VAT Reclaim Spring 2013 Part 1

With my completion certificate delivered in November the clock is ticking on my VAT reclaim for the conversion of the barn…

You have You can only send in one claim and that claim must be submitted no later than three months after the conversion has been completed.

VAT refunds for DIY housebuilders – Claim form and notes for conversions Page 10.

The form ‘to claim a VAT refund as a DIY housebuilder who has converted an existing building into a dwelling’ is downloadable from the HMRC website.

I’ve been here before five years ago (gulp! time flies!), but the forms have changed since then.

Having had a brief read over the new forms, all seems pretty straight-forward at face value. I have my planning permission documents and completion certificate so the documentary ‘topping and tailing’ is all in place. I’ve also already worked through and organised my invoices and receipts.

The one area I’m unsure of is claiming back the various small till receipts I have from places like B&Q. Obviously these aren’t full invoices containing names, addresses and VAT numbers so I’m a little wary of including them in my claim. After some research it seems that VAT registered businesses reclaiming VAT can claim on such receipts, but the jury is still out in my case. Further research required…

Building Progress November 2012

Update on building progress during November 2012…

The weather, time & family illness have pretty well shutdown progress this month.

One thing I’ve managed has been sealing the wooden kitchen furniture. After some research Danish oil seemed to be the best option. I didn’t want a hard varnish or anything too unnatural on the worktops so I was happy with an oil based finish and of those on offer Danish oil seemed the best. I sanded out ‘most’ of the stains – one particularly stubborn red wine stain wouldn’t give in to my sanding & cleaning efforts and so remains embedded in the wood as my kind of signature. I’d only intended sealing the worktops, but as usual with these sort of jobs, once you start, you end up increasing the scope and doing the lot. I’m pleased with the finish as it gives the birch a lovely rich finish.

I’m also on the verge of getting the completion certificate for building reg’s…. more on this to come…

Flue guard completed

The story of one mans epic flue guard build…

As I’ve previously mentioned, with the flue from the multi-fuel stove running through the second bedroom without being boxed in or otherwise closed off there was a need to provide a guard in order to conform with building regulations Document J section 1.45. The flue requires a long, tall, open-topped guard and with no suitable shop bought options and my internet searches yielding no made to measure options, do-it-yourself was the only option.


From Barn Conversion 2012

The guard is constructed from perforated steel sheets and aluminium bars, that have been cut to size with a combination of a hack saw and a disk cutter then stuck together with a resin ‘welding’ paste. It all sits on a wooden plinth.


From Barn Conversion 2012

One important addition was the sloping top that stops you from using the angles at the top of the guard as shelving or to hang discarded clothing from thereby introducing a fire risk (as was the tendency before the sloping top was added).

After hours of cutting, sticking, clamping and waiting – Done!

Building Progress October 2012

Update on building progress during October 2012…

The flue guard that I’ve been building from perforated steel sheets, aluminium joints and resin based adhesive is finished and does the job of keeping stray clothing and children away from the potentially hot flue.

I had a visit from the building control officer at the start of the month. Went really well with just a couple of pieces of paperwork to chase up and get completed before the barn is signed off.

I’ve added extra security in the form of locking door bolts to the top and bottom of the exterior doors and locks on the roof windows. I must admit I think that the roof window locks are probably overkill, but the whole place is now very lockable.

I did some further work on the cabin bed in the second bedroom. I removed an annoying squeak that had developed between two touching but unjointed pieces of wood by inserting a small sheet of metal. I also reworked the walls around the bed to tidy things up and did some further work on tidying the boxing in. I’m thinking of using the whitening oil that I used of the stairs and banisters to give a toned down finish to the bare wood that I’ve used for the boxing in.

At the end of the month I was away in Brittany for the week, which helped contribute to my lack of progress, but did provide a great week away from things and an excellent time with my family.

Building Progress September 2012

Update on building progress during September 2012…

The end of days approach (at least in terms of this stage of the conversion)…

The utility room is now completed. Painted, shelved and ready for storage. I’ve also all but finished the high level kitchen shelving, just a small ‘decorative’ detail to add to the supports at either end of the shelf to cover up the new wood brackets with some of the reclaimed timber.

I’ve also progressed with the flue guard that I’ve been building from various perforated steel sheets, solid lengths of aluminium and a resin based adhesive. It’s been slow going as I only stick one or two pieces at a time, then allow the joints 24+ hours to dry before moving on. But it’s pretty much there now, definitely finished in October.

Other jobs this month have mainly been concerned with tidying things up, getting ready for a building control visit in early October and the fast approaching onset of winter. So I’ve tidied the yard / sorted out firewood, repainted the wall behind the stove that was looking a little mucky, filled various holes in various walls and finished & filled little pieces of trim & gaps on and around the stairs and gallery landing.