Today could either have turned out wonderful or ominously 'grand designs'. The big question - "Will the roof fit onto the walls?" was about to be answered. We fell in love with the look and feel of green oak construction last year and decided to invest in the most minimal roof structure available for the roof of our lounge.
After several revisions, quotes, structural engineers calcs and visits to the Timber Frame Company in Bruton, we arrived at a 'raised collar' truss with purlins and just a few 'wind braces' (the curvy bits). This was a very small job for them - but I can assure you a very big moment for us! The oak frame is constructed off site in a workshop, without a site survey or measurements by them - so it's all our responsibility to get the info correct.
It's been a saga - the architect managed to give the wrong measurement, one wall of the building had to be demolished and rebuilt in exactly the right spot, and the building turned out not to be square. Typical of course for old victorian barns, but an added complication. In the end we adjusted the wall position to make it squarer but they still had to extend one of the wallplates (the long bits of wood on top of the walls) on site to make it fit.
The crane was HUGE. We'd previously levelled the front parking area for it to sit.
One very relaxed (and I think bored) crane driver....Each piece is carefully lowered into place and then fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Jim and Will knocking it into shape...
The pieces are all numbered so they know which ends go together. The joints are bolted and then pegged with wooden pegs to look good. These ones will be hammered in and then cut off.
The end result is stunning. The gorgeous honey colour of the oak and the smell of wood are intoxicating. They are still covered in pencil marks and water stains at the moment but will be sandblasted off next week before the felt and battens go on.
We had a visitor or two on site..... our usual blase attitude was exchanged for hard hats and reflective jackets....
....but how did Barney get up the ladder??