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Attention to detail… April 2011 update

Category: Barn Conversion Journal April 1st, 2011 by mbc

You (really still) can’t beat a good list (see the bottom for a list of previous lists) – six months on from the last list this is the current position (with old comments in italics):

Flooring and tiling
[May 2009]We’ve bought slate wall and floor tiles for both bathrooms and travertine for the ground floor. Finally, we’ve also selected oak flooring for the first floor. No more tiles to buy – hooray! [Oct 2010 update] – Tiles are now in both downstairs and in the upstairs bathrooms. Oak flooring is delivered and fitted except for in the second bedroom (I’ve added that as a new task below). Still a little tidying up to do, but I consider this item pretty much complete.
Second bedroom still to have oak flooring laid, otherwise – done.

Internal doors [May 2009] We’ll go for relatively traditional hardwood doors, but not ordered yet.
[Oct 2010 update] – Perhaps more contemporary than traditional, hardwood and definitely done!

The door frames still need painting and the doors themselves treating. I think I may need to use whitening before waxing to give the same effect as on the stairs and not darken the oak too much.

Treat internal woodwork
[May 2009] Wax (and otherwise treat) all the internal woodwork, especially the stairs and banisters. [Oct 2010 update] – Stairs whitened and waxed, once all over and twice along the banister and steps.
When we come to paint through again I think I’ll coat the exposed woodwork with borax in a belt and braces attempt at keeping any potential woodworm at bay.

Storage
[May 2009] We’ve got a utility area in the kitchen and will install cupboards in the dressing area (including on the high wall above the door to the landing), under the stairs and in second bedroom. We will install shelving on the landing and hopefully find some really neat storage solutions for various other nooks and crannies – continuing investigations! [Oct 2010 update] – Very little progress in this area, but definitely one that will be addressed soon.
Im still not getting on too well in this area. I’m struggling to find a shelving and storage system that meets all my criteria, which are:

  • I like the look of it and it doesn’t look out of place in the barn.
  • It’s affordable.
  • It’s flexible – can fit and be used in odd spaces.

Paint Internal and external
[May 2009] Internal paint is clay based and the first coat has been applied (except in the bedrooms). We will use eco-gloss where woodwork is to be glossed, although this will be minimal. A subtle shade of green has been selected for the exterior paint work – picture soon! [Oct 2010 update] – Main bedroom painted, but second bedroom and utility room are still bare plaster. Skirting boards are partially installed, but none painted except in the en suite. Exterior paintwork is undercoated but only one window top-coated – I must get all this done before the winter really settles in. I’m considering using a decorator!
No decorator, but the two large main windows and the bedroom window/door are now painted.

Progress Bathroom
[May 2009] Install shower cubicles and clean, grout and seal all tiling. [Oct 2010 update] – Pretty much done but the bathrooms still need some finishing touches such as skirting boards, filling holes in plasterboard left by my moving electrical points around, cleaning the tiles (again), fitting towel rails and suchlike…
Still a few bits and pieces need finishing – all rainy-day jobs.

Landscape the garden
Turn the grassy, nettley knoll at the back of the barn into a garden.
Turf has been cleared ready for reseeding (shortly!). I’ve laid a patio using the old flag stones from the barn and started building the raised beds and retaining walls that are need to tidy things up and establish discrete and usable areas.

Tidy yard
Add beds (maybe raised) and borders at front of the barn to tidy things up. Resurface areas of the hard standing that have been dug up.
Having seen gravel used to good effect at the nearby Fig Tree Restaurant I’m considering using gravel – a ‘too-twee’ choice of material that I’ve often shied away from in the past.

Treat exposed external beams (window lintels)
Treat with wood preservative and yacht varnish.
These will need treating again and varnishing again.

Cabin / built-in bed
Build one in the second bedroom.
No progress.

Garden gate
Build and install.
No progress.

New Items

Drainage & ground levels
Re-establish the land drain that runs parallel with the northern gable-end of the barn. Connect through to the new land drain that I put in at the back (eastern side) of the barn. Dig-down ground levels where necessary at the northern end and extend the plinth that the gas bottles sit on. Generally tidy up the northern gable end.

New Items – building reg’s

Following my ‘review’ of the barn with a man from building control I have a few more tasks.

Second bedroom
Replace the bedroom window ‘easy-clean’ hinge with one that opens 90 degrees to allow escape. Build a radiator cover that will provide a step up to the window & an additional step if necessary. Insulate the exposed copper pipes. Place a guard around the flue.

Complete pointing
…and fill all holes in the walls.

Documentation
Get an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) and find the Heatas certificate for the stove.

Previous lists (oldest first):
Attention to detail – November 2007
Attention to detail – April 2008
Attention to detail – October 2008
Attention to detail – May 2009
Attention to detail – October 2010

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Attention to detail… October 2010 update

Category: Barn Conversion Journal October 7th, 2010 by mbc

You (still) can’t beat a good list (see the bottom of this post for the previous ones) – after more than a year since the last update this is the current position (with comments from May 2009 in italics):

Done – were in progress in May 2009

  • Flooring and tiling
    We’ve bought slate wall and floor tiles for both bathrooms and travertine for the ground floor. Finally, we’ve also selected oak flooring for the first floor. No more tiles to buy – hooray!
    [Oct 2010 update] – Tiles are now in both downstairs and in the upstairs bathrooms. Oak flooring is delivered and fitted except for in the second bedroom (I’ve added that as a new task below). Still a little tidying up to do, but I consider this item pretty much complete.
  • Internal doors We’ll go for relatively traditional hardwood doors, but not ordered yet.
    [Oct 2010 update] – Perhaps more comtemporary than traditional, hardwood and definitely done!
  • Lighting
    Pretty much all bought – details soon.
    [Oct 2010 update] – Done, in and shining brightly (but energy efficiently)…
  • Appliances
    Still Need: Cooker, fridge-freezer, washing machine, TV.
    money, money, money
    Got: multi-fuel stove.

    [Oct 2010 update] – All now installed except a washing machine.
  • Furniture
    Still Need: Beds, dining table and chairs.Settee and chairs have been bought.
    [Oct 2010 update] – All in situ.
  • Treat internal woodwork
    Wax (and otherwise treat) all the internal woodwork, especially the stairs and bannisters.
    [Oct 2010 update] – Stairs whitened and waxed, once all over and twice along the bannister and steps.
  • Progress Kitchen
    Complete assembly and installation of the kitchen units.
    [Oct 2010 update] – Completed
  • Shutters
    Find affordable (under £3000 which is the quote I currently have) for shutters for the yard side window.
    [Oct 2010 update] – Done, and installed.

In Progress

  • Storage
    We’ve got a utility area in the kitchen and will install cupboards in the dressing area (including on the high wall above the door to the landing), under the stairs and in second bedroom. We will install shelving on the landing and hopefully find some really neat storage solutions for various other nooks and crannies – continuing investigations!
    [Oct 2010 update] – Very little progress in this area, but definitely one that will be addressed soon.
  • Paint Internal and external
    Internal paint is clay based and the first coat has been applied (except in the bedrooms). We will use eco-gloss where woodwork is to be glossed, although this will be minimal. A subtle shade of green has been selected for the exterior paint work – picture soon!
    [Oct 2010 update] – Main bedroom painted, but second bedroom and utility room are still bare plaster. Skirting boards are partially installed, but none painted except in the ensuite. Exterior paintwork is undercoated but only one window topcoated – I must get all this done before the winter really settles in. I’m considering using a decorator!
  • Wood Store
    Build an external, wood store from wood and slate in the yard for storage of firewood.
    [Oct 2010 update] – I wish I had time for this one … one day!
  • Progress Bathroom
    Install shower cubicles and clean, grout and seal all tiling.
    [Oct 2010 update] – Pretty much done but the bathrooms still need some finishing touches such as skirting boards, filling holes in plasterboard left by my moving electrical points around, cleaning the tiles (again), fitting towel rails and suchlike…

New To Do

  • Flooring
    Fit oak flooring in the second bedroom.
  • Washing machine (and drainage)
    Install.
  • Landscape the garden
    Turn the grassy, nettley knoll at the back of the barn into a garden.
  • Tidy yard
    Add beds (maybe raised) and borders at front of the barn to tidy things up. Resurface areas of the hard standing that have been dug up.
  • Treat exposed external beams (window lintels)
    Treat with wood preservative and yacht varnish.
  • Cabin / built-in bed
    Build in the second bedroom.
  • Garden gate
    Build and install.

Previous lists (oldest first):
Attention to detail – November 2007
Attention to detail – April 2008
Attention to detail – October 2008
Attention to detail – May 2009

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Attention to detail… May 2009 update

Category: Barn Conversion Journal May 19th, 2009 by mbc

You (still) can’t beat a good list (see the bottom of this post for the previous ones) – this is the current position:

In Progress

  • Flooring and tiling
    We’ve bought slate wall and floor tiles for both bathrooms and travertine for the ground floor. Finally, we’ve also selected oak flooring for the first floor. No more tiles to buy – hooray!
  • Internal doors We’ll go for relatively traditional hardwood doors, but not ordered yet.
  • Storage
    We’ve got a utility area in the kitchen and will install cupboards in the dressing area (including on the high wall above the door to the landing), under the stairs and in second bedroom. We will install shelving on the landing and hopefully find some really neat storage solutions for various other nooks and crannies – continuing investigations!
  • Lighting
    Pretty much all bought – details soon.
  • Appliances
    Still Need: Cooker, fridge-freezer, washing machine, TV.
    money, money, money
    Got: multi-fuel stove.
  • Furniture
    Still Need: Beds, dining table and chairs.
    Settee and chairs have been bought.
  • Paint Internal and external
    Internal paint is clay based and the first coat has been applied (except in the bedrooms). We will use eco-gloss where woodwork is to be glossed, although this will be minimal. A subtle shade of green has been selected for the exterior paint work – picture soon!
  • New – Wood Store
    Build an external, wood store from wood and slate in the yard for storage of firewood.
  • New – Treat internal woodwork
    Wax (and otherwise treat) all the internal woodwork, especially the stairs and bannisters.
  • New – Progress Kitchen
    Complete assembly and installation of the kitchen units.
  • New – Progress Bathroom
    Install shower cubicles and clean, grout and seal all tiling.
  • New – Shutters
    Find affordable (under £3000 which is the quote I currently have) for shutters for the yard side window.

Previous lists:
Attention to detail – November 2007
Attention to detail – April 2008
Attention to detail – October 2008

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Attention to detail… October 2008 update

Category: Barn Conversion Journal October 21st, 2008 by mbc

You can’t beat a good list – this is the current position:

In Progress

  • Flooring and tiling
    We’ve bought slate wall tiles for both bathrooms and will buy slate flooring shortly. We’ve selected oak flooring for the first floor and a nice champagne coloured sandstone for the ground floor – orders for both will be placed shortly. Photographs of all this coming soon.
  • Internal doors (find some that we like).
    Still working on that one.
  • Storage
    We’ve got a utility area in the kitchen and will install cupboards in the dressing area and second bedroom. Also hopefully we can install shelving on the landing and find some really neat storage solutions for various other nooks and crannies – continuing investigations!
  • Lighting(find some that we like).
    We need ‘feature’ lighting for the gallery and dining area and LED’s to run alongside the stairs.
  • AppliancesCooker, fridge-freezer, washing machine, multi fuel burner, TV.
    money, money, money
  • FurnitureBeds, dining table and chairs, settee and chairs.
    Settee and chairs have been bought.
  • Paint Internal and external
    Internal will be clay based and eco-gloss. External Test and finalise colour choice. Photographs of all this coming soon.

Done

  • Ground or Air Source Heat Pump?
    Answer = Neither Hot water system inputs will be solar panels and multi fuel burner.
  • Heating?. Under-floor heating / radiators ~ drawbacks, problems, source of hot water for radiators?
    Answer = UFH with radiators on first floor
  • Openings through internal walls. Have we allowed for one to few?
    Answer = One opening. I’m pretty pleased with the one opening as it has allowed us to plan in a dressing area and thus create a main bedroom ‘suite’.
  • Paint. Compare eco alternatives to branded products.
    We will use clay based paint
    .
  • Guttering and down-pipes
    Aluminium gutters and downpipes installed.
  • En-suite bathroom What shall we do with the 1 metre dressing area.
    The small dressing / storage area between the bedroom and en-suite seems to work – I’ll write more on this shortly.
  • Bathroom suites and Kitchen
    All bought and will have been fully delivered by the end of this week.

Phase 2

Not sure if / when phase 2 will take place, but it will need a plan and that plan will include…

  • Rain-water harvesting.
  • Photovoltaics.
    Are they a credible, cost-effective technology yet?

Previous lists:
Attention to detail – November 2007
Attention to detail – April 2008

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Attention to detail… April 2008 update

Category: Barn Conversion Journal April 15th, 2008 by mbc

Being a fan of lists, we’ve been using one to keep track of those items that we need to specify and decisions we need to make in regard to the detailed design of the conversion ~ attention to detail.

This is the current position:

  • Ground or Air Source Heat Pump that is the question. >>
    Answer = Neither We’re now planning for a ‘simpler’ system with solar and multi fuel burner input. More on this soon.
  • Heating. Go with under-floor heating on the ground floor with radiators on first floor ~ drawbacks, problems, source of hot water for radiators (potentially from back-boiler on multi-fuel room heater)?
    Answer = UFH with radiators on first floor. Decision made on grounds of cost and the unsettling prospect of all that scree suspended on the first floor!
  • Internal doors (find some that we like).
    Still working on that one.
  • Openings through internal walls. Have we allowed for one to few? – yes but we will replan the bathroom / bedroom entrances.
    Answer = One opening. I’m pretty pleased with the one opening as it has allowed us to plan in a dressing area and thus create a main bedroom ‘suite’. More on this soon.
  • Paint. Compare eco alternatives to branded products.
    We love clay paint
    . Eco / Green ‘gloss’ paint review coming soon.
  • Rain-water harvesting. Readdress the quote I’ve already had and evaluate cost and fit to the current plan.
    I’m going to save this one for phase 2.
  • Flooring and tiling ~ select!
    We still need to decide on the main floor tiling for the ground floor, but I’ve already bought some slate mosiacs for the en-suite. We’ll use slate flooring in both bathrooms. The wall tiling in the main bathroom will be white, probably with wood panelling. More on this soon.
  • Guttering and down-pipes excluded from bill of quantities, estimate and add them back in.
    This is one for later…
  • En-suite bathroom~ what shall we do with the 1 metre dressing area.
    Sorted! See ‘Openings…’ above.
  • Bathroom suites and Kitchen
    Working on this one…
  • Storage~ allow for narrow cupboards built into internal partition walls on the first floor.
    We’ve got a utility area in the kitchen, cupboards in the dressing area and second bedroom. So we’re getting there – the partition wall idea isn’t such a good one, although hopefully we can install shelving on the landing.

You see, we are making some progress.

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Progress

Autumn 2013

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Barns

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Barns – the Balancing Barn

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Design

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Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

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Architecture

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

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

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Flanking manoeuvres and good design…

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

Green Deal Launch

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Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

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Permitted development extension limits to be doubled

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Lloyd Khan, making shelter simple.

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

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