Strawbale House

This blog is intended to chart our progress through the self-build process, from half-hearted plot-hunting through to completion of the build. The twist is that we're building the house from timber and straw (hence the blog title).

Click on the image at the end of each post to see that day's photos.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

January 12th - skirtings

A pretty wild day with steady rain driven against the front of the house by a strong southerly wind. I'd been wanting a day like this, as both the front door and the front patio doors have been letting a little water in, and I wanted to find the reason and fix it before finishing the flooring. The front door was easy. Mal cut a rebate at the bottom of the door when he was installing it, and all I had to do was to fit some stormseal foam (draught excluder) which acts as a gasket between the door and the bottom of the frame. This seemed to work a treat.
The patio doors are a different matter entirely. I'd already had a couple of half-hearted looks, and last night was struck by the horrible thought that perhaps the water was seeping through the reveal beside the patio doors from the straw, which would signify a pretty major leak in the roof and the catastrophic prospect of a wall full of sodden straw. To check this, I cut a hole in the reveal just above floor-level, where it will be hidden by the skirting. Behind the plasterboard, the structural timber was damp to about three inches above the floor. I then drilled a 40mm hole through the OSB, into the straw cavity, and pulled out a few strands. I was very relieved to find that these were absolutely bone-dry. I looked and looked, but still can't find the point of ingress. Melvin's back tomorrow, so maybe he'll have a brain-wave.
I spent the rest of the day cutting and fitting skirtings in the downstairs WC, the master bedroom and Hamish's bedroom. It's a bit frustrating, as the timber has cupped a bit, making accurate mitre-joints almost impossible. I suppose that's why MDF is so popular for skirtings, door-frames and the like.
Cutting the mitres for the angled reveals took a bit of guestimation, but they actually worked better than most of the right-angle corners for some reason.
No camera again today. I'm very glad Melvin's back tomorrow. Perhaps it's the long days working solo, but for the first time since the project started in June, I found myself this evening looking forward to it being finished. It could be the pressure of having an entry-date just two weeks hence, and no heating system yet!

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