Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Back at work on the Cottage
Even though it has been a hot dry summer with regular temperatures in the thirties, we have been steadily at work on “Tenderbreak Cottage” (formerly our barn). Several helpers have helped us get the mud brick walls started and they are close to a metre high already.
Our latest helper is Andrea from Italy and he has helped us do one of the trickier parts of the retrofit, which is to strengthen the roof frame to make it strong enough to support a solar hot water system. This involved installing heavy duty beams to support the extra loading on the roof and bolting these into place.
The next step was to use recycled chipboard to make a temporary floor on top of the existing collar ties so that we had a stable working platform to walk on. Once this was in place we cut the extra rafters to size, installed them beside the existing ones and bolted them in place.
This job would have been quite difficult to do alone, and it was great to have an enthusiastic helper like Andrea. He was happy to help to lift the long timber beams and work in the reasonably confined space (which was quite hot up under the roof).
He cheerfully contributed his muscle power, helped work out methods to overcome problems that arose and made a good working companion. In fact he was so keen, that on his last day when we suggested we could take him for a drive and look at some of the local sights, Andrea said he would prefer to finish off the roof frame because as he said “when he starts a job, he likes to do a good job and finish it”.
Thanks to Andrea our little cottage has moved one step closer to completion!