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Building Progress ~ August 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal September 15th, 2011 by mbc

The mediocre weather has allowed the outdoor work to continue…

…I cut the new lawn again, there are some really tricky patches that need the strimmer or a mountain goat to keep short.

…I cut a narrow channel along the wall side of the concrete gas bottle platform. I had some concern that the platform was above the internal floor level, so the channel, backfilled with 40mm stone should sort that out. Internally there’s never been any damp and so I’m cautious not to create any.

From Barn Conversion 2011

The juliet balcony I ordered – made locally by British steel so it was bound to take a while to be delivered (!) – was eventually delivered and we fitted it. It took a big drill and some very ropey ‘home-grown’ scaffolding to get it fixed into place but very fine it looks now…

I also built the garden steps. The bank up to the lawn is steep and with small children hurtling about the place I thought that a safer way to get up onto the lawn was in order. I also had an old beam from inside the barn that’s been clutterng up the yard to dispose of. It’s a softwood beam that had sat decaying for the last few years. So it was cut up into six pieces, then each step treated on the underside and cemented into place. I then drove some small tree stakes into the ground to support the front-face of each step. I used some 20mm and 40mm clean stone I had left over from the drainage work to fill the gaps and the ‘treads’. All seems pretty firm – we’ll see how well they survive the winter.

From Barn Conversion 2011

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Building Progress ~ July 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 10th, 2011 by mbc

I got plenty of work done outside this month…

…The new lawn certainly takes some cutting, first a hack job with the strimmer then a slightly more ‘styled’ finish with a borrowed mower.

…Edging / retaining walls added around the north facing gable end and much of the garden side wall. I also cleaned out and re-established the land-drain that runs around these two sides and refilled it with 40mm clean stone (which is bloody hard work to shovel).

…I finished painting the windows at last, now all undercoated and finished with the final lightish sage / green.

…I’ve concreted in and then lime pointed the kitchen step. It seems to work well as no-one who has used it has noticed it! A step is only something you’ll really notice if it doesn’t work properly.

…Whilst I was away, H the next door neighbour and a hired machine scrapped the top layer of stone and soil from the yard between the barns. Then six tonnes of bought top soil and somewhere around a tonne that I dug out from the ground at the north facing gable end was spread a couple of inches deep to provide a base for a lawn. I then sowed with grass seed and fertiliser. A football pitch for T & T is sprouting between the barns as I type.

Work has further progressed on the second bedroom. I managed to change the hinge on the window with some help from S. The original didn’t open to 90 degrees therefore didn’t allow proper egress as specified by building reg’s. A replacement ordered on the internet seems to fit the bill. I also installed a radiator cover as a step-up to the escape window (we won’t worry about the drop from the first floor onto concrete once you ‘escape’!).

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Stoned!

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

I’ve moved two tonnes of 40mm clean stone over the last couple of days and bloody hard work it’s been. The large 40mm stone has to be the hardest thing to shovel that I’ve ever worked with, small stone is definitely easier.

The stone has gone into reestablishing the land drain that runs along the north gable-end and the back of the barn. The stone had to be shifted to get it out of the way for the soil that was delivered at the same time to be levelled and seeded to create a lawn between the two barns – it’s all go at the moment! (and this was supposed to be a week off!)

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Bench

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

In my ongoing search for garden inspiration, I spotted this wooden bench at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust site near Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. I’d previously been rather taken with the cob building at Slimbridge, building my own cob building being one of the key items on my ‘to do when I’ve got the time’ list.

From Travel

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Building Progress ~ May 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal June 20th, 2011 by mbc

Oh dear, a little late with my update – been on holiday, now can I remember what I did in May…?

The newly laid lawn is coming on green and lush, with a few bald patches and some unsightly lumps and bumps – but all-in-all looking pretty good.

Pointing is pretty much done – no official announcement as yet but near as damn-it done, just three years after starting…

…and then there’s filling in the eaves. I spent a weekend boarding up the back, then one on the front, then another on pointing the gap between the wall and the boarding – read more about it on this post. Just need to repaint them and fit mesh over the ends that I’ve left open to allow some airflow.

I must have spent the best part of a cumulative day bashing my way through the wall getting the TV aerial cable from outside to in. I still finding it amazing how long even the simplest seeming jobs can take. At least it’s there now.

Also made a start on painting the second bedroom – it feels strange starting work again inside – especially when the sun is shining.

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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…