Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Jan 29 2009

Laundry Chute in the log house


laundry-chute.jpg This was something we had been planning for a long time. If we could, we would have engineered a dumb waiter! Nothing wrong with elements of Victorian design creeping into a contemporary house.

We cut a hole in the ceiling of the utility room so that small items of laundry could be passed down to a cupboard ready for wash day. Hooking it up so that it can be accessed on the landing at the top of the stairs was reasonably easy but did mean we had to steal some space from one of the bedrooms.

laundry-chute-one.jpg Firstly we cut a similar hole in the wall, and then lined it with some cut down architrave.

laundry-chute-two.jpg Then we prepared the back for a lining and a cover. More next week.

Jan 27 2009

Another small bath room on the go.


bathroom-en-suite-vanity-unit.jpg Here we have a single sink on a vanity unit base. We have to make templates for the work tops to be cut. At the back is the plywood to fix the tiles too. This is slotted so that log settlement is allowed for.

The little box in the corner was a neat way round the log dovetail that protrudes into the corner. It provides a little ledge for all those bathroom things that you want close to hand.

Jan 25 2009

Fitting out the bathrooms


bathroom-lights.jpg Well the lights are now up in the bathroooms, and we have got the tiling done and the bath in. Not so many entries at the moment as the detail work takes much longer than the earlier “first fix” type activities. Lots of head scratching and deciding exactly how we want things.

bathroom-tile-layout.jpg It takes a lot of planning to get tiling looking as if it has been planned rather than put on after the event. In a perfect world you make sure the length of your tile runs match the size of the tiles you are using. Laying your tiles out before hand can help decide which patterned tile goes where and makes sure you don’t get any nasty surprises when the tiling is finished.

bathroom-sink-wall-tiling.jpg With this tiling behind a vanity unit which is supporting two sinks we were able to adjust the studs in the wall to take two cupboards that will be set into the wall, and site over the two sinks. The vanity unit is made on site and therefore can be made to suit the tiles. The cupboards are also being made to suit so we should end up with a nice symmetrical layout when it is all finished.

 bathroom-tile-layout-on-bath.jpg We tried to make the layout of the picture tiles on the bathroom wall irregular, but couldn’t get it to look right so went for three lines. It’s a bit boring, but sometimes you can’t get everything how you imagine it can be.

Jan 14 2009

Door Detail inside the log house


The painfully slow bit continues, with all the detail work taking forever. However, when some of these bits get finished, you do feel you have got to a definite point, rather like a milestone!

door-bedroom.jpg Here is our first oak door in place with handle and catch, architrave and skirting. Yes one room pretty much complete, only 5 more on this floor to go!

Dec 22 2008

Electrical Wall Sockets and Switches


 electrical-wall-switch-6-way.jpgWith walls finished with either varnish on the wood or paint on the stud walls, we are ready to start putting in the electrical sockets. We have used Hamilton sockts on the house as they were able to make some specials for us like this 6 way light switch including dimmer.

Dec 18 2008

Lots of sanding in the log house


wall-sanding.jpg The inside of the house has to be sanded. We found this hand sander ideal. But there are acres and acres of wood to do, the dust is fine, and not popular. Wearing a mask is essential, and Western Red Cedar dust is a particularly aggressive irritant. A light sand with a hand block is also required between coats.

Dec 16 2008

A bit of a push


site-7th-december-2008.jpg As Christmas approaches, extra input is drafted in to get the house nearer to completion. On a crips winters day we have a bricklayer preparing the paving outside the house, two carpenters (well there is a lot of wood in a house like this) a dry liner to do the walls, the floor installers, and later on the electrician come in too.

Dec 14 2008

Bathroom shower tips


Here is a little tip from our consultant builder that can be used on any house with a tiled in shower.

IF the shower outlet behind the tiles ever leaked the water would fill the stud wall first before there was any sign of the leak on the outside.

bathroom-shower-outlet.jpg So to act as an early warning device, simply set a piece of plastic tube around the shower outlet in the wall, using silicone to secure it against the base of the shower outlet.

bathroom-shower-outlet-two.jpg  Carefully tile around the pipe, then trim it back close to the tiles, connect the shower pipework to the outlet (a threaded joint that can spring a leak, hence the cunning trick) and if there ever is a leak, you will see it as a small drip from the end of this tube, which is trimmed back after tiling so that it is behind the finishing plate for the shower outlet.

Dec 10 2008

Laying the floor at last


At last, with the floor leveled with latex and marked out to show where the underfloor pipes are, it is time to lay the floor. 

floor-wood-acclimatising.jpg The wood is acclimatised in the house for a fortnight, preferably in the room it is going to be used in. With the underfloor heating on, this enables the pre dried floor to get used to the envirionment it will be in. Two days prior to laying the floor, the underfloor heating is turned off, and after the flooring is done, is very gradually warmed up again over 2-3 weeks so that the wood warms up very slowly.

With our 18mm solid oak “budget price” flooring, we are generally “secret nailing” and where this cannot be done because we are too close to a wall or passing over an underfloor heating water pipe, special glue is used.

floor-nailing-tool-and-hammer.jpg The nailing “machine” is rather like a giant stapler. It puts nails in at an angle of 45 degreees on the “tongue” side of the “tongue and groove” interlocking flooring. By putting the nails in here, you just push the next piece of flooring on to the tongue and the nail you have just put in becomes invisible, or as they say, “secret”.

floor-nailing-nails.jpg The nailing machine uses barbed nails which are feed into the machine on a strip. This strip is made by gluing the nails together with a flexible glue. They are sliced off the strip like stapes in a stapler.

floor-glueing.jpg Where we cannot nail, a special flexible glue is used.

floor-glueing-gun-and-sausage-refill.jpg This comes in a fat sausage and needs a special gun to apply it. How much glue you use depends on whether you have any uneveness in the floor, as the glue is also used to take up any gaps. Just like the tiled areas, the wood floor must be protected using a cardboard underlay and hardboard on top, held together with rolls and rolls of duct tape. It is certainly one of those moments when the house seems to be progressing as the site of the floor having been laid is encouraging for flagging enthusiasm.

Dec 6 2008

Time to put down the wood floor in the log house


underfloor-heating-spare-bedroom-2.jpg To get a level floor we have applied a latex leveling compound to the floor. This tends to cover the cut outs in the joists where the underfloor heating pipes travel across them so first of all we took digital pictures of all the pipes in all the rooms.

 underfloor-heating-spare-bedroom-2-with-screed.jpg Then we have made simple drawings with dimensions of the cut outs prior to latexing, and then used these to mark up the floor on the latex to show where we must not put nails!

 floor-marking-for-latex.jpg The floor nails using the secret nailing method will go in at about 45 degrees so you have to allow for the horizontal travel when looking at where to put a nail in.

floor-marking-for-floor-laying.jpg As an extra precaution as the position of the joist can sometimes be concealed, we have drawn lines with the felt marker to show where the joists are too. After all, if we went through a pipe it would be a major job to repair the pipe.