Monday, 20 October 2014

Grappling with the garden.

So our on-going fight with the roof continues and will probably go on for months. There is just the 2 of us doing the job and Dave works full time, so it seems to take ages to do anything. But around that job we also are grappling with the garden and trying to sort out the levels so that we don't have any problem with the water and unusual ponds in the garden this winter.

After having lots of discussions with the Mairie, they have provided soil for us to raise the garden levels up so that it is higher than the road and we can block off the water coming over from the lavoir. So far we are 2 large lorry loads in and still needing more. Due to not having our own mini digger (who has?) we have done this the old fashioned way with brute force and lots of digging and raking. This is how it's going.

Please excuse the weeds, it was something in the soil that arrived, we will weed kill them before we grass seed.

So now this is done we just have to dig out the old tree stump and get some more soil to fill in the last section before we can grass seed it all. We have built a raised flower bed in front of the hedge with a rock edging to block water out from the lavoir. The ground was nearly 2 ft lower before we did this. At the end of the photo above you can see the chickens helping with searching for grubs in the old tree stump.

Slowly we are getting there, we have already done 2 large sections of the garden, before we even started this. Its a huge change. this is what it has looked like in the past.

So hopefully I can soon show you a photo of the finished article, we are so close to finishing this now.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Beams, roofs and mud.

We have been doing a number of projects recently and have out of necessity had to go from one to the other and back again.

Our back barn roof was always going to be one of our scarier projects. The roof used to be connected to the rear wall but fell down many years ago, long before we got the house. There used to be a tree growing where the roof should be and the beams and rafters have been open to the elements for many years getting rain and weather damaged. 

This is where a roof should have been.

The  Roof should have been joined to this wall.
But after a couple of years when we have been concentrating on the house and getting that water tight the roof on the barn is now in a  sorry state. We have done the front half up until the point of tiling. But we are worried (or rather Dave is) about putting the tiles on before we have shored up the back of the barn. So the front half of the barn has been re-chevroned (new rafters) and re-voliged (re-wooded) and has had a waterproof membrane put down for the moment while we attempt to concentrate on the back.

The front half of the barn with new wood on.

All re-wooded :)

The over long chevrons will be cut back when we have finished.

Membranes down.

The rotten end of a beam at the back of the house

These are holding the back of the roof up-.

End of this beam is slightly dead.

preparing to put the new beam in.

You can see the front half of the barn roof, all re-chevroned and voliged, and the collapsed back section being shored up.

One new beam and Support in place under the main upright. Ignore the roof edge, that still needs doing

So this main beam is in 3 more to go and a bastaing (roof end supporting beams that the rafters sit on). So the job has started, can we finish before winter? 

Ok the title on here says Beams, roofs and mud. The mud bit will now be carried into our next blog, don't want you all getting too bored do we.