Saturday, 6 November 2010

Sheds and time.

Time has a funny habit of slipping away from you... and me ... without anything apparently changing quickly. We've been here nearly six weeks already and I find myself saying "What have I been doing.... nothing !" . I suppose that I have  "been doing something" but theres so much going on that its easy to forget that the farm has not always looked exactly as it does today.

The first big job when we got here was the "collapsed shed" next to the house. It had been built by the former farmer to house his sheep, I dont know how long it took him to build singlehandedly but it must have been quite a while. I seemed fitting that it should be singlehandedly dismantled by the new owner (with help from both the ravages of time and the weather !)

I initially said... "its about 20 meters long by 7 wide " - after checking on Google Earth as I write this - its actually 45meters by about 10 meters!  That would explain where the month has disappeared then ! - not fully appreciating the time it would take ! Sometimes it helps just to dive in and get  through the worst of it in a wave of naive enthusiasm. Disastrous policy if you're quoting for a job though! 450 square meters of metal roofed shed -oops I thought it was 140.

However armed with my trusty awesome Hilti  screwdriver I set to work on this mess, most of it was quite straightforward but towards the end the shed roof was very overgrown so the screws could not be seen or reached . The clump of ivy in photo is about 8 meters long, as high as me and came off the roof in one piece ! I had to demolish quite a lot of the holly hedge behing just to get at it as well (Ouch!). I'll be very happy to torch that "holly and ivy" at Christmas when its dried out !

I was most pleased  with my new battery drill - it can effortlessly take out 300, 4 inch screws on one battery charge - a classic example of the right tool for the job saves time. In fact it was almost a pleasure - even after I'd taken out almost 2000 screws . Heres one days worth !

The other thing that has crashed to the ground is one side of the shed. The two hundred year old wall that also supports the field behind had been undermined below its foundations  by the previous farmer to gain an extra 40 cm of height inside the shed (Rather than build the wall 40 cm higher in wood ).

Predictable result... its destabilised maybe 20m of wall , half of which has already collapsed, the rest will need to be demolished eventually. It was quite depressing to see his shortcut to save time many years ago has destroyed a large amount of work of the original historic build  and will require to be redone at far greater cost of my time.

The upside of all this demolition is that I've reclaimed literally tons of timber, lots of it reusable and a substantial quantity  for a few massive fires . Theres also been a load of metal roofing , destined for the scrapyard (£150 a tonne !)

The last fire was particulary satisfying - I burnt all the receipts and paperwork that relates to the last house and extension builds, as well as the remains of shed. Not only did it clear the site and my "office desk" it felt symbolic of calling time on the last project and consigning it to the ashes of history.

The receipts varied from 7 to 2 years ago and every one of them had involved me purchasing something to build the house (often on my own).  Ten percent of my "three score years and ten" used up building something that one day someone will be recycling, knocking down or burning.

The irony of it wasnt lost on me. I could have asked the previous resident of the shed for advice but time has a funny habit of slipping away and they were silent on the matter.

1 comment:

  1. I can not say how impressed with you 2 having taken on another big project I wish you all the best, much love dunc