Our elder daughter has moved to a house high on a valley-side above Cardiff. As well as taking on a barn conversion, she, her husband and their son now have a stable block and 5 acres of sloping land. Their first new venture is to keep pigs - 3 weaners which will go to the abattoir in about 6 months' time, but not before they have prepared plenty of ground for next year's fruit and vegetable growing.
The electric fencing was ordered and I offered to knock up a pig ark for them. It was a disadvantage that we live 4 hours away as I wanted to make the ark at home. I decided to go for a flat-pack pig ark and trust to my roof bars for transportation. Somehow we ended up adding a kingsize mattress for the journey so with the plywood pieces, corrugated steel, oak skids and softwood roof struts we produced a sandwich-style roof-load.
I'm not sure that this load was within the manufacturer's recommendations. I did take particular care on the drive. Rarely have I negotiated bends and roundabouts with such care. We arrived safely and after unloading I set about the final construction. I had found some nice pieces of oak left over from our roof rebuild a few years ago, and they went onto the underside of the base to act as skids which will allow the ark to be moved around.
With two side struts added, the base was carried up to its first home in the lower field.
The end pieces each came out of half a sheet of 18mm ply, with a bolt-secured door.
The roof struts which, like the corrugated steel, were leftovers from our old postbarn, were friction fitted to the ends.
My charming assistant, who unwisely likened herself to Debbie McGee, held the bag of roofing screws. This was a big help as the three sheets of corrugated steel seemed to have minds of their own.
So there we were. I had to buy the plywood and the bolts, but all the other bits came from stock.
Our grandson approved. In fact he seemed interested in moving in. If he does he won't have long. The piglets arrive in about 10 days.