— Delirious New York Diary



The master carpenter who renovated the old Japanese house was told to leave the place he built his workshop—the land space is not his own, he had been leasing the lot. It is unfortunate but he had to demolish the workshop—then there is the backyard of my house, which is so wide open.

IMG 1122 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その6. 裏庭の作業小屋  6. Workshop in the backyard

最初の柱と梁はロープで立ち上げた。柱の乗る土台は、地中に埋めた杭に乗っている。The first set of columns and beam was set by rope. The ground foundation is fixed on top of those piles set in the ground.


The most significant advantage of wooden construction found in Japanese traditional architecture is that the once built structure can be disassembled into pieces of wooden part, and if wanted, those pieces can be reassembled in order to rebuild it in similar manner. I strongly realized with this point in this renovation project—it can not be done in construction method such as reinforced concrete building.


The master carpenter disassembled the workshop, put those pieces in manageable order by numbering, marking and grouping according to the structural, functional roles. By doing so, it can be instantly figured out that how each piece of material can be put together and fit.

IMG 1125 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その6. 裏庭の作業小屋  6. Workshop in the backyard

重い部材は伝統的な三叉を用いた。単純な装置で、二本の長い木材を三角形に起ち上げ、滑車を吊るして木材を引っ張り上げる。以前はこうした装置で大規模な寺院や城を建設していた。Heavy materials were set by traditional wooden crane–it is a simple instrument by using two wooden poles fixed in a triangle, with pulley pulling up the material by rope. This is how traditional building, even a large scale temples or castles were constructed.

Each piece of wooden material has its own, peculiar distortion after years. Such distortion could occur in various reasons—for example, the sun orientation could dry or heat a building in different manner—as the sun travels from East to the West, climbing higher in the sky to heat the ground or building structure in inconsistent manner. While distortion of each piece is suppressed when put together with other piece, such distortion becomes significant when disassembled.

IMG 1126 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その6. 裏庭の作業小屋  6. Workshop in the backyard

三叉を使い、奥から手前に三叉をずらしながら梁を渡していく。Using the wooden crane, from the back to the front, the set of beam-columns was fixed one by one.

IMG 1127 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その6. 裏庭の作業小屋  6. Workshop in the backyard


During this reconstruction, any heavy equipment could not go into the backyard, thus we used more traditional method. By using two long wooden pieces put together in triangle shape, along with ropes and pulleys, even heavy pieces of wood can be lifted up by a few people. Actually, even a large temple or a castle were constructed by using such equipment.

IMG 1134 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その6. 裏庭の作業小屋  6. Workshop in the backyard

シンプルな柱+梁構造に、筋交いを立体的に組み入れることで全体を補強し揺れを防ぐ。木材に歪みがあるためなかなか組み上げにくいものの、歪み方向にロープで構造を引き戻して歪みを補正した上でこれら筋交い等を組み上げていく。 By fixing those diagonal braces, the entire building is fixed in position without distortion. It is hard to fit those braces because of the distortion, but once it is set, the structure is solid and distortion-free.


Ground sills are fixed on wooden piles, rather than using concrete foundation. Those piles in 2m long were hammered into the ground—while wooden pile could be deteriorated at the part above the ground, the part in the ground would not be decayed. (actually, wooden piles have been found in the ground from remains of old buildings, some several thousands years old)
On top of the ground sills, columns and beams were assembled by using the method described above.

IMG 1136 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その6. 裏庭の作業小屋  6. Workshop in the backyard

梁の上には束を立て、棟木を渡していく。高さがある小屋のため、重い部材を持ち上げるのは骨が折れた。それでも棟梁は細く揺れる足場の上で、バランスを取りながらこれらを組み上げていくのだ。On top of the beams, roof supporting piles are fixed and roofridges were placed. Those heavy materials were hard to bring up to the roof level, although the master carpenter even walks around on the narrow and shaking scaffolding…


Some part of the building can not fit well because of distortions, but those can be fixed by pulling or pushing some part of the building. We managed to get it right.


It was quite tiresome to pull up heavy wooden pieces. Master bring up to the beams and locate those on the particular places. The “dance” of the master can not be learned in short period of time.

IMG 1144 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その6. 裏庭の作業小屋  6. Workshop in the backyard

棟木が組み上がれば、後は垂木を渡し野地板を貼っていき、屋根の下地を作る。Once the roofridge is in place, then rafters are fixed and roof sheathing boards are set.


The height of the beams and roof was determined based on the type of works to be done in the workshop. Long wooden pieces can be moved around the workshop. The workshop will be wide-open building.

To be continued.

IMG 1146 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その6. 裏庭の作業小屋  6. Workshop in the backyard

















Read More


The renovation of the old Japanese house is now at the final stage. (while the report is so behind…) I introduce one photo of the current condition, yet this time I am going to report the “space/configuration” of the building.

DSC5850 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その5. 建物の間取り 5. Space configuration of the original / new building

夕闇迫る時間に撮影。まだ障子紙は貼っていないので、夜、障子紙を通じて見える姿にはなっていない。外部仕上げについては今後。In the evening light. The shoji screen panels were not yet finished with translucent paper, thus it is not yet a final view of the building.


Original building plan and the new floor plan

1. 構造を残して建物の内装を剥がした際、いくつか当初の遺構が残っていた。畳下の野地板の下には、石を積んで漆喰で固めた囲炉裏が部屋ごとに一つずつあり(計2つ)煮炊きをしたり、暖を取ったりしていたのではないかと思う。建て増しした下屋にあったかまどは現在も販売されている新しいものなので、独立した厨房は当初は備えられておらず、後ほど加えられたものと考えられる。今回、厨房エリアは居間よりも一段低い床仕上げとし、天井の小屋組を見せつつ壁で仕切って充分な作業スペースを取った。

1. When the interior finishes was removed from the structural elements, there were some left over elements of the old condition.  For example, there were fireplaces on the floor by stacking up stones (at each room of the two living rooms) for cooking, dining and warming at the fire.  The stone cooking stove appeared to be quite new, which is still sold in today’s market–this area was also added in recent renovation.  The new kitchen area has a floor height slightly lower than the level of the living rooms, while the ceiling’s roof structure is exposed to maintain the height of the space.


Original spaces 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その5. 建物の間取り 5. Space configuration of the original / new building


2. 風呂場はブロック積みの基礎で固められているため、ごく最近の施工だろう。厨房と居間の間に1.5間の玄関があるが、ここはコンクリートも打たれていない土間そのもので、その上に土台が置かれ、下地板が置かれているだけの簡易施工だったことからも、居間部分と厨房・風呂場まわりはかなり後に増築したものだろう。1.5坪あったスペースは1坪の風呂場と0.5坪のトイレに分け、古いトイレ位置には広めの洗面スペースを取っている。

2. Bathroom area is constructed with concrete foundation, therefore it is the latest addition to the building.  The original entrance area was simply a soil ground without any covering, with a foyer space with just a basic foundation + flooring composite panels.   This foyer space is actually the most important connection point to access the living space, kitchen, bathroom areas, therefore the new design kept the space and emphasized its functionality by introducing walls to separate the space from the entrance and kitchen area.  (sliding doors with translucent glass were kept to close the entrance area)  The original traditional style toilet was completely removed, providing a large powder room area, which also clearly separate the bedroom and bathroom areas.  Large bathroom was separated to provide a modern toilet space.


3. トイレは建物脇の外部に独立した屋根付きの厠があるのだが、利便性を考えて増築時に部屋の一部を区切って、非常に簡易的なものを造り付けたとみられる。これは完全に撤去した。

3. Actually, there was an exterior toilet/storage shed outside of the building on the west side.  This shed was demolished to clear up the space for larger open space in front of the kitchen with a large view window.

Reformed spaces txt 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その5. 建物の間取り 5. Space configuration of the original / new building


4. これまで居間と建て増し部分の隙間であるかのようにきちんと仕上げられず打ち捨てられていた土間玄関はコンクリート打ちし、式台と上がり框を廻して来訪者が時に腰掛け話が出来る場所として、家の顔として機能する玄関になるようにした。ここでは屋根裏の小屋組を見上げることができ、さらに屋根の天窓から光が射しこんで明るい。居間部分の大きな縁側と共に、気軽に来訪者を迎え入れることのできる玄関となった。

4.  The entrance is now clearly defined by setting concrete floor finish with entrance porch outside of the large sliding entrance doors.  The entrance is large enough to be used as a welcoming space to sit down on a platform mediating the floor hight differences of the entrance/foyer/living room.  Also, this is the best area to look up the exposed roof structure, while a top light is taking the plenty of daylight into the space.

DSC5851 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その5. 建物の間取り 5. Space configuration of the original / new building

入り口周り。土壁は以前に合板で覆われていたが、新たに杉板で仕上げている。詳細は今後。Entrance. Mad wall (bamboo reinforcement inside) was covered by veneer panels, but this time it is renewed by cedar wood panels. Details to be in the next entries…


5.  下屋になっている回り縁はもともと板敷きで、これまでは畳敷きの居間部分とははっきりと分けられていた。下屋であることから居間周りに後付されたものと思われ、しっかりした基礎や構造が設けられていなかったため歩くと沈み込んだりきしんだりしていた。今回、構造を建物本体部分と一体化し固定、また構造部材を増やして歩いた際に不快な沈み込みが起こらないようにした。さらに居間と同じ床仕上げとしているため、居間の付加要素であった回り縁が居間の一部に一体化された。障子を閉め切れば居間と区切ることもでき、冬などの寒い時期に空気層として断熱に寄与することだろう。なお建物東面は雨戸の造作を変えて壁としているため、開け放つことも可能。また閉めきった時のために、明かり取りの白色ポリカの小窓を2面設けた。

5.  The original corridors attached to the living rooms have lean-to roofs, with fully operable glassed sliding door on the south side and opaque storm door panels on the east side.  (Translucent panels were put on the storm door panels) This part of the building was originally finished in wooden floor, while the structure was weak as it was not fully fixed to the main part of the building.  This time, its structure was revised and fixed so that the floor is continuous from the main living space.  (There are doorsills for sliding shoji panels in order to separate the space from the living space in winter time.

DSC5855 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その5. 建物の間取り 5. Space configuration of the original / new building

建物東面は雨戸を作り直し、開け放つことのできる壁とした。朝方の光取りとして半透明のポリカ板を二箇所に入れている。East side is fixed with operable sliding doors. There are two translucent windows for light intake in the morning time.

6.  二間の居間(各8畳)の北面には二間の6畳間がある。一間はふすまで仕切られ、もう一間は障子と造り付けの仏壇及び障子戸によって居間と仕切られている。下屋的に一段低く伸びている屋根の姿がそのまま部屋の天井に現れており、片流れ状の天井と梁がによって屋根裏的な、プライベートな雰囲気のある部屋になっている。また、大きな開口の腰窓が北面に拡がり、大きな裏庭を見渡せる。

6.  There are two bedrooms on the north side of the living space.  One is separated from the living space by “fusuma” sliding panels (opaque sliding panels) while the other is separated by “shoji” sliding panels. (Translucent sliding door in Japanese traditional paper) Those two rooms have a lean-to roof with exposed beams, thus it has the atmosphere of an attic space with a view to the wide open backyard full of trees.



As a next stage of the renovation project, I would like to introduce a wood deck in front of the living rooms to expand the interior space to the exterior space.  Also, the north side of the building could have a deck space to enjoy the natural environment of the backyard.  An extended corridor would be introduced when annex is constructed.


Read More
IMG 0783 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure

一間につき一本の大引。床支持部材が現在の一般住宅より少ないため建物の歪みや床の不安定さにつながっている。 One piece of header joist per room. The number of the floor structure is few compared to today’s houses, therefore the distortion of the house/ room, floor shakiness is obvious.


One of the problem of this building was the lack of essential structure elements at the foundation parts.  As I have mentioned, “roof” structure is overly massive in order to support heavy reed roofing.  However, the foundation part has much less structural element–the number of header joist is just a single piece for a room, therefore the floor was cushy and shaking when I waled in the rooms.

DSC5802 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure



Another major issue is also about the structural issue, as some parts of the building are sunken without maintaining a horizontality.  The first step was to remove all the base structure of the floor area in order to jack-up sunken parts.  After that, structure elements were added to keep horizontality–footings, infills to close the gaps.

DSC5609 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure

ジャッキアップによる傾き補正。既存床構造を取り払った後、歪みや傾きを補正するためにジャッキアップし、束石などを追加・変更して水平出しする。 Jack-up the structure in order to achieve horizontality of the building. The gaps derived from the jack-up operation are filled by footings or other materials.


Two header joists are added for each room–achieving three pieces per room.  As the joists are added, posts and footings are also added; therefore floor joists pieces are more securely fixed to the header joists to support the floor surfaces better; as a result, uncomfortable vibration and shake of the building is eased.

Also, the gallery hallway going around the living rooms is fixed more securely to the main structure in order to prevent from the shaking of the flimsy floor.

DSC5800 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure

一部の束石上土台を入れ替えている。 床下は乾いており、木材の傷みはそれほどない。 Some foundation pieces are replaced, but basically wooden pieces are in fine condition because of the dryness of the underfloor area.

DSC5801 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure

下屋を支える柱の束石変更。押入れ部分で柱の傷みには目をつぶっている。ただ、建物の沈み込みを防ぐため基礎部は補強として入れ替えている。 The foundation part of the additional storage space is renewed. Although it is not so important as a space, the foundation is strengthened in order not to make the building sunk at this part.

IMG 0848 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure

大引の追加。 Added header joists.

IMG 0849 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure

根太の入れ替え。大引の追加後、根太を加えていく。大引が増えたためにしっかりと根太が固定され、断熱材も入れやすい。 Floor joists are added on the header joists. Now those floor joists are securely fixed to the header joists, so that the floor will be solid.

IMG 0784 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure

床下の囲炉裏跡。古くはここに囲炉裏があったようだ。この部分の野地板は切り欠かれていたため、畳がさらに沈み込んだ。大引を追加するために撤去した。 Old fireplace. It was no longer used once tatami mat were placed on top. It was removed for placing header joists.

DSC5612 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その4. 基礎補修と補強  4. Fixing and reinforcement of base structure

年代物のジャッキ。現役である。 Old jack up instrument–it is still in use!


Read More

屋根工事1 内装などを取り払った後、屋根を葺き替える工事に入る。 出し桁や小屋組の様子を見る限り、元々はかなり重く重厚な茅葺きであったと思われる。通常、平屋の長屋に用いられる小屋組は非常に単純で、屋根の切妻方向に向けて支持材を入れることは無い。さらに、出し桁により壁面よりさらに大きく屋根を張り出すことも屋根面積の増大、重量増に繋がるため瓦葺きの平屋では稀だろう。そうなると、茅葺きの大きな屋根を支えるための非常にどっしりとした小屋組・出し桁構造と想定される。

After removing the replacing fixtures/interior finishes, the renovation proceeded to the roofing. Judging from the pole plates extended out from walls and the roofing structure, it seems that the original roofing was done by reed roofing in massive volume. Typically, roof structure for a one-story high building in this scale is quite simplistic, and it is rare to find the gable structure in such complexity. If the roofing is done by clay tiles, it is hard to imagine the case “to increase” the roof area, which adds more weight. This is why the original state of the roof is considered to be reed roofing.

IMG 0759 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その3. 屋根改修  Old house renovation 3. Roof

下屋から改修を開始 赤いペンキの屋根部分が残念感を漂わせる


However, costly, and difficult to maintain reed roofing gradually disappeared. This particular building appears to be limited to utilize sheet iron for weight and cost reasons. It is unfortunate to see the gap between the bold roofing structure with such a low-quality roofing finish–roofer material was quite low in quality, while the sheet iron were in small pieces, which promoted the corrosion at the edges. Therefore, rain water leaked from the roofing to damage the ceilng materials at some points.

DSC5811 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その3. 屋根改修  Old house renovation 3. Roof

複雑な小屋組 出し桁のために斜め方向の補強材が入っている 新旧の野地板の違いに注目 Complex roof structure for extending out the roof. See the new and old roofer conditions.

今回は、野地板からトタン屋根まで全てやり直す。 経年劣化で表面が剥離してしまうベニヤ板は用いず、裏地を仕上げた無垢の杉板を野地板として用いるため、天井のない部分や下屋ではそのまま野地板裏面が屋内仕上げとなる。またトタン板は棟から軒先まで繋ぎ目のない亜鉛引きの一枚板とし、雨仕舞いの問題を極力抑えるようにするとともに見た目にもすっきりとした仕上げになるようにした。天井のない玄関先の屋根部分には、天窓を一つ設けて自然光を取り込んでいる。 下屋の短い屋根部分、その他出窓や戸袋の屋根部分も同じトタン板で葺き替えた。また以前の屋根に用いられていた傷みのそれほどひどくないトタン板は、建物北面(裏手)及び西面の外壁に再利用し、コストを抑えている。

This time, entire roofing was replaced. Usage of plywood would cause the issue, as the surface of the plywood tends to peel off; therefore roofer is made from solid cedar with planer finish, in order to avoid any finishing for interior side. Also, gulvanized sheet iron pieces are in a single piece from ridge to eaves edge, rather than multiple pieces used for previous finish, which caused the corrosion at the edges. This also allowed neat, clean-cut finish for the roof. The lean-to roof is also finished by the same sheet iron for integrated appearance with the large roof. A toplight is placed at the position where the entrance area is located. By the way, some sheet irons were still in a condition to be used for other purpose; those are used to finish the exterior wall of the north side and west side of the building.

IMG 0770 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その3. 屋根改修  Old house renovation 3. Roof

下屋部分 野地板がそのまま見えている Lean-to roof area of the inside. Roofer “is” the ceiling finish of the interior.

IMG 0766 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その3. 屋根改修  Old house renovation 3. Roof

野地板の裏面はカンナ仕上げとしているため仕上げがいらない ベニヤ合板は表面が剥がれ、やり直す必要が出てくる Surface of the roofer is finished so that no finish needs to be applied. Veneer sheet tends to get its surface peeled off.

IMG 0804 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その3. 屋根改修  Old house renovation 3. Roof

トタンは棟から軒先まで一枚で、継ぎ目を無くして雨仕舞を良くしている Sheet iron are in a single piece from ridge to eaves in order to avoid water leakage.

IMG 0833 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その3. 屋根改修  Old house renovation 3. Roof

大きな屋根面は下屋部分も含め、すっきりとした直線基調が美しい Roof is now regaining its solid, linear quality.

DSC5820 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その3. 屋根改修  Old house renovation 3. Roof

建物北面(裏手)大きくすっきりとした屋根面は、いろいろな面を持つ壁面と良いコントラストを成す まだ使える古いトタン屋根板は、この壁面の表面仕上げに再利用している The simple, solid roof now balances well with the wall with variety of surfaces. Some of the sheet iron pieces from the previous roof are reused for the surface finish of the north facade.




Read More
IMG 0768 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その2. 建物の現状と改修点  Current condition of the building and its issues

屋根の出し桁 軽い屋根を前提とした平屋造りであれば、ここまでの構造にする必要はない 元々は茅葺屋根が載っていただろうとのこと Extended beam of the roof frame. For light-weighted roof on one-story high building would not need such structure. There seemed to be fitted with a thatched roof with heavy weight.

まずは、建物の状態を大工の棟梁と一緒に確認していく。 畳や床の野地板を剥がして構造を見ると、元々は8畳二間 (4坪) にユーティリティ、のいわゆる「長屋」だったものに、6畳二間、下屋になった廊下、その他風呂場や台所を増築しているのがわかる。この8畳二間部分の構造部材はかなり古く、また竹編みの土壁の状態から考えても戦前のもので、築80年以上はたっているようだ。増築部分は部材がかなりチープで、構造も最小限、仕上げもプリント合板などが使われていることから、増築は戦後しばらくたってからのものと考えられる。風呂まわり、トイレまわりはコンクリートブロック積みのため、かなり最近加えたものだろう。


First of all, the condition of the building needs to be judged–master carpenter is in charge here. As we looked at the structure of the building after removing floor, it became clear that originally the building has two main rooms (eight tatami-mat space = about 13 sqm) with other utility spaces, and additional rooms (6 tatami-mat space = about 10 sqm) and corridor gallery, bathroom, kitchen were added later. The original part appears to be quite old as we looked at its structure materials, probably built much earlier than the WW II–more than 80 years old. The additional part has much cheaper, less costly materials with newer finish, therefore it was done after the war. Bathroom area is the only part in this building with concrete blocks, thus that part was added quite recently.

The most attractive part of this building is its roof structure. Roof frame has extended girder exposed to the exterior of the building, probably because the original roof was a thatched roof with heavy weight. This roof frame is partially exposed inside of the building, and its beams and girders are quite massive for one-floor building. Visible frames are quite impressive and beautiful.

IMG 0582 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その2. 建物の現状と改修点  Current condition of the building and its issues


We tried to decide which part of the building should be fixed for now, within the tight budget.

1. 屋根:屋根は現在は古いトタンで葺かれている。赤いペンキを塗ってあるものの錆が盛大に出ているため、全て張り替えることになった。また野地板がきちんと張られていないため、錆びたトタンの隙間から一部雨漏りがしている。野地板を含めた張替えとなる。

1. Roof : currently the roof is finished by a corrugated tin roof material, later painted by red paint. However, now rust is damaging the entire roof. In addition, sheathing boards were not well executed and the boards were too small to cover as the base of the roof, thus the rain water is leaking from the corroded roof. Entire roof needs to be redone from the sheathing.

DSC5548 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その2. 建物の現状と改修点  Current condition of the building and its issues

小屋組 切妻屋根だが、出し桁構造とするため屋根の四隅へと伸びる構造材が入っている。 Roof frame–alghough the roof is in gable shape, supporting heavy roof required to add supporting beams pointing toward the corners of the roof.

2. 基礎:予算の潤沢にある人が行うことの多い古民家改修では、大抵の場合ベタ基礎や布基礎で建物下全面を固め、耐震性や断熱性の向上を図る。ただ、階高があり瓦葺きなどで屋根が重い建物ならともかく、この平屋でトタン葺の建物にはどうだろうか。また古民家のような床下の通気性が木構造を湿気から守っている作りに対して、床下全面をコンクリートで固め、土台などの構造材をコンクリートに直置きすることが良いことなのか、疑問ではある。 今回は、必要であればコンクリートのブロックや柄を置く程度に留めることとした。予算の都合でもある。

2. Foundation : most of the recent renovation projects of old residential buildings in Japan, entire foundation is redone by mat/ continuous foundation beneath the building, in order to fulfill seismic / thermal insulation performance. However, this building is a one-floor building with light roofing–and I am uncertain about the continuous foundation for such old residential building in Japan, which maintains dryness by ample air flow beneath the floor to protect the base wooden structure. In this case, we will simply add some concrete base at certain points as we add more base wooden structure.

3. 構造:古い部分はしっかりしている方だが、それでも床下で家の歪みを抑える大引などの水平構造部材は少ないし、筋交いもない。増築部分はさらに細い部材しかはいっていない。このため、今ある大引の間に数本追加していく。

3. Structure : the original part of the building has a solid structure with good wooden structure pieces, but the added part has much thinner pieces. We decided to add more joist in both original part and the added part for more rigidness of the structure.

4. 建物の歪み:基礎や構造の問題から来るもので、現状、家の中に立つと一番不快なのはこの点である。一番高い現状床高を測り、それに合わせて他の部分をジャッキで持ち上げ、基礎ブロックなどを積み増して水平出しする。

4. Distortion of the building : this is quite noticeable and uncomfortable. By finding out the highest point of the current floor level, sunk, lowered parts will be lifted by jacking up the structure, and adding additional foundation blocks in order to achieve horizontality of the building floor.

5. 内装:畳の傷みはそれほどでないものの、床は全面板敷きに変更する。実際、床下に石積みの囲炉裏跡などがあったことから、元々は板敷きだったと思われる。これにより、廊下も含め建物全体がひと続きになる。 壁などは現状の構造の上にやり直しになる。元は外壁だった土壁は構造でもあるため残し、仕上げを変更するに留める。 現在、棟梁と話し合っているのは8畳二間の天井の扱いだ。屋根の雨漏りによりかなり傷んでいる部分がある。できるならばこの部分の天井も抜き、小屋組構造を見せたい。この件については、屋根を剥がして状態を見てから決定することにした。 その他、玄関まわり、壁のない東側へのサッシ取り付け、建具の補修などひと通り行う予定となっている。

5. Interior finishes : the tatami-mats on the floor were not so damaged. However, we decided to change the finish for wooden floor. Actually, there were two stone-piled fireplace on the floor, therefore originally the floor appeared to be finished in wood. Entire building will be continuous after the finish. Interior wall is found only at a few point in the building. Papered sliding doors (shoji) were everywhere, and diffused light coming into the room nicely–thus we will fix all the shoji doors for now to separate rooms. Bamboo reinforced clay walls will be left as is, while its surface finish needs to be redone–in either mortal or dry panel finish. The biggest issue is the interior roofs of the main rooms. Some parts are quite damaged by the rain leak from the roof, and I would love to expose the roof frames to see and enjoy. We need to judge after removing the roof. Other parts–entrance, window sash, and fitting fixtures will be fixed slightly.

IMG 0563 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その2. 建物の現状と改修点  Current condition of the building and its issues

6. 設備:トイレや風呂、台所といった設備部分については、間取りも含め全部やり直しとなる。合併浄化槽の設置により排水をまとめるのが最重要。風呂については、現状の窓などを活かし切れないユニットバス導入は見送り、モルタル・木仕上げなどにする。台所には竈があったものの、さすがに使い切れないのとそれほどの年代ものではなかったため取り除く。電気は配線を一部やり直す程度で使える状態にある。

6. Equipment : toilet, bathroom, kitchen with equipment need to be redone completely, with floor plan alteration. Septic tank needs to be set. Unit bathroom is the quickest solution to add modern bathroom, but it can not utilize current windows, thus we simply change the finish of the concrete blocks and place a tub. Of course, bath heater (oil) will be added for modern bathroom. Kitchen will be placed with new sink and propane gas. Electric wiring needs to be redone at some part of the building. Lighting fixture will be changed for more suitable ones.



For this renovation project, we can not focus on the high finish quality of interior finish–designing shall be restrained (well, it will be difficult for myself to control it, but..) and I should discuss and follow the decision with the master carpenter. The back yard of the building is so big, and in the future it is possible to build annex to this building.

DSC5547 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その2. 建物の現状と改修点  Current condition of the building and its issues

敷地西面は全面、竹林になっている 傾斜面を竹が地盤固めしてくれる 青竹の愛だから木漏れ日も射す West side of the territory with bamboo trees. The slight hilly condition is secured by the bamboo roots, while the sun light comes through among green bamboo.


From next time, I will be reporting the progress of the renovation.

Read More

IMG 0452 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その1.  Old house renovation 1.



By some connection with the chief priest of an old temple, I lived in the old housing part of the temple for over a year.  The temple is called Nichihon-ji Temple of Nichiren sect in Tako town, Chiba prefecture, with 700 years of history with some historical building facilities in its large territory.  Now I am building up new relationship with the people around here, and by chance, I was asked to use and live in an old house, which has been uninhabited for over 10 years.  I am now working on its renovation, and here I will be documenting the process of renovation in series.



The owner of the house has already moved to other city with no plan for coming back.  The relative of the owner lives across the house and has managed and maintained the house, although the uninhabited house and its large front/backyard were utterly ruined and neglected.  The backyard with 1500sqm land space is completely covered by underbrush, while bamboo trees at the boader of the territory is invading the territory, even growing within the house, penetrating the roof.


DSC5529 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その1.  Old house renovation 1.

For the renovation of the house, I asked the master carpenter who did some renovation/wooden work at Nichihonji.  However, before startig the renovation of the house itself, we had to work on the neglected land by mowing the underbrush, cutting down those tall bamboo trees, or branches of the trees over the roof—it took full 2 months just to do so.




IMG 0555 千葉県多古町の古民家改修 その1.  Old house renovation 1.

Finally, we could move on to the renovation of the house from this month.  (December)  Although this is a renovation project, I have to note that this is not the kind of “old house revitalization” popular among people in Japan with big budget.  It can not be completed soon, taking time to finish up by fixing here and there.


For people in the town grown up in a wealth of rice crop say, “can you really live there?” or “it’s better rebuilding completely”.  However, it is also a reality that now there are many uninhabited houses in town with its number increasing―and we need to think about the issue seriously.  As I looked around some uninhabited houses in this town, I found this particular one with a potential to be renovated with limited budget and skill, as it has only one level with reasonable size.



Trees scattered around the large backyard―chestnut, camellia, citrus, apricot and others―produces a comfortably lit and shaded grove, while the sloped west side of the territory extends with lines of bamboo trees.  Front yard is planted with magnolia, camellia, plum and mulberry trees, while it is still quite open to be landscaped with various design.  The house is situated within a quiet residential part in the town, while this particular house and its territory can be viewed as a mountain cottage-like atmosphere, with balanced lifestyle between a residential neighborhood and a house within a nature.  I already enjoyed a good fatigue from the outdoor works not felt by the desk work.


I will be updating the progress of the work in a series.



Read More