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Summer holiday

Category: Barn Conversion Journal September 5th, 2012 by mbc

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We’ve been staying here amongst other places.

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Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part A Structural Safety

Category: Essential information September 5th, 2012 by mbc

Part A is about ensuring that all new buildings are structurally safe.

As of the date of writing, Part A was last revised in 2010.

The approved documents descibe the requirements in three parts:

  • A1 Loading
  • A2 Ground movement
  • A3 Disproportionate collapse

There’s lots of building and construction nerd material in Part A – plenty of information on the required thicknesses of walls, the maximum height of buildings, wind speeds and their impact on building design, masonry chimney proportions and maximum floor areas.

Specifically from a conversion perspective, the material on differences in ground levels on either side of a wall may make for interesting reading for those seeking clarity in trying to juggle with shallow foundations, lowering internal floors to gain head-room and exterior ground levels that have accumulated over time.

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Wabi-sabi and my mossy step

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 21st, 2012 by mbc

I was just about to begin stripping the moss from the shaded face of the garden steps when I was reminded of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi.

Wabi-sabi, is a Japanese aesthetic concept that beauty can be found in impermanence, transience, and imperfection.

So embracing the concept, I saved myself a job, spared the moss and left the steps alone…

From Barn Conversion 2012

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Building Progress ~ July 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 2nd, 2012 by mbc


Painting of the internal door frames is now complete. Undercoat plus three coats of eggshell and I’m happy with the finish. I’ve removed all the masking tape I used and sanded down the doors where a little wayward paint had landed, so job well and truly done and dusted.

The utility room, the last room to be decorated, has now overtaken most of the rest of the barn in its level of completeness. Having been painted last month, I then installed skirting boards and have started installing shelving, using wood reclaimed from the animal stalls that once occupied the part of the barn where the kitchen is now.

I started work on a large high-level shelf that will run at the same height as the top of the wall cupboards in the kitchen and help tidy up the slightly off centre vent pipe for the kitchen extractor fan and provide some more much needed storage.

I’ve managed to sort out my EPC for the barn and the ‘HETAS certificate of compliance‘ that is needed for the stove and flue installation, so it’s been a hot month for documentation!

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Building reclaimed wood shelving

Category: Barn Conversion Journal July 27th, 2012 by mbc

The recently painted utility room has always been bereft of shelves. All the paint tins, barrels of tile cleaner and bottles of white spirit had no proper home and so gathered in those little used corners of the barn instead. Something had to change. Propelled by the freshly painted utility room and the poor weather I started on some new utility room shelving.

When we bought it, the end of the barn that now houses the kitchen housed chickens. The chickens resided in some rather nicely built animal stalls, that had been constructed from hard wood that I suspect had a previously life in more impressive surroundings – a school room or chapel would be my guess. I saved most of the wood from the stalls, some has been used on the front of my big metal shed and I saved one of the long beams, to use for shelving…

I took the opportunity of shelving the utility room to provide a proof-of-concept for my kitchen plans…

The shelves are simply constructed from white painted horizontal timbers screwed to the side walls. On these I sit plank shelves and then using dowels sunk into the side timbers fix on a decorative front. The front is a piece that I’ve cut out from my old beam, planned and sanded.

I’m really pleased with the eventual finish – cheap and effective, the old wood is lovely, with great colour, real ‘depth’ and it’s own story to tell. I really get a kick from using reclaimed materials such as these. Did I ever tell you about my flag stones…?

From Barn Conversion 2012
From Barn Conversion 2012
From Barn Conversion 2012

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Progress

Autumn 2013

Right that’s the summer over with, now I can get on with some real work without the distractions of other things (like holidays and playing with children, all that enjoyable stuff that gets in the way of progress)… With few major jobs (painting, boxing in – nasty stuff!) left inside, mainly fiddly things that need […]

I’m having a moan on twitter… https://twitter.com/barnconversion/status/368427314868396032

A lovely Flemish barn conversion

I love the interior of this conversion and the great use of horizontal slats on this conversion. I retains the essential ‘barnyness’ of the building… flemish-barn-by-arend-groenewegen-architect

Coming soon, my barn conversion guide… Interesting earthship greenhouse project on Kickstarter

I really like this Kickstarter project >> The Farm of the Future: Earthship-Inspired Greenhouse This project is “Prototyping the First 100% Off-The-Grid, Affordable, Low-Maintenance Greenhouse using Earthship Principles and Aquaponics“. If any of those words meaning anything to you you’ll be interested in the project if not, pass it by… It’s already funded so I […]

Barns

Barns Gallery on Remodelista

There is a lovely gallery of barn related inspirational photographs available on Remodelista.

Barns – the Long House

Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire…

Barns – the Balancing Barn

A stunning piece of architecture, although not entirely to my taste…

New fast-track planning permission for the development of barns proposed

The Daily Mail reports on a new fast-track route through planning controls for the conversion of barns…

De-assembled, re-assembled, re-cycled barns

“A bit like a private sector, modernising, repurposing St Fagan’s…”

Design

What is a shadow gap?

A shadow gap – a mysterious dark place between two plains…

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part C Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture

Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

An overview of Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

Architecture

Your barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

Thoughts on making YOUR barn conversion – "what you really wanted for yourself"

The Stirling prize 2012 winner – the Sainsbury Laboratory

The 2012 Stirling prize was won by a outsider, the Sainsbury Laboratory…

The Stirling prize 2012

I think that this years Stirling prize has some exciting projects on the shortlist…

Our engineers … our architects – Le Corbusier

The efficient, shiny world of construction in 1923…

Design in Storage

When designing a layout it’s easy to forget to plan for storage…

News

Green Deal slow beginnings?

Oh dear! The green deal hasn’t got off to a very auspicious start… As reported in the Telegraph today since it was launched nearly a year ago just 12 homes have taken advantage of the Green Deal with a few hundred more in the pipeline. 71,210 households had been assessed for Green Deal measures such […]

The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

Eric Pickles vague compromise on planning reform keeps the house happy (for now).

Energy policy, smoke screens, fracking, confusion and big bucks

There seems to be only one thing that is certain in the world of energy policy and that is that costs will rise annually above and beyond anything that inflation can currently throw at us. Beyond that, smoke screens & confusion seem to reign. Take the recent news for example… It’s reported today that the […]

Flanking manoeuvres and good design…

It seems that the government are undertaking flanking manoeuvres on the green belt…

Green Deal Launch

The Green deal launched in the UK on Monday of this week. Fanfares? fireworks? a deluge of marketing? … read more …

Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

The leader of Plaid Cymru has promised a “Green New Deal” to rejuvenate the Welsh economy and help maintain Wales’ position at the forefront of Green policies.

Permitted development extension limits to be doubled

The government is due to announce a temporary increase in the maximum depth of extensions that can be built under permitted development rules.

Lloyd Khan, making shelter simple.

I wanted to share an interview with Lloyd Khan that I recently found…

Just what is ‘sustainable development’?

Sustainable development – with the term now enshrined in planning law, what does it mean?

Sir Patrick Abercrombie – “It is a matter for serious thought…”

While reading up on the response of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) I came across this quote from Sir Patrick Abercrombie…