Sunday, 1 August 2010

Roof off

We thought it would be relatively easy to build, or rebuild the house. Easier than building a new one, obviously, ha! The walls are already in place after all, throw on a new roof and voila! A new house. 

First steps to removing the old roof - saving them tiles
Nikita, Petrica and Amançio getting
those oak beams out (which have been
there for over a hundred years).
Oh how wrong we have been. Lesson one: Listen to all those people who say that renovating a ruin is FAR more hassle and money than building new. There is, however, something to be said for using all that ancient stone-mastery that is embodied in the old walls, for avoiding new excavation and mountain-top wrecking to gather new materials.  

See what a mess they made??
 Nice old timbers we can reclaim though:)
The girls come for inspection...
I'm starting to get my head around all the different components, from the bottom-up as it were. And starting with the most basic elements first: Stone, wood, sand, earth.  (Months from now we will get into the techy stuff like electrics, heating, lighting, sewage and biogas, internal carpentry and so on). 

 There is so much to learn and know about, it's clearly not possible to specialise in them all. Either you have to chose to be a manager/designer or a builder, and if you're a builder you specialise in one of dozens of different fields. 

So much has happened since May, when we received our planning permission.  I take photos and watch the story unfold, roll up my sleeves and dig and lift and pull with everyone else. By the end of the day I find myself exhausted to the core, more so since sun sets later and it's intoxicatingly hot by midday, but everyday is different, and I am not tied to a desk, I am happy. And I'm learning. 

Saffy eyeing up old roof beams from the house. Most
of these are in fairly good condition, useful
framing material for something

Petrica, Ilie and Amançio levelling tops of the walls with limecrete
(1 part Hydraulic lime NHL5 to 2 parts sand). Well watered for a few days morning and night. 



João Soares said...

Welcome Magnus to my blog.
I saw you on rededlr.ning and it will be anniversary soon. Happy birthday.

Pleasance Faast said...

Most will agree that renovation could be more exhausting than building a new home. I see that you reuse the old tiles for your roof. That's great, as long as the tiles are still in great shape and could still bond with the roofing foundation.

Julio Wells said...

That's right, Pleasance! Re-using roof tiles is just wise. But bear in mind that not all 'those' tiles are reusable enough to re-cover the entire roofing. Discuss with your roofer which are salvageable and not.Julio Wells @

Chantay said...

How's the roof by now, Magnus? Concrete roof tiles do have a long lifespan, so it's absolutely fine to reuse. You may have to replace some, but as long as the installation is correct, it will bond with the roofing foundation.
Chantay Smithingell @