A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell
Monday 15th September 2014
(published/edited Tuesday 14th October 2014)

The only way is up

With the fine weather we've been having, the block work has been going up fast.

There has been a very nice run of sunny, dry weather in recent weeks, so the builders have been making the most of it and getting as many blocks laid as possible.

It's still quite a fiddley process in some places - having to deal with non right-angle corner joints... having to integrate concrete and steel lintels... struggling a bit with the glass fibre wall ties on the odd occasion... and having to block around the vertical steels which are in place - but the rear of the house is the simplest and is almost at full height now. There are no windows along the back and only two internal walls to work into the courses, so that is by far the simplest side of the house.

Door and window openings

Some of the door and window openings in the house now have lintels above them too. The internal doorways use a concrete lintel - which are made from a very dense and hard concrete and are massively heavy. These had to be manually lifted and positioned on top of the block work walls and mortared into place.

The windows have a galvanised steel lintel, which is shaped so that any water, which might get into the wall cavity and run down, is directed towards the outer wall and out of the house.

With these lintels in place, it makes it so much easier to imagine how the internal layout of the house will feel when complete. And having the lintels over the windows, I can now appreciate the size of the windows too. They already feel a lot bigger than I imagined - even with having the drawings in mind for a few years.

Elbow room

One of the things I seem to struggle with in recent times - some find it amusing! - is I'm continually knocking my elbows on door frames and things I walk passed! Maybe I'm just walking funny these days. Apparently a circular "Hobbit" style door might the way to go! But on this subject, there is enough height to the en-suite shower cubicle block work, to get a great feel for the finished size.

I was slightly concerned that it might not feel any larger than a standard shower, but I can now confirm that the 900 x 1000mm dimensions are quite confortable. Obvisouly some of this will be lost once the plaster and tiling is in place, but generally speaking it seems like a decent size.

Hopefully my elbows will appreciate it.

Next entry: Going window shopping (Monday 22nd September 2014)

Previous entry: One steel, two steels, three steels… (Wednesday 10th September 2014)

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