The first large building we’ve built on our land was the workshop. We decided to do this first so we’d have a large covered space in which we could build future buildings. The workshop is a roundwood timber frame with weather boarding on the sides. We used local stone (quarried from our land) for the stem wall and corraline roof sheets for a quick and effective roof.
After preparing a flat pad for the foundations (see landscaping works), we went on a trip to the woods to get some poles for the frame.
This particular parcel of woods had a stand of larch in need of thinning. So we were able to take the poles we needed as part of the long term woodland management. After felling the trees and dragging the poles out with winches, we peeled them and transported them on site. Peeling the bark off trees as soon as possible after felling is much more satisfying as the bark comes off in massive sappy slabs.
After laying out the site we built the stem wall from local stone and lime mortar. Unlike cement, lime can’t ‘go off’ in cold temperatures so we had to get it finished before the end of summer. As the saying goes ‘never lime in a month with an ‘r’ in it!!’ Errr… I think this photo was taken in September…. but we managed to get away with it.
The next summer we began framing. I really enjoyed learning how to mark up roundwood poles and learning to making mortice and tenon joints- but it does all take time when you’re learning on the job. Luckily Joe has quite a bit of experience in these matters and is pretty fast and extremely skilled at it! I can highly recommend this great cartoon which explains how to orientate roundwood logs for building here.
And then came the raising day…..once we had each separate frame assembled in place, we asked for some help from local friends to come and give us a lift. And kaboom… its up.