November 7, 2013

House Progress: We Have a Roof!


I guess it’s time for another update on the progress of our castle build. The roof went on last week, and the windows and doors will be going next week, which is quite exciting, and then the outside will be enclosed so we can get to work on the inside. We are on track to move in by Christmas, although we may not have carpet by then and the inner walls of the music studio will not be finished for a few more months.

The roof is a metal “tile” from Gerard Roofing – it’s wind-rated to about 300kph, and safe to drink water from, which is good, since that’s what we’ll be doing. :)

The windows I’ve chosen are aluminium – cost effective and best for insulation. I’ve added colonial bars to give them an older look, and instead of the ultra-modern handles the supplier has, I found some beautiful black iron medieval scroll handle, although we’re now having issues as to whether or not these will fit.

modern medieval barn

Cute “medieval” cottage!

You’ll notice from this image it doesn’t look much like a castle. In fact, I should probably stop calling it “the castle” because it’s definitely not a castle. Yet. This is what we call “stage 1” or “the medieval cottage” and in a couple years’ time we have a plan to extend this cute little house with a huge open plan “hall”, a bedroom wing and a bedroom round tower to create our castle proper.

new zealand eco house

CDH hard at work.

I’ll be honest: the building process is one of extreme frustration, and I wouldn’t advise anyone take it on without some serious forethought and planning. We probably jumped in a bit before we should have, and consequently we have made some mistakes and have had delays.

On the other hand, I get such a great joy from working on my own home. From laying blocks to hand-filling every block wall with concrete (nearly killing several friends in the process) to painting the fascia boards and building our stock yard. Also, Father Metal is here, doing all the other work and doing his best to help CDH and I through the process – we’re very lucky to have someone so experienced on our side (even if we don’t always listen!)

solar panels new zealand

Digging postholes for our solar panel array.

Our property gets more beautiful every time we visit (although it’s also a huge mess right now) and I’m getting excited to start planning the garden and move forward with the other projects I’m planning, like creating a mural and getting chickens and a pig and finishing the drainage on our drive. I’m also pretty excited/nervous about moving off-the-grid. What’s it going to be like?

Is it worth it? Honestly, right now I’m not so sure it is. I’m very stressed out and tired all the time, and I feel as if my life has been on hold for the last year while we focus on this thing. I reserve judgement till we’re living in our place.

In non-house related news, went to a stunningly awesome party the other week – our friends J & J . The Guy Fawkes event is their yearly family event, and they combined it with a Halloween party this year. And it was AWESOME. The bonfire literally exploded. There was a mushroom cloud and the sound was so loud it nearly knocked you off your feet. Fireworks were, as always, a great spectacle. Police and fire showing up added a bit of excitement …

yipyip costume

It’s quite hard to get a concept of the scale here …

bonfire new zealand steffmetal

… but you can see here – that is a motherfucking digger.


ringwraith halloween costume

I have no money or energy to put into a costume, so I went as a homeless Ringwraith. All night people were falling over my sword. I don’t get to say that very often.

More updates to follow soon!