Project Woodlands Update 22/12/17 – Cladding

Jan 02

Project Woodlands Update 22/12/17 – Cladding

I know I haven’t posted in a while but I hadn’t realised until just now just how long it has been; over a year as my last post was back in April 2016.

This is probably because our focus switched to the garden room so nothing has changed on the house until the last few months.

In the summer  we finally decided on which cladding product to go for and the layout of the cladding we wanted. We decided to go for 3 different heights of plank and carefully chose where the joins would fall taking into account  window positions etc. We  calculated how much we needed by putting together a comprehensive plan and cutting list so that the supplier could cut the large sheets into lengths of the 3 different plank heights plus specific heights for window surrounds etc. The cladding was ordered and since its arrival at the end of August we have been cladding both the house and garden room on weekends when time and weather allowed.

The construction of the cladding started with firstly putting a water proof membrane onto the structures (DuPont Tyvek UV Façade). For the house however we installed battens and insulation before putting the membrane over the top.

We then fixed battens in the correct places for the cladding to  be screwed to. In addition a gasket is also used on these battens to provide a seal and further weather protection to the battens.

The cladding  product we have used  is Cembonit Cembrit Patina in Flint and we are very pleased with the results.

I feel the key to a successful install was in the planning and taking time to ensure mistakes aren’t made when measuring and cutting the lengths of cladding and to also ensure that gaps etc are as accurate as possible.

We made our own jigs to make it easy to ensure the gaps were consistently 8mm and that screw holes  for each height of plank were always in the middle and the same distance from the end of a plank. For interim screws we used a straight edge to ensure they are in alignment.


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Project Woodlands Steps and Gabion Wall

Dec 23

Project Woodlands Steps and Gabion Wall

Just before our holiday in June we created shuttering and concreted the levels for our steps up to the house and installed a post box. It was about time we had something more stable than a few concrete blocks acting as steps !

We also decided we would knock down the old front wall and replace it with a gabion wall on our return.

We considered doing it the year before but other things took priority. Whilst we wont be doing the drive just yet until all building works are complete we felt the old wall was so ugly replacing it at this stage would be a way to improve the look of the house  from the street.

After knocking the old wall down we did a trip of shuttering the length and width of the wall with scaffold poles knocked into the ground. This was to provide a concrete base for the wall to sit on and the poles provide structural support to the final wall.

There are 3 gabion baskets  measuring  900mm high by 1500mm  long and 300mm deep  (provided by Gabion1) . These arrive as a flat pack and are easy to construct using the helical wires provided.

Once in place on top of the concrete base you need to add wire supports at intervals to help them keep their shape and not bulge when  you are filling them.

Next we started to place rocks into the baskets to create the wall. We went with Charcoal Basalt Gabion Stone (Mainland Aggregates).

The stones come in varying sizes and in order  to get an even distribution of stone sizes and them fitting together with minimum gaps you have to place each stone by hand which is a time consuming and slow process.

The results however are worth all the effort and we extremelty pleased with what we have achieved.

To finish the wall off I designed a feature panel for the house number to go on and had this made at a local metal workers.

Again I am really very pleased with the finished effect and there is the added benefit of making our house really easy to find for delivery drivers.

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Project Woodlands –  Lounge lighting

Dec 23

Project Woodlands –  Lounge lighting

In June we found out we are expecting our first child so deadlines for making progress on the house  interior has become even more important. The baby is due at the beginning of March so we want to have our master bedroom complete, the bathroom done and ideally the nursery done aswell.

A small but exciting milestone is having lounge lighting. When we moved in the only lighting in the lounge were two horrible wall lights which were disconnected last year.

We have made our own box lighting configuration and with my dads assistance we finally got it installed and working.


The boxes are made of mdf painted white with perspex to soften  the led strip lights within them to give an even spread of light..

We have also got a dimmer attached which is great as it enables us to adjust the lighting from super bright to as dim as you like depending on what you are doing.

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Comic Strip Word Art

Feb 22

Comic Strip Word Art

I recently completed two pictures for two special boys Rudy and Lincoln whose mum is very good friend of mine. I used their favourite superhero comics for the letters which were laser cut and given spacers behind to enhance the feeling of depth. It was lovely to see there excited reactions when opening their gifts and for them to be hung centre stage in their bedroom.

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Garden Office – End of Year Progress Update

Dec 31

Garden Office – End of Year Progress Update

31st December 2016

Four months have passed since my previous update and with 2016 coming to an end I thought I should finally share with you the progress that we have made.

We ordered the window and patio doors from and once delivered my brother in law helped myself and my husband to install them. Having not installed windows before we found the process time consuming and the instructions were lacking some details and parts of the process weren’t covered. After much time, frustration, a little brute force and some crossed words we finally got both installed. I am not sure I would recommend doing this to anyone else thinking of trying it but as we needed to keep spending as low as possible we didn’t have much of a choice.

After deliberating on the options for the finished roofing and whether to get someone in to do it or not we finally decided to take the plunge and go for a EPDM roof and install it ourselves. It meant we could have the longevity that EPDM provides but keep costs down by installing it ourselves.

We went with a product called ClassicBond, they provide online tutorials showing the various components needed and how to install them. We ordered all the materials online going with the thicker 1.5mm membrane. Once delivered, we followed the process, as shown online, gluing the membrane into place and all went well. You do have to be careful to eliminate any air bubbles and whilst we have a few we were happy overall with the result.

I had decided to have my first go at tiling and set about tiling the floor of the shed. I found I got pretty messy and got frustated with myself trying to get every tile perfectly level, but actually the end result isn’t too bad at all and I am pleased with myself for doing it.

Next my husband had the challenge of preparing the outside lighting. I had decided I wanted colour changing leds installed on the outside overhang and settled on 9 separate strips. This meant 9 strips of led tape needed 4 cables soldering to each of them (R,G,B and Common). My husband was cursing me over this as it wasn’t the easiest of tasks but when we eventually got them all wired up and tested we could see it is was well worth the effort. Pictures to follow in my next post, once the electrics supply has been installed.

Next we had the rendering guys in to render the building. First they needed to install render board over areas with plywood such as the overhang, overhead structures linking the columns to the building and the perimeter edge of the roof.  Next came the base coat and primer followed by the top coat. December isn’t the ideal time of year for doing this due to the reduced amount of daylight hours and unpredictable weather but eventually it was completed the week before Christmas. This has really transformed the structure into the modern feature for our garden that I had envisioned when I designed it.

To start 2017 off we will be cladding the interior of the shed section and adding storage hooks etc for bikes, tools etc.

The plastering in the office section needs to be done and the electric supply connected.

We then plan to clad the front wall, at some point in 2017.


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