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Autumn 2013

Category: Barn Conversion Journal September 18th, 2013 by mbc

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 finishing off, my thoughts are turning to outside. I’ve not done much outside since I laid the flag-stone patio in 2011, so plenty of attention is needed.

The hedge and further away the woodland that separates the barn from the field need attention in the form of clearing back and thinning out. I also (as ever) need to tidy up the yard, there’s still a lot of stone both dressed and raw stored out there. I’ll also need to build a new wood store. Once cleared there’ll be a space just begging to be filled by a shed.

I had every intention of saving up and buying myself a shed. However, sheds appear to be one of those products where you either pay through the nose from a reputable supplier or have to deal with shoddy suppliers, shoddy quality and potentially dodgy sales practices if you go for the more ‘reasonable’ end of the market. Thus put-off I remembered a leaflet that I picked up at the Royal Welsh Show earlier in the year relating to a week long training course in timber framing that is run relatively locally to me. So for now that’s my plan – to build my own.

In researching timber framing I came across an introduction to timber framing published by my alma mater, the University of the West of England (or Bristol Poly as I’m proud to say it was in my day).

More on the course and my plans as they evolve…

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Building Progress ~ October 2011

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

In like a bullet this month, no messing about…

My tile-topped boxing-inin the bathroom (wooden frames, with painted sides and a slate and mosaic tiled top) has grown and expanded – it now runs between the sink and toilet, then further across to the ‘other’ side of the toilet. Three square feet of vanity case storage! I just need to finish painting, fixing and smartening them up a bit.

Getting the back-lit mirror working in the ensuite… has been a big failure so far… I’m keeping away from that job for the time being. Grrrrr electrics.

The fencing around the shed in the field is pretty much done, just the fastenings for the gates to complete. I can then fix the now horse proof satellite dish.

I’ve recently turned my hand to carpentry. I’ll be writing further posts on this over coming weeks and months. Suffice to say that my skills are ‘developing’. The first project is to build shelves under the stairs. These will have a dual role, providing storage and boxing in the unsightly underfloor heating manifold.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time tidying the yard. I’ve shifted a lot of the flag stones that were out there to the garden ready to build my second patio. Much of the left over sand and stone has gone to finish filling the trench that carries the sewage pipe and satellite dish cable from the barn to the field. I’ve also built a temporary log store using a left over sheet of corrugated iron and the remaining bricks that were ‘reclaimed’ from the barn floor. Things are slowly improving out there.

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Building Progress ~ March 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal April 8th, 2011 by mbc

It’s been mainly outdoor work this month thanks to the pretty good weather.

I completed the flag-stone patio and I’ve concreted a top onto the dry-stone wall that runs along one side of it. I have built my (not-quite-as-deep-as-I-planned) barbeque pit and started to build a flag-stone fronted raised bed at the bottom of the main garden slope.

I’ve not made much progress in the wood with clearing trees to let the sunlight in, having been diverted by cutting and splitting logs that were kindly donated from my neighbours wood-pile. Next winters fuel is hopefully pretty well sorted. An additional benefit is that I’ve managed to get my chainsaw cutting much more efficiently by a combination of sharpening the blade and figuring out the correct tightness for the chain.

Now I’m back on to pointing with just a couple of patches to finish and hopefully no interruptions from the weather. I nearly made a start last weekend, but wasn’t happy with the mortar mix which was too yellowy as I used a new kiln dried sand, so I used that mix to start pointing the garden walls instead.

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Garden ~ before

Category: Barn Conversion Journal March 11th, 2011 by mbc

I have lots of retaining walls and raised beds to build in the garden and quite a lot of flags to lay as a patio. I’ve made a start over the past few weeks, but thought I’d post some before photographs before I get too far…

From Barn Conversion 2011
From Barn Conversion 2011
From Barn Conversion 2011

These were taken back at the start of February – things have already moved on as we managed to dig down the base for the patio another few inches with a borrowed digger last weekend. I was never going to get down there with a pick and shovel…

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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…