Monday, 21 March 2011

more photos from the NEC

When I woke up this morning these photos were in my inbox - and as you can see it is pretty much finished! Well, as with all builds, it is the little fiddly bits that eat up the time and I know there will still be loads to do over the next few days but it is such a relief to see that the house is really taking shape.

This is the studio/office/utility/ground floor bedroom - which has a HUGE ensuite bathroom in the first floor. I think the solar panels are going on the roof.

I have been really worried about it being dark inside as some parts of the NEC are very gloomy. It seems that we might have a sunny patch though judging by the photo. I imagine it will still be dark even with all those windows.

In retrospect I should have asked for a four light window in the middle bay rather than the three light - as you climb the stairs it is a lovely feature (I have a four light version here at home)

But all in all our little eco house is looking fab - now I just have to pack 3 suitcases (one for me , one for each tiddler) make a cake, a cottage (he he he) pie (for mother in law who is coming to help out with childcare) pack the car (with all the props) print off about 50 photos, collect my dry cleaning and find some ribbon.............the list is getting shorter.

If I don't get chance to post before I leave, fear not I will be back next week with a show round up. Looking forward to meeting you all and getting my life back!!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

who wants to see a Border Oak house built inside a big shed - day one?

When you think about it, it is a very strange concept - a real , life sized house that has been built once, taken down, driven up the M5, unloaded and is now being built again in a big metal shed. But progress looks great so fingers crossed the house will be ready for next Thursday. Please say you will come and have a look........NEC National Homebuilding &Renovating Show Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (24th -27th March)

So these are the floor panels that we have made  - just for the show (we have to protect the floor). I have white oiled the ply - well not me actually doing the oiling itself you understand (plant based natural oil by OSMO and FSC timber of course) but the floor panels will make the ceiling heights a bit lower than in the 'real' house. These floor panels also help with the speed of the build.

 The oak frame is simple and sits in special box holes made in the floor panels - you can see the holes to the left.

 Can you see how much machinery we have to have for a little house - ridiculous really (and very expensive) but very safe and much quicker.

This is the kitchen oak frame - done in a couple of hours! 

 And these are the external walls going round - finished in oak cladding with  stainless steel fittings. The walls are prefabricated (insulated with eco recycled glass as well) in our workshop so again, its all pretty quick. Eat your heart out Germans!
Can you see the black sheathing at the bottom? We will have a brick plinth here with lime mortar - fabulous.

And from the other side. Due to time constraints we will leave some of the walls exposed internally like this rather than dryline it all.

I am hoping that I can get photos every day between now and next Wednesday ( I need them to see what I have to remember to take with me!) If you would like free tickets just call the office 01568 708 752.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

a sneak peak - more to show at the show

I am officially not very good at blogging, it has been so long since I gave you anything new to look at - but as an excuse we are all pretty busy at work getting ready for the NEC National Selfbuild Show (pretty busy = manic)
There is so much to do and so many things to remember. Building a whole house (and a brand spanking new never been built prototype house at that) in 5 days sounds so simple when you say it, but the reality is that it is a blimmin' crazy amount of work for everyone - but I think we will just about get it all together in the end.

One of my jobs is to sort out all the graphics, photos, portfolios etc and so last month I commissioned lots of new photographs. And one of the lovely projects was this gorgeous little barn. It may be small from the outside but seems so bright and spacious, surprisingly big too.
And if you fancy seeing more of this fabulous two bedroom, single storey oak framed barn you will have to come to the NEC  - call Border Oak for free tickets!

There is a Clearview Stove at the heart of this house - with an oven and hot plate too. We are having a Clearview Stove at the NEC showhouse too - we have worked with Clearview for more than 25 years and have one installed at the Border Oak office which heats the whole building using our own off cuts (ben and I have a CV here too - but he always forgets to bring me any wood.........)

I love the projection that gives the front an 'entrance' space - such a small addition that makes a huge difference to how the building functions

can you see the clever little stairs behind the kitchen? there is a bedroom in the vaulted space above the other bedroom and bathroom. It has open mullions to stop it feeling too enclosed. basically it is a 'bonus' room in the dead space which I think is a great way to stretch a small footprint

the main living room has a vaulted ceiling and so although the kitchen would be tiny if subdivided, the height of the room and the long vistas give a wonderful sense of space. The beautiful oak is wonderfully articulated in a space like this
lots of windows, a light stone floor, pale furnishings and the high ceilings  - all these make the space bright and airy. It would make an amazing holiday bolt hole -which is exactly what it is!