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New photograph

Category: Barn Conversion Journal June 1st, 2012 by mbc

I’ve just posted this new ‘during’ photograph onto the about page.

From Barn Conversion 2012

Follow the link I just gave and scroll to the bottom of the page to see a larger version of this picture in context with its earlier equivalents.

Not a massive amount of change externally since 2010 – the main thing being the completion of the repointing. The picture also points out what should become my top priority over the summer – the external landscaping and ground-works.

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Getting an Energy Performance Certificate… #1

Category: Barn Conversion Journal May 29th, 2012 by mbc

Time to get my finger out and get an Energy Performance Certificate for the barn sorted out.

After some hunting, rechecking an old forum post that I made a while ago and an email to an assessor, I established that I need an “On Construction” EPC.

I refuse to use one of the national companies that come up on a Goggle search. I mean the ones that attempt to appear to be local – type ‘EPC <your town>’ into a Google search and you’ll see what I mean. Also, not all domestic energy assessors provide the “On Construction” version of the certificate as it requires the full version of the SAP software (thanks Clair A!). Therefore, I’m using the Landmark website, with a search for ‘SAP Energy Performance Certificate’ (which I’m guessing is correct) to find an assessor locally.

There seem to be several options, so, emails sent, let’s see how we get on…

[Updates]
30th May, Do I need a ‘air permeability test’ or not? The jury is still out…

1st June, the air permeability test can be a good way to boost and overall poor SAP score … so hopefully I don’t need one…

3rd July, Transitional arrangements
Gosh, I’m letting this drag on … I don’t need the permeability test as I should be able to conform to the previous reg’s rather than the current ones as “work on site commenced prior to 1 October 2010″ >> http://www.nhbc.co.uk/NHBCPublications/LiteratureLibrary/Technical/TechnicalExtra/filedownload,44601,en.pdf

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Building Progress ~ April 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal May 18th, 2012 by mbc

…finishing touches…(temporarily halted)…

So with our new arrival (Amy, born on the 14th of April) progress stopped in April.

I’ll make this post for the sake of completeness, but have no real progress to report: just some general tidying, feeding and seeding the lawn and clearing out the drainage channels prompted by all the rain we’ve been having.

Right, now back to work and hopefully some progress to report in May…

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Building Progress ~ March 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal April 13th, 2012 by mbc

…finishing touches…continued (slowly)…

Hhmmm, wondering exactly what I did achieve in March…

Painting the door frames: I made a start on this back in February and some slow progress in March. I’ve chosen a simple white painted door lining, frame and architrave that I think looks good partnered with untreated, natural oak doors.

I used an ‘eco’ soya oil paint (I think the brand is eco2, but it’s not entirely clear from the packaging) for the first trial doorframe – the one between the kitchen and the utility room – but I wasn’t happy with the finish. In fairness the paint was a couple of years old, having been used on downstairs skirting boards then resealed, but it left a grainy finish and tended to slide off the primed architraves. So looking around and with some advice from @charliebudd on Twitter I selected Little Greene paint for the job – a combined primer and undercoat then a white oil (vegetable) based eggshell. I summary, it is lovely paint, coverage and application are great and it makes the task of painting the frames slightly less onerous (yet still hardly soul lifting!).

Early Welsh Summer: We’ve had some lovely weather of late and we all suspect an even earlier summer than usual with drizzle expected from May onwards! The good weather has driven me outside…

I’ve started to rearrange or remove some of the debris in the yard and around the garage, mainly wood and stone from the barn, with the aim being to achieve more home-like / less building-site-like outside spaces.

With some much help I also managed to remove a partly fallen bough from the large scots pine tree that stands at the top of the yard that was damaged during storms last autumn – pictures coming soon.

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Building Progress ~ February 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal March 7th, 2012 by mbc

…finishing touches…continued…

Cosmetic pointing: I completed the small but time consuming amount of cosmetic pointing that needed doing to fill the cracks caused by cutting the openings through the internal masonry walls. This was a case of touching-up and filling cracks with a ‘carefully’ blended lime mortar that I made up from crushed up sweepings of the dried mortar that had crumbled off the wall, pit sand and some fresh lime putty. Read more on my cosmetic pointing post.

Tiling the window sills: I used left-over travertine mosaic & small brick shaped tiles to tile all the remaining windows sills – the kitchen one had already been done. I was nice to get back to tiling and to use up the tiles, adhesive and cleaning & coating chemicals that we had left over from the kitchen and floor tiling. I’m pleased with the finished job, even TC, who didn’t see the need for tiling the sills has expressed approval.

Painting the door frames: Although the internal doors have been in for a while now, I never quite got around to painting the frames. Priming, undercoating and glossing being three of my least favourite activities. But during February I bit the bullet and had a go at the first one – the door between the utility room and the kitchen. I wasn’t entirely sure which parts of the door to paint, which to leave untouched and / or which to whiten and wax so a proof-of-concept was in order. As it transpires, I think a simple white lining, frame and architrave looks best with the untreated, natural oak doors.

Flue Guard: I’ve been working on this for a while and have eventually finished constructing a guard to go around the flue that runs through the second bedroom. The purpose of the guard is to stop anyone (especially small children) from coming into contact with the flue when a fire is burning in the stove and the flue has become hot. I couldn’t find an off-the-shelf solution that exactly fit the bill so I made my own from perforated sheet metal, aluminium ‘L’ shaped strips and a wooden base with the metal parts attached together using a resin based ‘welding’ gel (basically two tubes of paste that you mix together, apply to the surfaces you want to join and allow to set). Hopefully it will fit the bill as far as building reg’s are concerned. The reg’s (Document J Building Regs 2010, section 1.45) state:

‘where a chimney passes through a … storage space … providing a guard…’

Photographs to follow.

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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 […]

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Barns

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Design

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Building Regulations, Approved Documents – Part B Fire safety

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Architecture

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News

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Permitted development extension limits to be doubled

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