Archive for July, 2009

Jul 27 2009

Laundry Chute is finished at last on the log house


At last one of our wacky ideas is finished and has been made compliant with the current building regulations.

laundry-chute-five Whilst a laundry chute might seem a simple enough idea, it does in theory provide an excellent route for a fire downstairs to spread into the upper floor.

laundry-chute-six So a fire retarding “flap” was required. We achieved this with 3/4 inch thick oak (made out of two pieces of surplus oak skirting) and then edged it with intumescent strip.

laundry-chute-seven-edge-strip This is a close up of the furry strip which melts and seals the edge for around 30 minutes in the event of extreme heat. It is commonly available from builders merchants in handy little packs of a few strips a couple of feet long.

Jul 25 2009

A riot of colour on the sedum roof


In early July the roof of the log house turned one of it’s more spectacular colours. Here it is, a riot of nature.

roof-sedum-3rd-july-2009-two It is fun to live in a house that changes colour! And the colour of the roof complements the log colour of the house too. In a months time this will all have dissappeared and a more yellowy flower will be the more dominant colour.

roof-sedum-3rd-july-2009 So far the roof has fared well. We had a first year inspection by the suppliers and apparently we have at least 95% coverage which is very good. Sometimes the take up of the sedum is patchier than this, particularly at the edges and between rolls. We have been able to supplement rainfall over the dry spring and early summer with the odd use of the irrigation system (see earlier blog entries) but overall it is in good health, with hardly any weed growth, which as we are in the middle of a field is good going.

Although light rainfall is readily absorbed by the sedum plants, we are still getting regular top ups into the rain water recovery system. Despite two months of hardly any rain, the tank only went down to about 50% full, including using it for watering in some plants around the house as the landscaping was commenced. Then of course we had the early rain in July which filled the rain water harvesting tank up again in one session of rain.

Jul 25 2009

Western Red Cedar siding on the bath


bathroom-bath-sides Apologies again for lack of action on the blog, but there has been lots going on including finishing the drive to the house, landscaping and fencing etc. Meanwhile, in the house we had some Western Red Cedar log siding left over from the internal wall work.  As it was 11 inches wide, two peices fitted just right to panel the bath sides.

Instead of using the normal internal treatment that came with the original kit from North America, we used three coats of yatch varnish as this will be something of a wet environment.

I thought it gave the bath a bit of a hot tub look to it and matched the inside log faces plus of course Western Red Cedar is great for damp situations, but others in the family thought it looked more like a coffin!

You can just see the short custom made shower screen which works well, folding back to the inside, because if it went outwards, it would drip on the floor and also risk being hit by the opening door.

But one oversite was to not think about handles on the bath. Apparently it is a no no to try to do it retrospectively as you may damage the enamel or invalidate it’s warranty. Does anyone out there know anyone who can do this sort of thing?  We could fit some handles to the tiled walls into the studwork, but we could really do with one on the top of the bath.