Sunday, November 4, 2012

Construction work in progress

In my blog post of 23 September 2012 entitled Preparing winter wood [display], I said that I intended to stack up the newly-arrived pile of firewood in the usual place, under a corner of the roof in the north-west corner of the house. On second thoughts, I decided to leave most of this wood outside, so that I would have room to start erecting a concrete wall.

As of today, I've almost finished the part of the wall that incorporates reinforced concrete, and moved a small part of the firewood under the roof. I have to prevent surface water from attaining the area where the wood is to be kept, so I've installed an underground drainage system alongside the emerging wall, at the place in the following photo where you see freshly-dug earth.

Meanwhile, the rest of the firewood remains outside, protected from the rain and snow by a big green tarpaulin.

As I said in a recent blog post, I've started to erect a carport outside the north-west corner of the house (which is never reached by the winter sun). That explains the presence in the above photo of new roofing timber, which I brought here in my trailer.

A ramp was created in this area over two years ago.

After those earthworks, this corner of the house was totally bare, as you can see here:

In my blog post of 23 February 2010 entitled North-west corner of my house [display], I presented a project (created by means of Photoshop) for a carport at this place.

Today, the new earth in this area has been well compacted, and it's high time to go ahead with the construction. Here's a photo of the site that I took this morning:

[Click to enlarge]

As you can see, my project mock-up was wrongly-proportioned and rather off-target, since the carport roof in the mock-up was far too low. Here's another view of the site:

Except for the six vertical posts (Douglas-fir wood, treated in a vat in a sawmill at St-Marcellin), and the pale pine rafters at the top (seen lying on the green tarpaulin in an earlier photo), all the rest of the timber comes from an old green-painted wood shed that I built in this area soon after arriving at Gamone.

It was a fine structure, built of sturdy timber, which fitted ideally into the Gamone surroundings.

At that time, I had my first opportunity of getting accustomed to building on sloping ground. The shed was located just alongside the dirt track that used to lead up to a barn on the neighboring property (now replaced by a house). When major roadworks were carried out in order to create a smooth hairpin curve at this spot, I decided to demolish the old shed.

As you can see from the above photo, unless I removed the shed, it would have been impossible to envisage a car ramp leading up to the north-west corner of the house. So, sadly, I decided to knock down my charming construction.

These days, while I'm working on the carport, everything is being held in place by clamps.

Above the northern doorway into the house, a pair of steel brackets (almost a century old) has always intrigued me, and I still have no firm idea of their purpose.

I was able to use one of these mysterious brackets as a firm support to hold the posts in a rigid position up until such time as I insert all the necessary triangular ties to ensure the stability of the structure.

During my work, I'm being constantly observed by a conscientious ever-present foreman.

Exceptionally, the foreman's surveillance was interrupted briefly this morning when he took time off to consume a Kleenex that had dropped out of a pocket of my overalls.

But he's a friendly foreman, who rarely criticizes the quality of my work.

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