Sunday, May 9, 2010

i hereby RENDER thee hopeless

Here is our answer to the render question "how shalt thou render?"

We experimented with different recipes and here's what we've come up with. We are using the concrete mixer for mixing.

External render of overall thickness average 50mm.
Coat 1 - Levelling coat- Earth render.
1/2 bucket Clay.
1 bucket Sand (high clay content).
15 handful (deepti size hands) of finely chopped straw particles.
water to suit required gooeyness.

Coat 2 - Middle Coat - Lime Render
1 bucket lime putty / lime waste
3 buckets Sand
water to suit required gooeyness

Coat 3 - Final Coat - Lime Render
1 bucket lime putty
3 buckets White Sand
water to suit required gooeyness
Lime wash to final external walls.
(Christian wants to add one more coat externally - a 'coat 2a' between coats 2 and 3. Still undergoing discussion.)

Internal render of overall average thickness 50mm.

Coat 1 - levelling coat
1 bucket lime waste
1 bucket Sand
1/10th bucket lime putty
water to suit required gooeyness

Coats 2 and 3 - middle and final coats
1 bucket lime putty
3 buckets sand
water to suit required gooeyness

Lime Wash to final internal walls.

random glimpses at night

A few photos from last night....
The first coat of render is on the back wall (south wall). Massive thanks to Helmuth and Eugenie who helped us all afternoon yesterday. They are building their straw bale passive solar home(s) in Lathlain - check them out at their website

Monday, May 3, 2010

of hailstorms, wet straw, roofs and reluctant fathers...

A lot has happened since the last post.

My apologies for the long pause – we were a little busy :-) as you will see...
First the bad news – On 22nd March, Perth was hit by a massive storm. Hailstones the size of tennis balls, Horizontal rain, Winds reaching speeds of 120kmph in some of the northern suburbs….

The forecast was for heavy rains – so we closed everything up – tarp over the few straw walls already built, and the extra bales bought were all undercover and safe – or so we thought!

The rain drenched everything – it managed to flood the ground floor and wet our stacks of about 150 bales. Drying them out did not work, and we were forced to abandon the whole lot. Half of it is mulching away slowly on our building site, and we are trying to convince friends to take the rest to use as mulch. A note for anyone building a straw house – wet straw bales smell putrid!

We are now starting again, and this time we are only getting stacks of 40 or 80. Our farmer Alan has kindly offered to store all the bales we need in his covered shed on his farm, and deliver every couple of weeks. This system seems to be working well – however we will need to render externally as soon as possible to avoid further damage during the winter.

Meanwhile, the roof has been progressing slowly. We now have all the roof panels up. Gutters, flashings, and the ridge flashing remains. We also snuck in the hot water system – now we have running hot water – which is a treat!

So here are some photos of our slow-ish (and sometimes not so steady) progress. I took these photos on Sunday night (3 May) - we still cannot get over how fantastic the view is, and how well framed the views are – towards the city, and towards the ocean! Double – View…..get it?

hot water system, and the roof joint without the flashing

The mezzanine - also the living room. Our mates are now threatening to sleep over and never leave!

good ol surfmist reflecting in the sunset...

'the den'
view towards the ocean
standing in the kitchen and looking up at the mezzanine...

christian and ansgar removing the gutter and re-installing it late on sunday night...
all 'tarped' up
the reflections from the cars and trees on scarborough beach road leave sexy patterns on the mezzanine ceiling...

Deepti's dad attempts his first bale. His BIC (Bale Installation Count) is now two and a half. He concluded that he prefers supervising to doing actual work. We will convince him to improve on his BIC on his next visit.