Thursday, November 29, 2012

Settling (for) some errors

As we enter our second year of living in the house, a few spots are showing where there's been a bit of uneven settling.  I believe most of these are pretty small and (I hope) mostly happening due to the difference in consistency of the limewashed plaster and the underlying cob.  I'm also hoping that when we whitewash again (next spring?) these cracks will get filled in to some extent and disappear. 

In my attempts to be a guide to anyone thinking about building a building like ours, and my strange drive to over-share, I thought I'd point out these flaws. 

First one is where the wood wall (with earth plaster over it) meets the interior cob wall.  Above the main bedroom door to the ceiling. Here's a full shot of the spot:

and here's a shot of the crack at the seam:

At the mid point in the living room couch - where it bends:

 There's a little crack.  This couch wall is only about 4 inches thick.

The most troubling spot, troubling because of how it reveals that my design of a major structure point isn't perfect, is at the apex of the arch over one of the bathroom windows, right at the NW corner of the house.  This is also one of the tallest spots, and thus the heaviest wall.  With all those tons of material sinking slightly, the thin arch above the window is the weak point. This is exactly what the books tell you to avoid. 

Here's the close up of that crack. Still, being the worst one, it's not that bad.  

Now that I'm typing, I realize there's a couple more that I didn't take photos of.  Between the steps and the end of the couch there's a small one, and the love seat armrest by the fireplace is come slightly away from the wall. Again, all should be filled in and covered with lime wash.

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Starting anti-fire prep

Well, we never really stop.  But, took a picture of today's raking below the yurt.  Every year I work to get a bit wider swath cleared....