Off grid house build orkney

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  • Another productive week, spent a bunch of time digging out docken roots at the start of the week, thankless task and seemingly never ending but think I made a bit of a dent.

    We’ve got things starting to sprout in the polytunnel and the peas are starting to climb up the poles.

    All the plasterboarding is finished in the house now, we’ve got some dehumidifiers in and the plasterer is showing up on Monday to get started with the tape and fill. We’ve put the front door on and I’ve done the first layer of wool in the loft to try and hold in the heat to help out with drying things up. I’m spending the weekend getting everything tidied up in the house and off the wall to get it ready for them coming in. I’ll get some proper interior photos tomorrow when that’s all done.

    Battening showing up for the cement board cladding next week so more outside work can happen and a second joiner showing up in a couple of weeks to get the workshop frame up.

    The field seems to be dried out enough for them to get the pole and the turbine up too so hoping that will happen soon.

    Never seen clouds like these before either!


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  • Woa, the wavy clouds are beautiful!

  • Looking amazing mate, love when this thread updates!! 😍

  • Those clouds look awesome, as does the house, and the cat.
    +1 for loving seeing this thread updated.

  • @owl @jontea Thanks so much, yeah the clouds were just amazing! Was between a period of good weather and high pressure then it was foggy, damp and quite still most of this weekend. Wonder if it was the transition between that did it?

    Plasterer didn’t show up as had to finish a job in town but should be out tomorrow. The guy with the digger also had some cancellations so they should be out this week for digging the soakaways and burying the waste treatment plant.

    Got it all tidied for the plasterer coming tomorrow. Feels big with so much cleared out!


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  • Plasterer still hasn’t shown up but another couple days drying out won’t hurt. Bit of a killer though as without a mains connection we need to keep a diesel generator running for the dehumidifiers and that’s not cheap, especially with the new white diesel rules coming in at the start of last month, cheers Rishi.. Green credentials are taking a bit of a hit with it going the whole time. The turbine is due soon, but they said two weeks about 8 weeks ago but think they wanted the ground to dry out a little more first.

    Digger came today though and we got the first of the two stage wastewater treatment plant in the ground. Second tank and the start of the soakaway is the plan for tomorrow!


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  • Wow it's really looking like a proper house now! Looks great

  • Love this thread @Creek_Tebsin, it's the gift that keeps giving and now I've learned about asperitas clouds too. Apparently, they are quite rare so lucky you!

  • The plasterer coming feels like a big deal, that’s what people with houses have done!

    @Cazakstan thanks so much for doing the research, that’s super fucking interesting with the clouds, only officially registered in 2015!

  • That’s the plasterer started yesterday and got a bunch of the seams taped. We’ve also had the soakaway dug and are just filling it back in. We had a horrible day of pouring rain to be timed with that, we’ve not had a day like that in ages. Fortunately, they got the digging done on Saturday and yesterday they got some of the rock laid on the bottom. I think today will be chipping this and running pipes to allow the water to disperse a little more evenly.

    Also, we had a beautiful sunny day in the garden on Sunday, painting these who’ll probably live near the polytunnel somewhere.


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  • Looks like we’ve paid a ton of money for our field to get muddier and nothing else, but there’s a soakaway and a wastewater treatment plant underneath there now, I promise!

    The tape and fill is continuing and I’ve been doing a little more outside just getting a wood pile for all the offcuts sorted (that white bag is full of bits for the stove!) and maybe looking at getting a wee fence started for an outside garden bed or two. Thinking of placing it just up the hill above the pallets from the polytunnel to help shelter it a bit from winds off the shore. Problem is, that’s east, and I don’t want the fence to block the sun into the polytunnel in the morning, but it’ll definitely need some wind shelter built up around it to protect the plants within.. my plan is to run some strings at different heights first sunny day I get to try and work out how tall the fence can be and not cast shadows onto other stuff. I know the field has lots of space, but wanting to keep all the gardening in one area.


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  • Another bit of a photo dump, the taper is a really nice guy who’s subcontracting and doing a cracking job (both the builder and the joiner have said so in passing). He’s just got a little up high to finish off tomorrow then sanding down on Tuesday for me to get started painting next weekend. He was on the way out to a quick job on another island today and sent me a photo of the house from the water. The field across the road is packed with wee lambs right now.

    Everything in the polytunnel is looking really good (we’ve been told to plant a month late up here, but that the length of day let’s the plants catch up). The kale and chard from the polytunnel last winter, as well as a few extra broccolis, have now gone in the planticru we built a couple summers ago to keep them sheltered from the wind. Finally got round to filling it with soil instead of just sitting things in tubs in it.

    We’ve also got some nesting oystercatchers in the bottom of the field who are used to us and don’t get scared of us as long as we’re a decent distance away. The arctic terns have come back in the last week or so too. Not settling on the shore yet, but at least 4 or 5 of them around just now, fingers crossed!


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  • Outside


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  • Haven’t checked in with this for a while, seems like a lot of great stuff happening - will be very interesting to see what happens with the turbine once you get it!

  • Great progress overall!
    Love the shot from the water. :-)

    Has the leaky window issue been resolved yet?

  • I know right?! Everything moves so slowly up here, I saw him about 2 months ago and he said he’d be over in a week or two for install once the field had dried out.. I imagine soon though as he has the turbine there and he’s not invoicing for it until after install and he’ll need the cash.

    @wenzovic I know, was so chuffed he sent that, my partner has passed by on the water on the way out to the turbine they were commissioning but I’ve never seen it from there. Not yet, but we’ve got all the stuff to open up and reseal each unit. The guttering keeping a lot of water off them as well as the cladding holding them tighter seems to be working for just now.

    We had some haar blow in the last few days, there’s pictures here from the same spot, one last night and one this morning.

    Tape and fill is done, going to let it dry out a few days and start on a mist coat this weekend or start of next week. Hoping I can do that inside while they’re getting the cladding on and the workshop up.


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  • Our tiles showed up last night, and with only a few damaged which quite impressed me. Spent my morning getting the porcelain ones in the house before the boat to work. Less concerned about the limestone being outside for a bit.

    The sunset turned beautiful last night, no filters just the colour of the sky


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  • Just lovely!

  • God I hate heights.. spent a couple days up this scaffolding to get a couple coats on the new plasterboard before they came to collect the scaffolding again. Should have worn a mask from all the sanding of the filler and ended up with a really nasty cough the last few days.

    Need to get up around the skylights still, but will be very glad when I don’t have to be up high any more. I’m sure it was sturdy and safe enough, but it started rocking if I got into a rhythm using the telescopic pole and I really wasn’t a fan!

    @ChainBreaker I know right?! I still just spend my days pinching myself and waiting for someone to tell me to fuck off their land and that this was just a dream..

    Also, our ferry has ended up doing a different island run this summer and we’ve got one that’s not as good, or easy to load trucks on and things. This was hanging up in the ferry this morning, I really enjoy it here!!


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  • wow looking so good!

  • @rodhusk thank you so much, been a long time coming!! Got both joiners here this week so getting the frame battened out for the cladding going on and the workshop should be going up this week or next too.

    I’ve got 2 coats on most of the big space now and am working my way around the other rooms gradually. Less of a rush with this as the high bits had to be finished before the scaffolding got taken away. Hopefully that means a few less white speckles in the hair from now on!

    There’s a friend of mine here doing the lejog (land’s end to John o’groats) cycle route and is raising money for the mental health charity I work at and the British heart foundation. The Orkney cycling scene is strong but small so any help in sharing this feat or sponsoring/sending encouragement would be massively appreciated and would be a lovely boost to them before they set off! If anyone has ideas of a better place on the forum to post this please let me know!

    https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/­cyclejog?utm_term=2QZAJWdMd


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  • A beautiful few days has let the joiners crack on with framing externally for when we get the special order screws for the cement board. Apparently the head on standard countersunk screws will shear off with how dense the boards are. They’ve also turned the corners with the wood cladding for joining to the boards about the centre of each window.

    With those screws not arriving just yet it’s going to force them into getting the workshop up next week I reckon. Can’t wait to get that done as then we can clear the inside of the house and start on second fixes and putting the finishings in. Running out of money quicker than things are getting finished so my dad and I will be doing the internal boarding in the workshop and I’ll be doing as much as I can with the tiling and helping the sparky to try and reduce the time trades are on site.


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  • Amazing stuff, what an ongoing sense of achievement you must be getting. Fab 👍🏼

  • Haha, unfortunately more of a sense of foreboding with the final costs at present, I’m sure the achievement will come in time 😂

    On a positive note the workshop frame started going up this morning, on a less positive note I stapled through my finger taping the paper down.. had to happen at some point and on the boat to the hospital to get it taken out.. nurse on island tried, but was scared she would snap it at the bend and leave it in there..


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  • Ooft. And having to ge a ferry with that.
    Do they send a helicopter if something goes really wrong?

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Off grid house build orkney

Posted by Avatar for Creek_Tebsin @Creek_Tebsin

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