Mr Squidge has been working his little socks off in recent weeks, and things are very different now to how they were back at the beginning of April. For once, we've not taken lots of photos during the process, so you'll just have to believe me when I say that Mr Squidge built the skeleton frame; fitted the damp proof membrane for the floor; stapled another breathable DPM to the frame; clad the walls in shiplap; lifted plywood panels up to make the roof; cut the hole for the ENORMOUS skylight; emptied the rainwater out of the groundsheet which he covered said skylight hole with, and then he climbed onto the roof with a friend to glue down the rubber roofing material and fit the skylight.
I've been helping where I can, though that's not a huge amount. My job seemed to be limited to unloading planks from the Moggy (our beloved Morris Traveller) every time Mr Squidge took a trip to the woodyard (and reloading again when he got one lot home and discovered he'd picked the wrong ones up!), making tea, and sticking/stapling the breathable membrane to the frame.
The only thing Mr Squidge hasn't done himself was fit the doors, for the simple reason that it didn't cost too much extra (or take very long on the day) to have the experts fit them. And, if there are any problems, the experts will come back and fix it. Huge thanks to Midland Bi-folds for doing such a brilliant job.
There is still lots to do before the room is finished - insulate the floor, walls, and ceiling; skin the walls; put flooring down; paint the walls; clad what's left either side of the doors; fit guttering; find furniture; fit electrics and a stove - but it is going to be a lovely place for Mr Squidge and I to retreat to ourselves, or to send the kids to if they want time with friends without us oldies gatecrashing.
I have to say, it looks amazing, even at this stage.
The walls either side of the glass panels will be clad in red cedar shiplap to finish them off, and the doors will appear black; the white on them is protective tape.
The view from inside the room, looking back to the house. Do excuse the pile of earth, rubble and offcuts for the moment, and focus on how beautifully the apple and pear trees frame the view...
In the next pic, you can see a bit of the gigantic 8 foot by 4 foot domed skylight - it was chucking it down when I took these next couple of pictures, yet inside is still beautifully light. And the best thing is that the skylight doesn't leak - we were a little worried after some of the torrential showers we've had recently...
When the doors arrived, we'd completely forgotten that the level of our lawn was higher than the bottom of the doors when the doors were fully opened. So a bit of hasty digging by Mr Squidge, and we have a depression with a curved edge for the door end, and a square end for when all three panels are open. The plan is to fill this depression with slabs similar to our patio and fill in any remaining gaps (and the walkways around the sides and back) with pea gravel to help drainage.
The doors fold right back, leaving the whole front open...
I have to say, I was initially reluctant to build a monstrous shed at the bottom of the garden, but now it's here, I'm quite liking the idea.
Not so keen on the idea of it being a party shed and band practise room (for the Squidgelings) or a miniature railway or snooker room (Mr Squidge.) I have visions of using it for early morning Pilates...and a writing den, which is what I was told the room could be used for originally.
I daresay we'll find more uses for it as time goes on, and we'll settle into it. Next update will probably be when it's furnished!