First Coat of Plaster is on!

This weekend was a good weekend for getting the plaster on. Still not as warm as I’d like, but at least the freezing temperatures have gone!

We managed to get a first coat over just half of the buiding. The back sides are not covered yet, but I can do them in the week, so it will be covered by next weekend. So far it looks like this:

The first coat is on. You can see it's a little patchy in places, but the second coat should close this up and make it more uniform.

You can see it’s a little patchy in places, but the second coat should close this up and make it more uniform.

The bulk of the plaster went on well, though in areas where I was using hessian to patch up gaps and bridge areas with wood, it’s a little loose and thin. I’ve draped some geotextile off the roof to shade the building this week and I’m spraying it to avoid it drying out, but there are areas where it has dried more than others.

I need to get some closer photos of areas, but some of the plaster has dried a little flaky and crumbly in some small areas which might need redoing. They tend to be in the areas where the straw is not packed so well, like the joins of the bales, or an area we stuffed with straw.

It's best to work the first coat in with your hands.

It’s best to work the first coat in with your hands.

It’s when I encounter slight weaknesses like this that I kick myself for not going on more training courses closer to the build date. I’m going to see how things go on a second coat, and make more effort to work the plaster into the bales on the first coat.

Green Roof Edge Detailing

Finding detail on the edge of a green roof and waterproofing it is something I struggled to do easily. I thought as I fitted the roof it would be good to take some photos and show everyone how mine is put together.

The roof consists of 18mm structural plywood, with carpets on top followed by the membrane. At the edge, the plywood overhangs by just over 2″ (5.5cm).

The membrane overhangs by about 6″ (15cm) over the edge, so it can wrap underneath the plywood. In the photo below, you can see I attached some 2″x1″ wood to the edge, which allows the membrane to wrap under and then up, forming a drip edge.

To create a drip edge, some 2x1 is screwed to the edge.

To create a drip edge, some 2×1 is screwed to the edge.

The photo below shows the roof before the drip edge is screwed on.

The plywood has carpet on it before the membrane to ensure no splinters get to it.

The plywood has carpet on it before the membrane to ensure no splinters get to it.

Once the membrane is folded over, it tucks up between the drip edge and the truss which the plywood overhangs. The feather edge board then pushes up into the gap and screws on to hold the membrane in place.

The membrane folds over the drip edge and up, and the feather edge board holds the membrane up.

The membrane folds over the drip edge and up, and the feather edge board holds the membrane up.

You can see the roof in the photo below with the finished drip edge. The next step will be to trim the membrane hanging from under the feather edge, add a weather board to protect the membrane from the sun, and then add a gutter to catch the water and direct it to somewhere more useful. All should be done this week.

The roof here with the drip edge installed. The membrane needs trimming, and a gutter.

The roof here with the drip edge installed. The membrane needs trimming, and a gutter.

I hope that helps anyone looking at creating a green roof. I would love to hear ideas of other designs and plans. As I develop mine more, I’ll post as much as I can to share more information.

Straw Bale vs the Elements

Three things have occurred to me this week;

  1. I am terrible at blogging about the shed
  2. I am awful at taking photos and putting them on my posts when I do blog about the shed
  3. Cats love my shedShed Cat in the rafters

I’ve not been very well over the last week, but I’ve recovered this week and I’m pressing on to get the shed roof finished and the inside sealed up from the wind. The timing is a little late, as the weather is warming up, and the winds are howling down the valleys this week. Gales of 40mph are expected on Thursday, and I’m sitting in my house listening to the wind whistling around my windowframes hoping my roof doesn’t come off!

Fortunately, my dad is very into his over-engineering and the trusses are tied down tightly to the building, I’m confident it will hold out, but it is something to consider once I’ve got the roof finished that the wind should be excluded from getting under the roof wherever possible to avoid lifting, which could be catastrophic!

I hereby promise to get some photos taken this weekend and I’ll try and post them on Sunday, when the roof *should* be on and sealed up.

The cat above has nestled into the shed very happily – there every morning and afternoon without fail. In fact I get a nasty look whenever I disturb it! Unfortunately, after this week, it will be difficult to gain entry into the shed so cat fans will be disappointed to hear the eviction notice has been served!

An update

I literally don’t know where to begin on an update in what has happened in the last two weeks. Safe to say that at the moment, the walls are raised and the roof is on, albeit in a temporary state. Here is a photo I’ve got of the walls and the trusses on the roof ┬ábefore we put the boards on.

Front Elevation of Building

I’ve learnt so much over the last week, I’ll be trying to detail the mistakes I’ve made (too many to count) and the things I learnt were hugely important in other blog posts so people can learn from them!

All the volunteers I had over the straw wall raising weekend were heroes, and the walls were finished in two days. Once that was done, it was down to myself, my parents and my girlfriend to get the roof trusses put together and lifted onto the building.

The trusses after bring lifted into place.

One of the things which I was well aware of, but is now reality, is all the niggly little bits that need work to get the finishing touches on the building. The next two weeks waiting for the weather to warm up so I can plaster the outside will be taken up by cutting windowsills, stuffing loose straw into gaps and various other small jobs. If I get things finished by June, I’ll be a very fortunate (and happy) man.