Following on from last week’s post, construction of the bunkhouse moved on at speed with the erection of the polystyrene blocks. Once the blocks had risen above head height scaffolding was erected to provide a safe working platform and provided a new vantage point from which to take a few pictures.
The photo above right gives a good view of the polystyrene blocks and, in particular, the internal gap that is filled with concrete. Once the gable ends were up it was time to bite the bullet and pour some more concrete. Well, we thought concreting the floor had been stressful, but that turned out to have been a walk in the park compared to the walls! First of all we had to source a supplier with a boom pump as there was no way a concrete delivery pipe could be lifted up to the wall heads manually. The next problem was the volume of concrete being pumped into the walls. Unfortunately, some of the bricks proved themselves to be faulty; one second everything was hunky dory (although stress levels were running high) and the next bricks started bursting! Concrete pouring out of the higher levels of the gable walls was no laughing matter. I think at that point the already blue skies turned a deeper shade as stress and temper levels went into the stratosphere. I won’t bore you with all the details but the problem was eventually resolved and the concreting completed, although the whole process took far longer than it should have done!
The next step was to get the roof on, which involved another large vehicle with a crane to lift the roof trusses into place. At least this operation went smoothly!!!!
As I said in the last post, we are using polystyrene blocks to build our new Black Isle Berries Bunkhouse. It was interesting watching the process as one person can essentially construct the walls very quickly – it resembled a child building a lego house in some ways! Of course, it was more complex than that….. The first blocks were laid and the plumber had to lay out the various pipes that are needed for water and waste as a solid concrete floor was to be the next stage.
The guys all look very calm in the photo but the concrete pouring almost had a farcical element to it – at least five of them had to hold pipe pouring the concrete as it was so heavy and a lot of shouting ensued as they tried to manoeuvre the pipe to give even coverage across the floor area.
The shouting was worth it because they had a beautifully level floor by the end of the day! And the following day the wall building began in earnest. Within a few hours the base of the walls were up and progress was pretty rapid from then on. Once the blocks rose to above head height Arthur, who was doing the building, had his own ingenious method of gaining some height of his own and still being able to move around – stilts!
Once the rubble had been cleared away from the demolition of the old shed, the foundations for the bunkhouse were marked out using good old-fashioned tape measures and spray paint. The process did seem to generate a certain amount of stress, but then if this stage was done incorrectly the whole build would be wrong! These heightened stress levels continued as the foundation trenches were dug.
It wasn’t long before the concrete had been poured for the foundations and the building blocks had arrived. The bunkhouse is being built using polystyrene blocks, which will give us a highly insulated building. Hopefully this will reduce the heating costs!
We’ve had a farm shed not doing very much and decided to maximise its potential – a fancy way of saying we’re going to do something else with it! It has been demolished and a bunkhouse is going to be built, which will be an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts to stay. The Black Isle is well situated to access various parts of the Highlands whether is it is for walking, cycling, climbing, kayaking or whatever else takes your fancy!
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing the new building’s progress.