Office!

Well, it’s done. I’m writing this post from the new office, on a Wifi system powered by a solar system we installed ourselves that also powers our internet antenna, battery charging, and a few outlets. Our furniture finally came, and I bought four plants for decor. Miriam, a new volunteer, walked into and asked “Wow, you guys have A/C?” In reality, no, but it really does feel like it sometimes. The 18 inch thick walls on these old house work wonders with the temperature, just like rammed earth.

I’ve never had an office, and this is a fine first one to have. Carpet on the floors, clay painted walls, and solar powered electrics, including internet. Woowee!

As a recap, to make this space we:

  1. Tore out the old, 5″ thick clay floor and sticks that comprised the subfloor. Before we did this, I was too tall for the space.
  2. Put down our own plywood subfloor, customizing the old joist system to fit the boards correctly.
  3. Brewed our own special clay paint and painted the walls. Ingredients included flour, chalk, and cow poop. Yum.
  4. Covered the floors with soft red carpet (bare feet, yay!).
  5. Ordered furniture (1 desk, 1 bookshelf, 1 table, 4 chairs) from the market.
  6. Installed a solar PV array on our roof. Installed a internet antenna 5 meters off the roof.
  7. Wired the room with conduit and separate DC and AC circuits (DC is 22% more efficient and comes straight from the battery).
  8. Bought four plants and installed lighting for finishing touches.
  9. Wrote this blog.

Pictures:

The house where it now all happens. The structure is all stone and is 40-60 years old. It almost certainly used to have a stone roof.

The house where it now all happens. The structure is all stone and is 40-60 years old. It almost certainly used to have a stone roof.

The view looking out from the porch. You can see the rammed earth main columns and sliding gate on the right side.

The view looking out from the porch. You can see the rammed earth main columns and sliding gate on the right side.

Looking out towards the entrance. There's an opening above the desk that leads to a loft up above, where we're planning to put a bed or two.

Looking out towards the entrance. There’s an opening above the desk that leads to a loft up above, where we’re planning to put a bed or two.

Recently-arrived Miriam at work in our new office.

Recently-arrived Miriam at work in our new office.

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6 comments on “Office!

  1. janemetcalf says:

    luke, it’s fantastic–the office with a view! i liked your recap of the whole process, esp the recipe for the paint. it must be that the chalk is responsible for the earthy yellow color. very nice! i think the sunny porch needs a sleeping dog.

  2. cassidia8 says:

    YES!!! This is awesome.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love what you have done to the place, it looks great. Ruth sent me the link, so I have subscribed. We can hardly wait to see the house in person. Keep in touch. Kate

  4. Tim says:

    I love the old house and the new office looks both comfy and cozy with a great view. I’d say a sleepy dog, tho, rather than a sleeping one… just to pick nits.

  5. Tim and Barrie says:

    Truly an elegant edifice, and I am curious. What does the cow poop in the paint do for the aroma, and what is the reaction of the local flies/ Tim & Barrie

    • c1211m says:

      A good question T&B! But there is neither aroma nor a strong appeal to the local flies. The cow poop is not heavy in the ingredients, just enough that the digested but intact grass fibers provide some tensile resistance to the clay as it dries (to prevent cracking)

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