A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell
Wednesday 3rd December 2014
(published/edited Monday 2nd February 2015)

Internal structural woodwork

Some of the internal woodwork has begun, in preparation for the flooring to be built up

Now that we're esssentially waterproof on the roof - with the help of lots of plastic sheeting being weighed down by scaffolding boards and offcuts of plywood to prevent the wind blowing the whole lot away in the night - the structural woodwork has begun inside the house. Before the flooring insulation and underfloor heating can be laid, the partition walls have to be built.

Nearly all the interior walls of the house are constructed from concrete blocks, but there are a couple of timber stud walls:

  • between the main bathroom and the second bedroom/office.
  • between the third bedroom and hallway.

Bathroom / second bedroom

The bathroom wall has been designed in this way, due to the expansion joint we have running vertically, the full height of the house through the external wall, right where these two rooms meet. This is due to the way the house shares the foundation with the retaining wall at the rear, which is holding back the land/road behind the plot. There is a need to make sure things can shift slightly over time, and this expansion joint will prevent any cracks appearing the main structure.

Now that this wall is in place, and the bathroom and second bedroom have their definied boundaries, it's nice to see all the rooms in their actual sizes. No more guesswork needed! However, I'm slightly concerned that the main bathroom is a bit too small and in hindsight think we should have taken another foot or so of space from the bedroom. It's still difficult to tell for sure though, as things have been visually expanding and shrinking all thoughout this project.

Third bedroom / hallway

The other timber partition wall is there because we've requested a double cupboard in the hallway (for coats, shoes, umbrellas, etc) and so it made more sense to build that whole length of wall from timber rather than concrete blocks. This will also integrate with the small built-in wardrobe in the third bedroom.

Ceiling profile

Also as part of the interior carpentry, the ceiling profile in the front of the house has been taking shape.

I always thought the ceiling would just rise up from the lower height in the centre of the house, to the highest point at the outer walls, where it would form a sharp point in the corner. But some short horizontal lengths of timber have been attached to the trusses to meet the outer wall. So now I can see the ceiling will have a small flat section at the highest point - don't ask me why - but I can see it will be useful for running cables along that section when it comes to first-fix wiring.

Next entry: Fitting the windows and french doors (Thursday 4th December 2014)

Previous entry: Getting the roof watertight (Wednesday 3rd December 2014)

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