West Gable

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

It's a windy sunny day and I'm out of jobs to do on windy days so it seems like a good time for an update.

In my last update I'd just put up the centre stud for the west gable. Since then I've done the rest of the studs, the dwangs (noggins) between them and most of the OSB3 sheathing over them.

That picture is as it was on Tuesday. Wednesday was a pretty nice day, though a little breezy, but I really didn't feel like working on the house so I had a trip to Inverness to get the shiny membrane to cover the gables. Thursday and Friday were breezier so I spent the afternoons sanding I beams to go in the other gable. Yesterday (Saturday) was wet and very windy. Today is windy enough that even sanding another I beam would be tricky and anyway I'm running out of places to put the sanded ones. Putting them back in the stack of unsanded ones would be a lot of work as access is awkward now I've blocked up the gable end and they're trapped to the south of the main posts in the house.

The top two sheets can definitely wait for a very calm day. My scaffold tower is designed to work in one metre increments (obviously you can tweak the level of the top platform a bit as well) with the highest level being 7 metres. That's assuming a 2 metre reach above the top platform at 5 metres with the top of the handrails at 6 metres. I'm fairly comfortable with it in 6 metre mode, though pretty cautious about handling anything large with any significant breeze, but the last extra metre makes it a bit more wobbly and me a bit more nervous even though I know it's actually robust enough.

Here it is earlier in the month while I was adding some OSB packing to the rafters to bring things into a reasonable approximation to a flat plane, actually with the top platform at 4.75 m above the ground - one rung down from the highest possible. As you can see I've tied it off with a blue strap to the studs, something which won't be possible now the sheathing is on:

The packing was needed because I'd not quite got the end two rafters lined up with the positions of the studs dictated by the ring and tie beams between the main posts. Plan A had been to drop a plumb bob from the end of the ridge beam to the ring beam but i) wind and ii) scaffolding in the way. In retrospect, I should have taken more care to get the absolute position of the rafters right where they attach to the purlins rather than concentrate on their relative positions to the neighbouring rafters. Oh well, at least I know the rafter positions at the east end are right at the purlin level as i) they're on the ends of the purlins so there's not much opportunity to get it wrong and ii) I've checked the measurements since. That took me a couple of days to work out exactly what the problem was and how to solve it.

So that's why things take a long time working on your own on an exposed site. Next time I build a house on an exposed site it won't be quite so tall ;-).

The inside's beginning to look a bit more cosy, though:

The doorway looks ridiculously high. That's because there's another 145 mm of joists and 22 mm of floor deck plus whatever finish floor I decide on to go below the door. It's also just short of 1.2 metres wide and will be a bit narrower once it's trimmed out but that can wait for me to decide what sort of door exactly is going there. It'll use most of that width, though, as building regulations require at least one door to have an 800 mm clear opening plus the timber round the sides.