Thursday, 26 January 2012

Oak cladding and Welsh slates

The carpenters have finished the oak cladding on the north side of the new building and have moved on to the west side. Wooden battens are first fixed to the wall and then the cladding is nailed on.

The oak cladding is fitted by Matrod Frampton’s carpenters. It comes direct from the sawmill already cut to size. They are fitting horizontal and vertical cladding. With the horizontal cladding they begin at the bottom and work upwards, each layer partially overlapping the one below. The vertical cladding involves fixing alternate boards on the back before the facing boards are added on top.

Reclaimed Welsh slates have been used to roof the tearoom and the roofers are now continuing over the storage area. With reclaimed tiles they have to make sure that the original holes are not reused when they are nailed on to the wooden battens. The tiles are formed off site; they only have to cut the tiles to size for the ends of the roof.

The roofers and carpenters usually work in teams of two.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Building work progress on the Open Learning Centre

We will take a moment to look back at the major milestones of the building work so far.

Matrod Frampton commenced work on our new Open Learning Centre at the end of September 2011. The first stage was the groundworks, which included the laying of the foundations for the building. This was followed by the putting up of the steel frame in the second half of October. Each section had been made off-site; the sections were then lifted in to place with the help of a crane and bolted together. The final part of the building is oak framed and these beautifully crafted sections arrived in mid November. This area of the building will include the new tearoom.

Up next were the walls. They are a mix of masonry (light weight blocks and reclaimed brickwork) and studwork (timber frames). The builders are now fixing on the oak cladding to the outside of the building.

An important stage in any building project is the construction of the roof and at the time of writing this is almost complete. The roof is made up of timber rafters, facias (the flat band under the roof edge), soffits (the under-surface), felt and battens (which go on top of the rafters), and finally the roof coverings (both slates and tiles are being used). When completed the building will be watertight.

Some of the work understandably relies on the weather, not least concrete and mortar. For both to set properly the temperature has to be 3°C and rising. Concrete has been used for the ground floor and first floor, while lime mortar joins the bricks together.