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Building Progress ~ November 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal December 12th, 2011 by mbc

We completed the fencing around the shed in November – the gate latches and catches are all in place. It will certainly be an improvement when the field next gets residents. After much trial and error and eventually giving up only to find it was fixed, I got the satellite dish back into action.

The tile-topped boxing-in in the bathroom (wooden frames, with painted sides and a slate and mosaic tiled top) has stalled. I’ve built all the constituent parts and I now just need to get the impetus up to assemble and finish. The reason for my distraction has been my deviation to the world of wood…

I’ve already written quite alot about my fledgling forays into carpentry. Suffice to say that my first project was to build some shelving to fit in the under-the-stairs area and that came out pretty well even if I do say so myself – under the stairs shelves. The second project, started in the last couple of weeks of the month has been to box in the thermal store and build a cabin bed in the second bedroom. I’ve drawn up plans and made pretty good progress having made a start on the base of the bed and the two large frames that will form the ends of the cabin bed. More on this soon…

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Cabin bed – plans

Category: Barn Conversion Journal November 30th, 2011 by mbc

So with the ability to build shelves firmly under my wing (or rather under my stairs) I started on my second carpentry challenge, to – Box in the thermal store and build a cabin bed in the second bedroom. Basically, to enclose everything on the other side of the internal door shown on this photograph…

From Barn Conversion 2011

This is a much more involved job than my simple shelves. As I’ve previously described itThe cabin bed will run along the length of wall … with wardrobe doors on the left to allow access to the tank then the entrance to the bed to the right of that … the header tank that sits above the door and the poor positioning of the roof-light in relation to the main tank are going to make boxing in tidily very challenging“. In effect I’m boxing in the whole of one wall – full height cupboards on the left and a raised cabin bed with shelves underneath to the right.

I thought plans were in order but nothing too complex as I was bearing in mind this quotation…

“It took more brain to put it together than to invent it, I allow.”

Robert, page 106, The Worm Forgives The Plough, John Stewart Collis.

…I knew I didn’t want to over-plan or over-design. The devil was always going to be in detail with this build. So I measured extensively and drew up my plans, always bearing in mind that the hard work was yet to come.

The main plans, on the right page of the first photograph below are the most important as they layout the full face of the cupboards and bed. The rest are my various scribblings, workings and notes.

From Barn Conversion 2011
From Barn Conversion 2011

The main structure will be built with 4×2 timber sourced from a local building supplier – better quality and cheaper than the usual DIY stores. There is some variance in the size of the wood, it’s somewhere around 44mm by 96mm give or take a milimetre or two. But there’s a good mix and it’s pretty easy to marry up similarly sized pieces – I’ll double-up the timbers in the main structure for added strength.

I also ordered shaker style doors, (a full height pair to enclose the thermal store and a smaller pair for under the cabin bed) from this company – Doors Sincerely. They are due to be delivered today so more on them shortly.

The cabin bed will be built as one piece. A solid rectangular box with a sloping top to allow for the sloping roof. Cupboard doors on a basic frame will hide away the thermal store. I then need to think of a clever way to bring the two together semi-permanently – to make it look like a single unit across the whole of one side of the room, whilst retaining the ability to move the bed out of the way to allow full access to the thermal store and associated equipment. That’s where I get into “It took more brain to put it together than to invent it” thinking.

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Before #5… Second Bedroom, phase 2

Category: Barn Conversion Journal October 28th, 2011 by mbc

I’ve posted before and after pictures for the second bedroom previously, but I’m considering the boxing-in of the water tank and building of a cabin bed as a second phase of development in its own right.

From Barn Conversion 2011
From Barn Conversion 2011

I’m afraid that it’s pretty messy in there as it’s still being used as a dumping ground. The cabin bed will run along the length of wall shown in the second photograph with wardrobe doors on the left to allow access to the tank then the entrance to the bed to the right of that, about where the chequered throw covered box is now. As you can see, the header tank that sits above the door and the poor positioning of the roof-light in relation to the main tank are going to make boxing in tidily very challenging…

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After #4… Second Bedroom

Category: Barn Conversion Journal October 14th, 2011 by mbc

After my post about lots of befores made up of pictures of locations before I started work on them here’s another after

This photograph is a bit of a cheat… I’m really pleased with the second bedroom now that it’s been painted and had an oak floor and a radiator cover fitted, BUT it’s virtually impossible to take a photograph that does it justice. The shape of the room doesn’t help, the light in the room doesn’t help and the straight lines of the flue, window, radiator cover and curtain rail throw an odd angle or strange perspective into every picture I’ve taken. So, I present a slightly cheaty, mean and moody, edited ‘slice’ of the second bedroom.

The next job in this room is to build the cabin bed that I’ve promised my son. I’ve just had a couple of carpentry and joinery books delivered from Amazon to supplement the old school text book that I found in my fathers house. A couple of jobs to finish and I really need to learn how to use my electric router before I can start.

Second Bedroom

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Sheeps wools insulation

Category: Products & Materials November 18th, 2010 by mbc

I was at Rounded Developments last week for a meeting and a big bag of sheeps wool insulation was cluttering the place up. It was a cancelled order that was now looking for a home and fortunately I have a home for it. I have two ‘boxing-in’ projects to complete.

From Barn Conversion 2010

The first is around the manifold and associated gadgetry for the underfloor heating that currently hums away and looks very hi-tech under the stairs, the second is a larger project, to build a cabinet around the thermal store and all its associated gadgetry. The thermal store boxing-in will extend across the width of the second bedroom and incorporate a cabin or built in bed as I’ve discussed previously.

Under the stairs it’s mainly about muffling the sound of the pumps, whilst the thermal store / cabin bed project is a whole lot more complex, with the insulation needed for both sound-proofing and stopping the thermal store from over-heating the cabin and bedroom.

I’d always planned to use sheeps wool for this – I like the idea of the cabin bed being surrounded by nice, warm, natural sheeps wool rather than anything more artificial and harsh.

So far I’m pleased with the sheeps wool as a product – soft and with a pleasant smell, it seems to be just what I’m after. Not sure that the sound insulation will be like and it’s pricey (I haven’t paid for it yet so I’m not entirely sure what it costs) but I’m looking forward to working with it – a job for the forthcoming wet and dark post-pointing days…

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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…