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Summer holiday

Category: Barn Conversion Journal September 5th, 2012 by mbc

image

We’ve been staying here amongst other places.

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Cornwall 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal October 7th, 2011 by mbc

We spent a week down in Cornwall at the start of September and there was me snapping photo’s of old bits of stone as usual.

More inspiration for my raised beds – although I don’t really have as much regularly shaped stone as these require:

From Barn Conversion 2011

At a beach front cafe, I quite liked the rounded concrete keeping these edging stones in place. Reminds me of the kind of thing I would do – ‘washing’ the wet mortar down gives a nice ‘organic’, blended finish to the joints.

From Barn Conversion 2011

Red hot pokers & a very expensive piece of stone…

From Travel

…yours for only around £1,000…

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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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Use of colour

Category: Barn Conversion Journal July 29th, 2011 by mbc

We had a night away at the lovely, Llys Meddyg in Newport, Pembrokeshire a couple of weeks ago. Fabulous weather in a picturesque place, a great meal and I really liked the use of colour and textures in the hotel. Take this as an example:

From Travel

Perhaps we should get a bit bolder with our use of colour? So far the barn is all white downstairs and off-white upstairs. But, it’s so difficult chosing the exact shade that you want…

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Steps and stuff

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

With lots of work going on outside I’ve been taking a particular interest in gardens and all things garden related. Here are some pictures that I took during a recent visit to Aberglasney gardens (the gardens are just a few miles away from the barn).

From Travel

Neat and tidy, I like the two diverging paths and the mature planting. The rows of rocks used to delimit the changes of level in the garden could be a handy method for me to deal with all the slopes I have to contend with.

From Travel

Beds and steps (I really like those massive slabs of stone used in building the steps) and who is that in the distance?

From Travel

He’s always one step ahead of me…

Simple, but effective steps. I might use a similar design at the back of the garden where they’re no so visible.

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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…