Saturday, May 9, 2020

Studio/Workshop Progress Report - More Render

After a frustrating delay due to the rendering contractor's wait for material from China, the second, much thicker coat of render is in place. The final form of the walls - including the curves around door and window openings - has been more firmly established, and I can finally visualise what the completed internal space will look like. The render will continue to lighten in colour over next few weeks as it dries.

At this stage the render is still soft to the touch on the building's interior walls, but I can begin the task of installing ceiling and wall linings safe in the knowledge that any damage to the walls I might accidentally inflict will be covered by the third and final coat of render.

The first coat of render took a couple of weeks to dry and gain the strength necessary to support the thicker second coat. While the wait for the rendering contractor's return was a little frustrating, it did provide me with valuable thinking time during which I was able to reconsider the choice of materials for the next stage of the project and research how best to install them. Where would I be without YouTube?

I'd been happy with my initial material choices until I'd spent some time on the "thinking stool" contemplating how I'd cut plasterboard sheets destined for the ceiling to accommodate the exposed collar ties that tie the rafters together, and how I'd manhandle them into place. Most importantly, and despite having watched any number of YouTube videos on the subject, I questioned my ability to hide the joins between sheets. On that score at least, I concluded that there was a potential gap between my ambitions and my capabilities, and that a less demanding solution was therefore preferable. Pine lining boards provide that solution; not only are they relatively cheap and easy to install, but with a coat of white paint they should complement the rendered external walls. I'm more confident in my ability to successfully install plasterboard on the internal walls, and of my ability to disguise joins. My thinking is that an expanse of flat, featureless plasterboard will provide a resting place for the eye, and contrast with the earthy rendered perimeter walls and the lining boards covering the ceiling.

I've always had confidence that the insulation properties of the straw bale walls, double-glazed doors and windows, ceiling and under-floor insulation will deliver a comfortable work space. Once I've stuffed the remaining gaps between the top of the external walls and the rafters with spare insulation material I'll know whether my confidence was well-founded.  


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