Sunday, 26 July 2009

Merlin of the purlins

It's Sunday evening, I'm tired, my brain has turned to mush, and my hands are playing up from a combination of arthritis, RSI and excessive use of a club hammer, which means I won't be typing much, and I'll be letting the pictures do most of the talking.

It was a glorious day today. This is the view down the valley from the top of our driveway.

I spent most of the weekend up scaffolding, hammering wire dogs and z-nails into the trusses. This is the view from my little perch. Nice, eh?

On Saturday Iain got the car stuck in the mud. Our neighbour Mike, who sold us the land, offered to pull us out with his quad bike...

...but the quad bike wasn't up to the job, so he had to use his tractor instead!

Driving home through a sea of sheep on Saturday

Iain, AKA 'Merlin of the purlins' attaches the first purlin on the southern side of the house.

Progress so far - a view of the house from the west

Thursday, 16 July 2009

In the pink

Last weekend Iain took a couple of days' leave and we spent four days on site, putting up the roof trusses.

Since the house is only 5 metres deep, the trusses aren't excessively heavy, but it still wasn't easy for a pair of wimps like us to get them into position on top of the wall framing. Strong winds on Sunday made the process even trickier, and we almost gave up at one point due to safety concerns, but after a cup of tea, a sit down and a bit of head scratching we managed to develop a system that allowed us to hold the trusses rock steady in even the strongest gusts while we were in the process of securing them.

The trusses are a rather fetching pink colour, thanks to the type of wood-preserving treatment they've been given. In most 'normal' house builds in New Zealand all the internal framing is this colour. Our wall frames, however, are green (a higher grade of treatment) because we knew they would be exposed to the weather for several months rather than the more usual couple of weeks.

Last weekend's work was really satisfying, because it was the first time in about six weeks that the house has looked different at the end of the weekend compared to the beginning. Once we'd got all the pieces of the frame up, it took an awfully long time to nail in all the hardware, get everything square and attach the ribbon plate, and there wasn't much to show for our efforts at the end of each day's work.

The current state of play is that all the roof trusses are up, and we're about one quarter of the way through attaching the purlins (the horizontal timbers that stabilise the trusses and will support the weight of the roof). Another two days' work should see the roof framing complete, and then we'll be able to move onto the verandah and deck. It's getting more exciting all the time!

This coming weekend we won't be doing any building work, partly because there's a severe weather alert, but mainly because Iain has got an assignment to do for the e-learning diploma he's currently studying for. I'm enjoying the build a lot, but I'm really looking forward to the prospect of a rare weekend off!

The roof trusses looking very pretty in pink

Iain taking a breather from securing one of the end trusses

Me enjoying a break from hammering and a short spell of sunshine

It's starting to look more like a house now the roof's on

Iain defying gravity to attach the purlins