Let’s talk about rain. In Scandinavia, where I live, there has been a disastrous draught, so all rain is welcome. Of course, since the weather is wonky, it comes in floods. Also, winter was unusually long and wet this year, so there has been quite a lot of rain. Just not when needed. This has slowed down the building considerably, since it’s either too wet or too hot to get much done.
And one thing I’ve learned about rain is that it’s like cats. It always finds a way in, particularly inside my sweater, regardless of the amount of rain gear I put on.
In my first post, I mused over how much a piece of air need to be sealed off in order to be named a house. While not wanting my house to suffocate, I don’t want it to drown or rot either.
I did not think building a house would be a picnic. If I had, I would have brought several hampers, a deck chair and larger amounts of wine. I also realised early on that building light and beautiful is a lot more difficult than building ugly and heavy. This is not, of course, poorly hidden fat-shaming, but most materials available in shops are calibrated for much larger constructions and if they’re light, they are intended for indoor use. Mostly, weight simply isn’t an issue for normal housebuilders. So sturdy, light materials are hard to come by.
For my house, I’m using cedar wood. It smells nice. It weighs very little. And while a bit pricey, I dont’ need so much that it becomes a great obstacle.
It is, however, not waterproof. As wood isn’t or need be. This is not a great problem for the walls, where the water runs off, but for the roof it poses some problems.
Now, I know how to build a roof with the angles and materials etc needed to keep water out, but for this construction, I need something different. And that something different I’ve pretty much had to make up as I went along. Currently, the roof is one slighty slanted part of lacquered pine, one boat deck, flat, and the alcove, where part is cedar, soaking up water, but not dripping through, and part painted pine, for reasons that I ran out of cedar and also that I wanted to make a hatch for access to the roof terrace. This last bit is basically a sieve.
It does not help either, that I struggle with an intense feeling of guilt over every plank that has to be discarded or every possible damage to the house. There is generally too much disregard for the things surrounding us, matter matters too. There is not an endless amount of matter on earth. For everything made, something else ceases to exist or will never be. But to realise this while not being overwhelmed with responsibility is harder than I had thought. Much harder than making the house itself.
One construction problem is that there are too many bits, too many places where pieces are joined together, so now I have ordered more materials and will be redoing part of the roof. I will also have to rethink the hatch,and add more layers of lacquer to the terrace and pine. Not sure about the cedar though, if I should treat it, if it will season and adjust or if it will rot. This, I suppose, is a question we all face about our selves also.