Fencing project

A short time ago we undertook a job in Yeovil to replace a property's fencing and to renovate an old car port.  It was estimated the fencing was several decades old so it had held up very well, all things considered.  The oak (I think) posts were amazingly well preserved below ground level as you can see in the gallery below.  Wooden posts tend to rot at around ground level or just below, which is why often you'll see structures with the timber on supports just above ground level.  That isn't really an option for fencing, however, so in this instance we used new green oak posts at the front of the property.  Treated fence panels (as per the customer's request) were then fixed to these.
Because of the really heavy clay soil at this property, at the rear the customer had a preference for concrete posts and gravel boards.  Whilst I'm no massive fan of concrete fencing, I was swayed to have a go on this occasion because I hadn't installed any before, and wanted to be able to compare the installation experience with purely wooden materials.  In effect we have an experiment in place, with oak posts at the front, and concrete at the back.  I'll wager the oak posts at the front last as long as the concrete at the back, and it will be nice to go back at some point to see how it's all doing.

In the main the carport was structurally sound, which again was great for timber that was perhaps 40 years old.  The corrugated PVC was removed and the timber retreated with a microporous, waterproof wood stain (I had a tin of this already and it needed using up, but if the timber hadn't been treated already I would probably have used something else).  New timbers inside the carport, out of the weather, were left untreated.  We settled on twin wall polycarbonate for the roof, which has the benefit of being much longer-lasting than corrugated PVC, plus being more recyclable and a lot better looking, in my opinion.

This was an interesting project for me because it involved both renovating existing work and new work, and there are often many decisions to be made for the environmentally conscious builder: what to keep and what not to keep; what treatments and materials to use etc - all whilst engaging with the customer and giving them the result they desire.

Well, I'm happy to say the customer was really pleased with the end result, and I was too.  What do you think?

Log stores

Sorry for the delay with the next post, best laid plans and all that, I'm trying to get used to updating the website alongside doing projects and it's taking some doing, but we'll get there!

Here are some pictures of a log store we've built here at Huff and Puff HQ. I started with geo-textile membrane and a layer of DTP Type 1 sub-base (if you don't know, this is a mixture of fine material up to larger pieces that locks together when compacted to form a solid but permeable layer), with 20mm limestone chippings on top.

The framing is made from 100mm square oak posts. In this case I've inserted these into metal posts at ground level because we had them around already, but this could be done in a number of other ways. The rafters are cut from treated pine posts that have seen better days, but which are perfectly adequate under cover in the roof. The idea with a log store is to get air circulating around the wood, ideally give it some sun when it's about, and to keep the rain off. The French and probably many others do this with massive overhanging roofs so the wood can be exposed all year round. That's not always possible if space is limited, so the approach here has been to leave a gap to the wall behind the store and put doors on the front (to be added, I'll put more shots on our gallery or product pages in time) so that these can be opened or removed in summer, when the sun should far outweigh any rain issues. We have some reclaimed slate which will be going on the roof soon.

What do you think so far?

Thanks for the timber Phil, but where is the straw, I hear you say! Well, exciting news is afoot, check back very, very soon!