The roofers started work in mid November, and for the first week or so the weather was reasonable. Unfortunately, it soon turned bad and the lads decided to head south and wait it out. Eventually, the weather improved and back they came to finish the job.
The next challenge was to prepare the garage, ready for the installation of the doors. Before this could be done, the entire ceiling had to be protected against fire.
The steel beams across the centre of the garage were first fitted with timber studs, as shown here.
The beam was then covered with two layers of pink fire-grade plasterboard. The red frame is a “plasterboard lifter” – very useful tool which can lifts and hold in place a full size sheet of plasterboard (measuring 4ft x 8ft, and heavy) until it has been fully fixed.
Because of the exposed location, sliding doors, mounted on the inner face of the front wall, have been specified rather than the more common (and much cheaper) “up and over” type, which would easily catch the wind in winter.
Unfortunately, because the centre pillar contains a steel strut, it is deeper than the two side pillars, which therefore had to be brought back in line using timber studwork. The width of the side pillars was also increased by 100mm to give more room for the door tracks to be mounted.
When completed, the inner faces of the side pillars and the lintels over the doors will be rendered so they look exactly the same from outside as the rest of the external walls.
Once all of the vertical faces had been covered, the rest of the ceiling was similarly protected by installing timber battens below the concreted “beam and block” ceiling, fitting insulation between them and finally “plating” the ceiling with two overlapping layers of standard plasterboard.
Both of the garage doors are motorised and when opened, run up onto horizontal tracks suspended from the wall or ceiling. They are insulated and fully sealed against the weather!
From the outside – the black holes of the two garage door openings have been replaced with a much nicer white, which will blend away completely once the blockwork above it has been rendered (in white).
Pity about the scaffolding!
Having completed the front half of the garage to meet the door installation deadline, the back half can now be completed, with similar fire protection being needed for the soil pipe.
Most of the windows, which have been much delayed, are fitted in early February. The remainder will follow in March.
The house is ALMOST weathertight!
The inside face of the window frames is white, but the outside is a specially chosen shade of green!
The house in a mid-February 2012, complete with a light dusting of snow!
The chimney stack has been temporarily topped off with a cover to stop the rain from running down the flue and into the house. Eventually this will be replaced with a chimney pot and weather-cowl
Once the remaining windows have been fitted, a start will be made on cladding the (currently pink) gable end in larch, following which the blockwork can be rendered.
Outside, work still remains to be done on the drainage pipes and ground levels, the biggest part of which is to raise the access track by around 3 ft so that it is level with the garage floor.
Inside, the next priority is to fit the insulation so that the underfloor heating pipes can be installed and the floors screeded.