For about nine months, in the hiatus between finishing the foundations and starting the walls, I could not envisage how it was possible for two people, without machinery, to build a house up to the roof. I dreamed the finished house, inhabiting its spaces often, but the mechanics of how that could actually happen were beyond my imagining.
Then the pieces of the jigsaw arrived on the back of a very big lorry.
Step by logical step the house grew upwards. On the ceiling of the main structure, these things of architectural beauty – posi joists. Both lovely and practical, with spaces for wires and pipes.
On top of the single storey kitchen these elegant roof trusses.
Next step, more walls on top of the posi-joists, then more roof trusses and we have a second storey on the main section.
It’s been a poor autumn on Mull and Phil and Jim-the-builder have worked in some awful weather. Blustery winds and lashing rain are not ideal for building the first floor and roof of a house. A few times even they have given up – when ferries are cancelled and storm warnings are in place, it’s probably best to postpone putting up gable ends. We have to be wind and watertight by the end of October to meet the deadline for our croft housing grant. It also makes sense to be at that point before real winter sets in. However, at the moment it’s the wind and water that are slowing us down. As we often joke in that strained gallows humour that strikes sometimes: what this house needs in this weather is a roof.