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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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Brittany 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 4th, 2011 by mbc

In June we spent a fantastic week in Brittany – Northern France is about as far as I fancy driving at the moment and flying has become such hard-work I frankly can’t be bothered.

From Travel

The cottage we stayed in had an air source heat pump that provided domestic hot water and heating. I’d never seen one close up before so was very interested to see this one – and confirm the similarity in appearance between ASHP’s and air conditioning units. I won’t say it was noisy, but I’m sure I could pick up an almost inaudible hum from it. With hindsight it may have just been the underfloor heating pump. I’ve noticed that I’m very aware of ‘compressor-hum’ – when the wind is in the right direction, the compressor in the cooling unit for the diary farm up the road can follow me around outside the barn like an irritating wasp. But it certainly worked well, didn’t rely on the weather (our solar panels have been pretty rubbish in the overcast but muggy weather we’ve had recently) and was completely self contained so I’m probably inclined to view ASHPs more favourably than I was previously.

The holiday cottage also provided a couple of other inspirations…

Once the weather begins its descent into winter and I start work indoors again, one of my first tasks will be the cabin bed in the second bedroom that I’ve been planning for a while. I want to build a ladder to get in and out of it and I liked the simple but effective design of this one that led up to the mezzanine level in the holiday cottage (or the cabin as my son called it).

From Travel
From Travel
From Travel

I really need a log store (or two) near the barn and this type of simple timber construction would fit the bill. I especially like the use of slate ‘weather-boards’ – the same solution to edging the vertical face down from the roof is used on the gable ends of my barn.

From Travel

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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

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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

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

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

Design

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

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Building Regulations, Approved Documents Part D – Toxic substances

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

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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

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Our engineers … our architects – Le Corbusier

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Design in Storage

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News

Green Deal slow beginnings?

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The property roller coaster – planning reform to be rethought

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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

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Plaid Cymru’s Green New Deal promise

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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’?

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

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