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Building Progress in June 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal July 11th, 2012 by mbc

The seemingly eternal internal door frame painting continues. They’re going to take undercoat plus two coats of eggshell to give a finish that I’m happy with. The prepainted architraves probably don’t need the second coat, but the raw wood frames certainly need the three coats.

From Materials

The utility room is now fully painted and I’ve added a splash of colour to the small dressing area between the main bedroom and the ensuite bathroom. It’s a Farrow & Ball colour called brassica, a brown / purple colour (probably a bit like cabbage juice which doesn’t make it sound very attractive) which I think has real depth and strength and that complements the slate tiling in the ensuite. I’ll probably paint a wall in the ensuite with it as well.

All tiling is now finished, having cleaned the splash-back in the utility room and the final piece of tiling in the ensuite bathroom. I’ve left off treating them with any kind of heavy duty sealant, both are in low usage areas and I think the untreated finish is far nicer.

Grass continues to be a major challenge, the rain both making it grow wildly and dissuading me from attempting to cut it means that things are getting a bit ‘jungly’ out there.

I’m still in the process of getting my EPC sorted out.

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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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Building Progress ~ January 2012

Category: Barn Conversion Journal February 6th, 2012 by mbc

…finishing touches…

Some finishing touches were required to the cabin bed and boxing-in in the second bedroom – here it is in its pretty much completed (there’s always something else I want to fiddle with to get it just right) and fully ‘dressed’ state.

From Barn Conversion 2012

I then started work on some of the finishing touches that need to be made to the internal finishes:

Cosmetic pointing: Two of the most disruptive things we did to the barn in its conversion were to put in two doorways (one each at ground and first floor level) from the main full height section of the barn into the smaller, two storey section that now houses the kitchen (on the ground floor) and a bedroom (on the first floor). These doorways go through an internal wall that has been left as dressed stone on one side and bag pointed on the other. The violence of cutting the openings had cracked some of the mortar so some touching-up and filling of cracks with a carefully blended lime mortar was in order.

Tiling the window sills: With somewhat untidy / unfinished window sills and some left-over travertine mosiac & small brick shaped tiles there seemed to be only one sensible thing to do – tile the sills and in so doing tidy up the sills and finish off the tiles. It was also a nice job to occupy me over a couple of cold, damp January weekends.

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Building Progress ~ March 2010

Category: Barn Conversion Journal April 15th, 2010 by mbc

Under the time consuming triple influence of Easter-Wedding Anniversary-Birthday early April is always more devoted to indulgence than work, at least that’s my excuse for slow progress at the barn and even slower updates of MyBarnConversion.com and once you have an excuse the least you can do is use it.

Anyway, it’s now mid-April, so back to work – what did we achieve in March?…

The shower cubicle in the main bathroom has at last been completed (well almost). I recleaned the tiles, fixed in the cubicle – the work of a couple of short afternoons with my able assistant TC. I then sealed the bits that needed sealing. I’ve not used the shower yet as the attractions of the deluge from the gravity shower in the ensuite with it’s solar heated water win me over.
(By the way, silicone sealing the showers has been one of the most annoying jobs I’ve had to do. I’m not happy at all with the finish and have invested in a Fugenboy kit -‘a sealant joint tooling system that produces a professional finish with no tramlines’- to redo it once I summoned the requisite patience. )

My kitchen sink splash back travertine tiling is complete. In fact I’m rather proud of it. Given all the tiling I’ve done over the last couple of years and my varying reactions to my results, I can say that I’m pleased with these. Hardly a blemish (that I know of) and a nice clean finish. I must admit that I’ve been bitten by the bug and in addition to the couple of sink splashbacks I’ve got to complete I’m looking around for other things to tile… might start on the bathrooms again… (ha ha)

I’ve also been drawn back to the garden and outside work diverting me from the real work of barn conversion. I’d bought a pile of seeds and seedlings on the ‘net a couple of months ago when we were stuck at home with a poorly baby and I found myself twiddling my thumbs with a hungry credit card and an internet connection. As they started arriving I released that I needed somewhere to plant them so started building raised beds to house my ‘crops’. Having a supply of hardwood planks from the old stables / chicken house that we removed from the barn has given me a ready supply of building material. I’m on my second raised bed now and considering extensions…

April and the better weather brings all types of potential excitement – painting window frames, lime pointing and rose taming to name just three.

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Stoneworks

Category: Website Reviews February 22nd, 2010 by mbc

One thing I realised from my recent post on the downstairs travertine floor was that I haven’t recommended Stoneworks who are the company I bought the travertine flooring from and I’ve subsequently ordered mosiac tiles from for the splashbacks. I’ve always received great service from them and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.

It’s also worth contacting them for any advice you may need related to tiling with natural stone wall or floor tiles.

StoneWorks Ltd
StoneWorks Ltd

In their own words: "Stoneworks supplies high quality natural stone wall and floor products at competitive prices."

Thanks StoneWorks!

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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…