Day 300: Placing the rain gutters

Time to work on the roof. Well the roof specifically but the gutter that will gather the water and direct it to the water cleaning tank.

Operation started at 0900 with Darius, Yovko and I on site. Well Darius showed up later but he has a full time job so we forgive him ^^ . First things first: look around and get this feeling that the roof insulation slid down a bit and freak out. Reassure yourself by trying to believe in the fact that you might not remember the roof’s exact dimensions after 7 months of not seeing it. Decide that there’s nothing you can do about it, if it is true you’ll see it when we do a walk through the house with a thermal camera.

1000h and we are folding back the rolls of grass, geotextile, plastic water retainers, and geotextile to reach the DPM and see where it lands.

And now the bad news: get the concrete mixer. Man that machine is just a catastrophe waiting to happen, but what can we do really? The soil from the back filling is still compacting itself and there’s no way we are going to be able keep the gutter’s angle all the way on 9m length if we have nothing to lay it on.

Solution: compact as much as possible the soil without compromising the Isodrain around the walls with the jumper jack, done by Yovko of course! Trust me you need to steady hand, more than that you need a whole bunch of muscles to hold that thing down, especially with the slope of the back fill. Spring workout ^^

Then once that is done, and you have all your materials at the ready, which never quite happens with us –always missing something, sand- forgot to take a shovel … – you get started after few calculation here and there to know what kind of slope you want and so on.

We placed boards at the beginning so that we could do a first layer of gravel, easy way to gain space and still a good drainage in case the gutters break. Plus to be honest we did have a lot of gravel left on our hands so might as well integrated it to our needs.

1330 and the first batch of concrete is done. Now, a small piece of advice, when you want to do a slopped whatever, don’t let the straightest eyed girl do it, because it’s literally impossible for her to bend the gutter! No but seriously, an electrical level is very welcome when you work with 2% slopes on each meter.

And so Yovko and I set off to pouring concrete one gutter at a time, which wasn’t easy because the space between the wall the edge of the roof was just bigger than the gutter itself, so we had to take into account the position of the roof, its height and the slope of the gutter and of course the clipping of one gutter to another. That was simply not cool. Yovko’s finger were too thick to go under without having to move all the concrete we poured and my hands with gloves did not allow me to have a real feel of where the clipper was and if anything was preventing it from clipping. Previous experiences with concrete should have thought me better, and in some ways, I do know better, but stubbornness is something you have to deal with everyday :) Lots of hand cream later you’re good to go and the gutters as well.

Now the connection of the angle pieces were, how to put this, DPMed the hell out of them and after buckets of water poured into the gutters this system showed no signs of default, except maybe a lack of elegance :)

Seems easy enough, and I’m sure if we had a concrete mixer that could’ve mixed more than one wheel barrel at a time it wouldn’t have taken us the entire day. But there it is.

That’s a lesson that I’ll also never underestimate: the quality of the tools you use will more than often define the time and quality of your work.


Thanks for following :)




Sentence of the day: “I can’t not be straight” Audrey



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