Life at the end of the road

March 16, 2014

Barely enough for a sailors trousers :-(

Filed under: daily doings, How I, shed/house — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:05 pm

Not totally miserable today by any means, it wasn’t even proper rain, but that stuff that seems unique to this part of Scotland, the dreaded ‘Scotch mist’. This stuff lulls you into a false sense of security, it doesn’t so much ‘fall from the sky’ as hang in the air, cling to your clothes then slowly but inexorably creeps through to your skin. Well, that’s what greeted me and the pigs this morning at 7:30, I include them because even they couldn’t be bothered going out in it and a pig seldom thinks of anything other than food.

The prospect of getting a roof on the ‘solar powered hen shed’ seemed quite slim so I once more busied myself about the croft in oilskins, clearing drains and making a bonfire. Not that I’ll be lighting it for several months at this rate as most of the pallets and wood that went on it was well and truly waterlogged.

Eventually, around the time of ‘second breakfast’, somewhere between removing a roll of escalator hand rail from behind a shed and scalding a hen for eating polystyrene it cleared Smile With barely ‘enough blue sky to make a sailors trousers with’ I dragged the boy out of his bed and up to the shed.



It is far far easier handling 8’ sheets of OSB and 12’ sheets of ‘crinkly tin’ with an extra pair of hands, and of course a forklift Smile After getting on so famously yesterday with my son assisting I felt it was crucial to get as much done as possible whilst the rain was off.


The rain may have ‘been off’ but it had certainly left its mark and that would be as far as the telehandler would be going today. Still it beat the carp out of carrying them up one at a time on my own Smile



The roof will be the most significant cost of this whole project and I’d have been happier with second hand, but at the time I couldn’t find any. Typically I came across a pile recently that would have done the job nicely but that’s life I guess. The older stuff is far better quality and only ever rusty at the edges anyway, chop a foot off each end then repaint it and it’s far better than this stuff. For any hope of paint sticking to this you’ve to let it weather for a couple of years at least or treat it with an etch primer.

Also I gave up on those hopeless ‘drive screws’ and their pathetic rubber cups years ago.

That twisted nail on the right with its hard plastic washer is what is normally used but they’re expensive and pants, the hole is invariably too large and the rubber or plastic either too soft or too hard. If the material isn’t firm enough you risk hammering the drive screw through the thing and if it’s too hard (as most of them are now being made of plastic) then the sheet deforms before the cap seals.

what I use these days are these,

Turbo Ultra A2 Stainless Steel Countersunk 5.0 x 50mm Pack of 200

5 x 70mm stainless steel screws, though 5 x 50mm is quite adequate.


005 006 


First punch a tiny hole, 2 or 3mm is plenty big enough, then just screw the thing in with a cordless drill, the sharp point on the screw will do the rest and then make a perfect seal as it presses against the steel sheet.



That’ll be me five sheets short then Sad smile not that I miscalculated, well, OK, I did, but only by one sheet (same went for the OSB), no I only received nine of the thirteen I ordered Sad smile

That was it really, I emptied the Land Rover of feed and hitched up the trailer ready for a trip to Inverness tomorrow to collect lintels and mullions for the new hoose.



  1. Dear Paul.
    just wondering how many sq. meters or panels you were going to install on roof the hen house, they are still installing like mad over in Germany but not at the same rate as they were doing last year. There are three small instalation firm in about three miles of me and they all seem to have plenty of work when I drive by one, has a nice little Twizy he drive around in. He plugs it into the panels on the roof of his shed come office, The office is about the size of your barn. Because they have installed so much PV something in the region of 36gigawatt at the moment its screwing up the electicity grid. PV last week with all the sun we have been having was pumping somewhere in the region of 22 gigawatt which is about the amount that 22 nuclear plants would produce the spot price goes negative so large firms such as BMW get paid to use the electicity no wonder they make a profit. Another thing they started last year was to subsidise battery banks to the tune of 25 million euros a year first come first served and they pay 30 percent off the cost, something I am sure you would have apreciated, You might like to have a look at this, it a paper from the Fruenhoff site



    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — March 16, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

    • Morning Dave, the roof will have 4kw on initially, that’s why there is such a large overhang on each end so I could perhaps squeeze another row on later.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 17, 2014 @ 6:54 am

  2. wow, those chickens are going to be the princesses of the highlands AND the islands. i may have to come up there and join them in their gorgeous palais. and, your son is now a young person, isn’t he? he was a lovely boy but now he’s grown.

    Comment by Jeannette — March 17, 2014 @ 6:02 am

    • Aye Jeannette, those chooks will have ‘the life of Riley’ once I sort out the mud 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 17, 2014 @ 6:51 am

  3. What is it with chickens and polystyrene! We’re building an extension using Beco polystyrene blocks (brilliant stuff) and keeping the chickens away from it has been a pain in the …. Despite all sorts of attempts to keep them away from our new building we have a line of ‘peck holes’ at chicken head height. Fortunately no damage done to building or hens. The chickens did get a new super size run out of the problem so they can still roam but be confined to an area of the garden

    Comment by Petina — March 17, 2014 @ 6:03 pm

    • Hi Petina and welcome,

      it’s not just chickens, cows love it too. I despair at our hens sometimes, I have a shed with some in and the moment I leave the door open for just a minute they’re in it. Over the course of about a year they managed completely eat about half a cubic meter of the stuff!!!

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 17, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

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