Good enough for winter

Since the weather is starting to cool down quite significantly in the UK it was a final rush to get the workshop weatherproof, or watertight if you prefer.

The cladding turned up about a week earlier than expected and it coincided with some good weather in the UK so I dropped pretty much everything in my life and cracked on with it.

This is what about £1000 worth of cladding looks like.

Putting up 3m lengths of cladding on the walls on my own was a bit tricky. I ended up utilising some 4×2 of various lengths to act like a second person helping me. It was slow going at first but once into the groove it worked out pretty well. The first “panel” that I clad…

… probably took me about 3 hours. By the time I got to the last panel it took me about 40 minutes. I always start anything new on this “hidden” side by the bushes so I can make all my mistakes well out of view.

I quite enjoyed doing around the windows…it was easy!

Doing the top bit of the cladding, above the oak beam, was a bit tricky. I had to cut angles on each side to tie in with the shape of the stud walls and the roof beam. I then had to climb up on my platform and pin them in. The very top ones were put in using a ladder. The only good thing about it was as the cladding got higher up the frame it was also lighter to carry.

When I first started this project I cut almost everything with a table saw. It’s safe, accurate and pretty easy. By the end I was a dab hand with my angle measuring thing above and a skill saw. Went so much faster and there’s so much more flexibility in the cuts one can make.

I looked into various garage door options. The one that stood out to me was Crocodile. They’re not the cheapest out there by a long way but they do seem to be the best. They sent somebody around to inspect the site. They sent another fella around to properly measure up and work out all the details and finally they sent out two fine fellas that did the installation. Fortunately we could mount the door on the back of the frame so we managed to get past the problem of my door not being quite square which is something I was worried about. The garage door fitters even pointed out why I’ve been having scuffing problems with the doors on my garage and told me how to fix it.

The end result…

Secure and water tight.

It’s still very much a work in progress. I need to add some fascia boards to the front and back. I need to add guttering down the sides and some downpipes into a soakaway. Need to fit a wood burning stove in there and also seal/paint the floor. Then I can start filling it with toys! But the happy point now is that I can sit back and wait for the weather to warm up before doing all that kind of stuff.

Midlands Ho!

Paul and I rocked down to the Midlands to celebrate Jason being a year older than us again for the next 7 or 8 months. The usual carnage took place. On the Saturday we had a lunch reservation for quite early, about 11.30 I think. So we were all up and about. We had a light breakfast. I settled into the best chair in the world with a superb view of the rolling countryside and started reading a bit of my book. Paul…in his inimitable fashion piped up “Is it too early for a glass of wine then?”

This was the result

The first ever proper Magic Monday

My daughter tends to finish college quite early on Mondays so we decided to start a new tradition. Inspired by the Salt and Pepper chicken balls that we both love so much from Nana Pat’s Chinese takeaway we now intend travel to our local Chinese on the lunchtime of the first Monday of every month. The first Monday arrived the other day. The first ever Magic Monday. Every month we intend to treat ourselves to Salt and Pepper Chicken Strips [ not as good as the balls from Nana’s chippy but still pretty good ] and a main course with noodles. The hope is to try a different dish every month but I’m pretty sure we’ll quickly revert to Crispy Chilli Chicken.

The first ever Magic Monday dish was Peking Chicken – and it was fantastic

Roof…we have a roof!

Given that it was starting to get cold and that the slates were working out incredibly expensive aaaaand I had six rolls of felt in my garage I decided to buy some OSB and felt my roof to get me through the winter.

Here it is with all the OSB up and the beginnings of a pretty bad bit of felting being done. Getting the OSB and felt up was very hard work and I couldn’t have accomplished it without the help of Oli.

After finishing the felting I took the waterproof membrane and started stapling it over the stud walls.

The next step was putting the windows in. The windows were bought off eBay for £70. I just chose the windows that were the cheapest and in roughly the size that I wanted then I built the stud walls to fit the windows.

This was about the time storm Ciaron made an appearance so I started running around the workshop and tacking fence panels up to protect the membrane. I also added some batons to the membrane up high in the triangle bits to keep everything intact. As I write this it’s all still in place and the cladding should arrive in 2-3 weeks to “finish” the outside.