stapled to the Pavatherm boards which don't have much hold being a lightly compressed wood fibe board.
The roof membrane was a different matter however, this being fixed down temporarily with 3"x 2" battens nailed every couple of feet. Despite being mechanically trapped by the batten and spiked with nails, this was simply not enough to avoid being torn from beneath the battens to expose the sarking board again, by now drying out and shrinking to reveal the (intended) ventilation gaps between the butt joints. As a result, the inside of the house is soaked again!
I left a message with our joiner to let him know, who dutifully showed up a couple of hours later in the middle of his holidays to fix the damage in the dark just in time before the next downpour!

One Week On

Can't believe we haven't posted anything since last Tuesday....however its because so much has been happening on site. Aside from that we're very busy at home and work.

Saturday late afternoon we had our first snow of the year and there was a fair blizzard that evening. As usual at this elevation it thawed rapidly on the ground but the hills look fabulous. We have beautiful pink skies this morning - ideal for the slating to start today. Since last Monday the whole roof has been sheeted with sarking board, most of the windows are in place, the site has been tidied up, some scaffolding taken away, decisions on finer design detail made.

We had very wild weather and the joiners were on the roof a lot - it was so windy, wet and cold last week which was not pleasant at all.

Here's a few photos.............more news later.

Up on the Roof

Since last week's blog progress has been slow but steady. The roof is quite involved and various references have been made back to the timber frame manufacturer and the strucural engineer during the course of the week. To an extent it appears to be over-engineered (but I'm only a surveyor!) We employed a structural engineer to undertake much of the design as this was meant to save time with the timber frame manufacturer; I'm not sure this has been achieved and certainly the cost seems to be a good chunk higher. If we did this again we would handle this aspect differently but 'it is what it is'. The gloom of some dreich November days don't help and I'm beginning to hate the small cold caravan bathroom!!

On the plus side - the house is looking fabulous, we love the creation of the structure and its a pleasure to show people around. Our ever professional builder has put 3 additional joiners on site today to help get the roof structure finished. The first delivery of windows arrived last Friday and we bought the majority of the contents of the 3 bathrooms last week. The pavatherm external insulation is late but hopefully on its way, we've been chasing that delivery today. There's always something to do, as well as the day job which pays the bills. Last week we received the first interim certificate and invoice.

The photos were taken on Friday 23rd, illustrating the late Autumn sunshine at 8.30am; good light levels falling on the east elevation of the house (top photo). It was still below freezing as we'd had -4degC that night; but the views are glorious. The piccie above right is of the dining area, with its 3.5m ceiling height and lovely big window and door openings. The photo below is the view from this room to the north/northwest.

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