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Author Topic: Construction of a historic gardening shed  (Read 18362 times)

Margaret

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2014, 11:26:16 PM »

Would the door work if it opened inwards?
Margaret
Greenwich

Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2014, 07:19:58 PM »
Sorry, Margaret - I was very busy and failed to reply to your excellent suggestion. The fittings to the door and the frame do not allow the door to be opended inwards.

However, good news! My excellent husband, the man for any technical problems, sat down and thought it all through. He then organised 5 hydraulic jacks and a pile of aluminium plates, each 2 cm thick, as well as various aluminium profiles. The jacks were places in the vicinity of the four corners and on one side of the door frame.

The man for all seasons then jacked one corner of the little house up by 2 cm (accompanied by some slight creaking) while I quickly inserted an aluminium plate. This way one corner after the other was lifted again and again, the objects placed beneath became thicker and in the end we actually managed to lift the house by 21 cm!

There was one shaky bit when the wee house moved sideways, but we managed to get it to move back again by putting a wedge under the jack and thus pushing the house back into position.

Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2014, 07:33:09 PM »
In the end we stopped using a water-level - the beams are not straight enough to make this the ultimate basis of the decision what the correct position of the house should be. We decided that it doesn't really matter whether the beams are level - the only thing that is important is that the door (and the windows) open without problem.

So - with great difficulty because of its enormous weight - we manoeuvred the door to the door frame and eventually managed to set it onto its hinges. A few taps with a big wooden hammer to one corner of the house and the door sat perfectly within its frame. And it was possible to open it without it getting stuck in the mud!

What a relief! All this took place a week ago and I slept a lot better these past days...
Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2014, 07:45:23 PM »
A few details of the door made of solid oak. It fits perfectly into its frame.

Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2014, 07:53:19 PM »
My present worry is to find a mason or brick-layer who is able and willing to build the sandstone basis of the wee house. And fill in the framework with old bricks. The stones as well as the bricks - also recycled from old buildings - were delivered together with the rest of the material of the house. (The stones you see wrapped on pallets in the last photo of the previous post.)

Here a photo of the bricks.

So far I have not found anybody to take on this task in spite of asking around a great deal...
Needless to say the roofers haven't been in touch in order to solve the problem with the rain-gutter. I haven't got a bill either, though...
Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Maggi Young

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2014, 07:56:17 PM »
My goodness- this looks not only very difficult but also dangerous!

I can see it will be tricky to fill in the new gap below the walls, too.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Brian Ellis

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2014, 08:20:52 AM »
There was one shaky bit when the wee house moved sideways, but we managed to get it to move back again by putting a wedge under the jack and thus pushing the house back into position.

Blimey Anne, I bet your hearts were in your mouths then.  Well done to your husband for coming up with a solution - and to you both for carrying it out 8)
Brian Ellis, Brooke, Norfolk UK. altitude 30m Mintemp -8C

Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2014, 08:39:34 AM »
 :-\ You are right, Brian! It was scary when the whole structure, weighing - we guess - about 4 - 5 tons, moved. Frankly I am worried at the moment because we are experiencing a strong gusting wind. And those tiles are not designed to be exposed to the wind from the underside. Already the straw looks a bit tatty. I'm afraid a gale would blow the whole house down, but my husband thinks it is safe... let's hope he is right...

I wonder whether having that huge cherry tree to the west of the wee house is a blessing or a hazard.

Yes, Maggi, I think it is a tricky business building the sandstone base (which was always part of the plan but it is higher now, of course). But the company which sold the house says they always do it that way. All it needs is a creative mason and they will instruct him by phone. Their word in God's ear - as we say over here  ;).
Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2014, 08:46:05 AM »
As I cannot at the moment solve the mason-problem I decided to get at least some of the landscaping done.

Once again it turned out to be a problem that I am - because of radiotherapy every morning - unable to be on site at 7 a.m. When I arrived on Friday morning the big pile of earth had been spread out towards the front of the garden. Not my plan at all! Needless to say I had told the boss of the hard gardening firm exactly what I wanted - but somehow the information was lost in transit.

Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2014, 09:02:46 AM »
In the end the two chaps doing the work turned out to be very capable and willing. And though there is now more mud around than I wanted and though it isn't perfect considering there has to be some paving done in front of the shed, for the time being I am happy the way it is. they even managed to sow grass and roll it down before the big rain came.

The big chaenomeles, which covered about 4 square yards, has been removed, too. In the process we found piles of sandstone, part of a wire-mesh fence, several maimed garden gnomes - and the gravestone (including base) of a previous owner, deceased 1950.

In Germany you usually buy a grave for 20 years. And if you are not willing to pay for an extension of that period you are asked to remove the gravestone so the grave can be used by the next client. Obviously the previous owners felt that it would be a shame to throw away such an excellent stone - and right they were. It will be used somehow in the "final design"...

 


Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #55 on: November 04, 2014, 04:48:26 PM »
I have sadly neglected my blogging duties - I was just so very busy over the summer (mostly with unpleasant things, alas...) Even resizing some photos was too much...

For those of you, who would like to get the rest of the story, I'll start where I left off. This is what the wee house looked like when we had finished hitching it up and when the piles of earth had been spread.

Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2014, 05:07:22 PM »
Eventually I decided to give the hard-gardening-company - which was involved from the start - the building job. Amongst their employees they have a motley crew, mostly from Serbia, who are good masons and bricklayers.

The company I bought the house from had delivered a lot of yellow sandstones for the base of the house. However, as red sandstone is typical of our region, I asked the builders to add some red stones.

First of all they built the sides below the framework ring of beams and - when the cement had set - they knocked away the supports in the corners. It worked surprisingly well and the roof stayed up.  ;) Between the top layer of stones and the beams they inserted tar paper (do you call it that???), in order to prevent moisture from the ground creeping up into the wood.
Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2014, 05:20:15 PM »
On the southern side of the house, the sandstone wall is higher. Stupid me had thought of having a raised bed here. Quite out of the question as the roof would projects so far that any raised bed would not have had any rain. I decided to eventually place an old bench here.

To make the wall less boring I asked the builders to allow two stones to project, so I could put something on them. I also asked them not to make the wall too regular - I wanted an "old" look.  (The lady in the green trousers is - by the way 65 years old and has worked for the company for 30 years.)

Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #58 on: November 04, 2014, 05:33:54 PM »
The sandstone base of the house was finished. As you will guess from the buckets, I had a problem with the rain water. Until I found a solution for this problem I attached temporary downpipes.

Although I realise the house will - without any particular care - I decided to give the wooden parts a dose of linseed oil. It costs an arm and a leg, but I am convinced there is nothing better to keep wood happy. It needs 20 C in order to dry satisfactorily, however.
Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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Anne Repnow

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Re: Construction of a historic gardening shed
« Reply #59 on: November 04, 2014, 05:37:08 PM »
Here is the temporary drainpipe...
Anne Repnow gardening near Heidelberg in Germany
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