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Posts Tagged ‘Construction and Maintenance’

We have battled many things this summer! Our biggest challenge has been the weather. In spring we had so much rain, later on we had a small drought and for the past week nothing but rain. All of this wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if we had built our roof first. I am making note for our next house!

A lot has happened since the last post. We finally finished the cellar!! It has been a very long process. We dug it all out by hand with a pick-ax, shovel and buckets! I am very excited to finally be done with it!

China anyone?

Our cellar idea is completely experimental. Since the hole we were digging was solid clay we thought about leaving it and just building a roof but then we started thinking about using cob. Why not? We are young enough to try out new ideas. Thinking (hard) turned into doing! We started collecting tons (literally) of stone, started mixing cob, and then started building up the walls.

We started adding shelves

The walls are narrower at the bottom and slowly widen out as they get higher. We thought that it would make the hole more structurally sound. We also wet the clay walls down and tried to meld the cob with the clay wall. It may not stick but who knows. Redundancy! Redundancy! Redundancy!

More Shelves!

Interesting view of the cellar

Last shelf in

We finished building up the walls and started cutting down trees. Building the roof was pretty easy. Nothing compared to the roof design I am working on now and the work it will take to finish the first floor on the cob house!

Alexor pre-drilling holes

We secured the roof of the cellar by notching the wood, screwing it together, and then cobbing all around the side of the locust posts.

finishing touches

After covering the larger posts with chicken wire we filled in the gaps with smaller posts and then started cobbing over the roof. We also leveled out the floor surrounding the cellar and filled it in with rocks.

Need more rocks!

After we finished pouring our rock floor we then started our first layer of earthen floor!

How many tons of rocks?

Finally!

It seemed like this day would never come! Digging a hole isn’t as much fun as cobbing but it is completely worth it! Food (wine) storage is just as important as having a home!  🙂

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Today Alexor and I started cleaning up the site a bit. Before we got to work we took a leisurely walk down to the creek. It was the perfect weather to work. There was a slight drizzle all day, with a cool breeze, that allowed us to work harder without evidence. It was entirely too beautiful. The lighting was perfect, not too sunny, not too dark, and the birds were singing to us. We had a perfect “first day”.

The waterfall

This is my favorite spot along the creek. Right under that big rock in the middle is a nice little water hole about 4ft deep that I know will come in handy when summer finally reaches the valley. I can imagine just laying in the cool water after a hard days work in the hot sun.

We tore down one of the cabin walls!

After our walk, we got right to work. We tore down one of the cabin walls and carried all of the heavy beams to a pile. Some of the beams may be too weathered to use for construction but I am sure we will find some use for them.

The pile

We cleared out all of the wood and beams that were piled up in the foundation. Here is a before and after picture.

Before

After

After that we started cleaning around the rock wall. We removed some wood beams and a big black plastic tarp. We were lucky it wasn’t too hot or there might have been snakes under the tarp! We ran into a big black snake that was just hanging out in the tree next to the front of the house yesterday. Today we were moving some of the tin in the metal pile and we ran into him and a baby black snake with a yellow ring around the back of his head.

We decided that we needed a dry place to store tools and salvaged wood. Alexor removed all the nails from the wood and I organized the pile on the porch.

Porch

Today we also worked on cleaning up the small room that used to be the old kitchen.

The old kitchen

By the time we had finished cleaning out the kitchen it was 6pm and we were absolutely exhausted.

Day 1

 Pretty good for a days work 🙂

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