Archive for February, 2009

Feb 27 2009

Kitchen ahoy


 kitchen-in-construction.jpg Another “milestone” event in the house construction is the commencement of work on the kitchen. We started on the utility room which has a number of conventional kitchen units in it, and then “progressed” to the kitchen. This has an island unit for the hob and we have varied the levels because the ergonomic rule book suggests that worktops, sinks and hobs should all be at different heights!

More pictures as the work progresses!

Feb 23 2009

A Larder in the log house


larder-sliding-door.jpg As our house was limited in the size it could be due to planning constrictions, we “invested” some space in a larder. To minimize it’s impact in the limited kitchen space a sliding door was designed.

larder-sliding-door-close-up.jpg A simple “off the shelf” framework is supplied which is fitted to the stud wall to carry the sliding door. The log siding was fitted to the studwork on the outside, the sliding door fitted, and then the back of the stud wall finished off.

larder-sliding-door-in-place.jpg For the larder we have finished the walls with plywood and white paint. Internal shelving is on spur shelving from the Screwfix catalogue, and we are making the shelves from some surplus joist material for a rustic wooden look.

Feb 23 2009

Eco Paint for the eco log house


We tried hard to find some more natural based eco friendly paints for the house and stumbled upon Auro. Their products had good reviews and we bought some white emulsion for the walls.

paint-for-walls-by-auro.jpg The Auro 320 Emulsion wasn’t very good on a traditional plasterboard finish so we used the 321 which is thicker. To follow up an artisitic leaning we also tried some sponge colour washes with pigments and glaze on top of the white base coat. This is one behind the tubs.

Auro have a good web site with details of local stockists or you can buy direct from them at

Feb 21 2009

More on the laundry chute


laundry-chute-in-utility-room.jpg The wall cabinets are now in the utility room, and the laundry chute exit to terra firma has been worked in around them. The chute continues through the ceiling downwards behind the back of one of the wall units, so that laundry can fall into a basket which will sit on the worktop. This leaves about a 6″ shelf space in the cupboard carcass that can be used as a cupboard for spare light bulbs and things like that! We have also made a cover in MDF to cover the chute above the wall unit which has gone off to the spray shop with the vanity units for the bathrooms etc.

Feb 19 2009

Lightening Conductor Questions


lightening.jpg We have had lots of questions about the lightening conductor from other self builders and this does seem to be a poorly supported area of information. We have discussed this with the nice man who gave us some free advice over the phone, and he is happy for us to pass on his contact details. He is Daniel Turner at or e-mail

lightening-conductor-south-finished.jpg He gave us advice on the number of conductors to have, (which depends on the soil around your house) the size of the copper “wire” etc. We made the conductor design ourselves. You can see more earlier entries about our lightening conductors in the LOG HOUSE CONSTRUCTION tab on this blog.

Feb 6 2009

More sink details on the log house


wc-sink-and-tap.jpg This was another one of those things that we found on the way over the last few years whilst anticipating the construction of our house. Firstly, we saw a shorter version of this “waterfall” tap in a Hansa show room in Germany about 3 years ago. We found this on the web in the UK about a  year ago, and bought one for about £350. If you find something you both like , you don’t hang about until one of you changes your mind!

Then we saw the sink, and managed to get the last one they had. We thought the tap and sink would go well together, until we tried them. Clearly the sink is designed to sit on a work top, but our shorter version of the waterfall tap is designed to fit on a more conventional sink with a single tap hole. What to do?

We considered putting the tap on a raised section of work top so that it was high enough to get water into the sink. But it would still have been dropping the water close to the edge. So we saw this taller tap for half the price a few months ago and thought this would solve the problem.

Prices of “designer items” always fall with time as the design is copied by the volume “non branded” manufacturers. However the quality usually falls with price, and certainly this was the case here. The cheaper tap is half the weight as it uses hollow tube instead of a solid brass body for example. The cheaper tap didn’t come with any waste or plug whereas the more expensive one had it’s own pop up waste. so we got a plug you  push to close and push to open, a bit like the “touch” action of some waste bins.But the action of the single level tap is not as good. However, water comes out ok!

However, even this taller tap did not solve the problem of delivering the water to somewhere near the centre of the sink. Eventually we came up with the idea of dropping the sink to just above worktop level to make the tap issue work. But we still wanted to make the sink a feature, so we cut the sink into the worktop but made a flat front so that a slice of the sink will be exposed.

Having managed to work out a plan of how to marry the two up, we had to make a base unit from MDF (not very eco material I am afraid) and plumb up the tap to make sure the water goes where we want it.

 wc-sink.jpg The “top” is a template for the people making the worktops to cut to.The front of the unit will be faced with hardwood and a pair of kitchen sort of doors fitted. More on this in a few weeks when the unit has been sprayed (along with all the others) and the doors and tops have come and we can start the final installation of these bits.

Feb 5 2009

Snow Fall on Sedum Roof


The UK is hit by a week of snow and the insulation value of the sedum roof on the log house is demonstrated by the duration of the snow on the sedum. It is still there when the snow on neighbouring properties has melted off days before.

sedum-roof-with-snow-feb-09.jpg Here the taller sedums poke up through the melting snow blanket. The log house really does start to look like it would in it’s homeland in North America where the wood came from.

Feb 3 2009

More on the laundry chute


laundry-chute-four.jpg So now we have the back wall of the laundry chute in place, sloping down to the floor. On the left is the “cover” which fits like this……

laundry-chute-three.jpg To get some utility in the room we will put some skirting material around the top to create a place to put things by the door.