Wooden Structure


We could now start on the wooden structure. Once you have been involved in a few builds, and this is the one I have been most involved with in terms of physical labour, you begin to understand the rhythm and pacing of the build process.

The groundworks, preparation, concrete foundations, blockwork, measuring, checking levels and final floor height, seem to go quite slowly and all of the work is then covered over to provide a relatively flat working area on site. This work, with a few gaps waiting for the concrete lorry to get to us between its other jobs, waiting for weather etc seems to go very slowly. But the careful preparation of all of these elements set the scene for the rest of the build going smoothly.


Without this careful prep, making sure of measurement of piers, checking final floor levels, making sure materials can get on to the site the rest of the build without this would become much more time consuming, difficult and energy sapping. This is an important thing to consider as the build for the Studio is only being done, usually by just two of us on site. We have had Sean with his digger doing the groundworks and Bekah is coming for ten days to help with the wooden frames. Most of the time it is Simon, the joiner, and me the labourer. It would be easy if things weren't prepared carefully to become disenchanted with the build and for it to slow up and fall behind. In Skye because of the often extreme winds in winter it is really important that outside work is completed between the spring and Autumn Equinox.

If all is prepared then the construction of the wooden floor, wall frames, roof, sheathing is relatively quick and can give you a false impression that the build is nearing completion. Once this big, impressive work is done, the internal work slows down again. Working on your own seems to magnify the task in front of you. It is great to work as a pair or group as you tend to keep each others spirits up and can sort out problems between you rather than feeling left alone with, what can feel like and enormous task. It also helps working with a very experienced joiner like Simon who is looking far ahead of myself for possible problems in the next stages of the build. Nothing can trump knowledge based on sound experience.