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Cosmetic pointing

Category: Barn Conversion Journal February 24th, 2012 by mbc

As I mentioned in my January building progress update, I’ve been pointing the internal cracks in the mortar of the exposed masonry internal walls.

We to put in two openings, one at ground and one at first floor level, from the main room 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 was bag pointed (that is coated with a thin lime based sand render) 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.

From Pointing

I made a ‘carefully’ blended mortar from the sweepings of the dried mortar that had crumbled off the wall, lose pieces of mortar taken from the wall and crushed up, some of the original pit sand that I scavenged from the small amount left in a corner of the yard and some fresh lime putty. Scraping the joints clean, I carefully pointed with a small tool (pictured), then smoothed with a rag to get a more blended finish.

From Barn Conversion 2012

This, along with filling the edge between the masonry and dry lined walls with a flexible filler means that the internal masonry walls are completed (although the oak lintels could do with a clean, there’s a concrete lintel to cover … There’s always something!)

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After #3… The kitchen step

Category: Barn Conversion Journal September 13th, 2011 by mbc

After my post about lots of befores made up of pictures of locations before I started work on them here’s another after

The kitchen step

BEFORE (during really)

From Barn Conversion 2011
The step is an original from the farm that the barn is on that I bought from a neighbour.

The after picture gives a clear view of the stonework of the barn, the amount of care, craftsmanship and attention that went into building the wall, layering the masonry and grouping together similar pieces of stone. Beautiful!

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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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Hole in the wall

Category: Barn Conversion Journal June 3rd, 2011 by mbc

At the risk of turning this into some kind of badly shot photo-blog, here’s another recent picture from the barn. I think this picture amply illustrates the thickness of the walls – it’s probably about four feet from the internal to the external surface.

From Barn Conversion 2011

The reason for making this mess was to get the cable from the TV aerial permanently into the barn and connected up. I’d previously had a temporary arrangement in place with the cable coming in through one of the velux windows. I moved the aerial itself up to the apex of the roof and reran the cable into the soon to be boxed in eaves, so getting it through the wall was the final piece of the puzzle. I’d tried drilling with a long masonry bit, but that wasn’t long enough – I’d tried bashing through the ‘not-quite-long-enough’ hole I’d drilled with a length of rebar and just got the rebar stuck, so this was my final attempt. I cut through the plasterboard and insulation, then with the help of a bolster removed the outer stonework and some of the rubble inside the wall and then drilled through from there. Even that didn’t get me all the way through, but I managed to bash through the final few inches of mortar with another piece of rebar. I came out about six inches away from where I was ‘aiming’ for so not a bad few hours work. The TV still gets a picture as well…

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Building Progress ~ April 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal May 11th, 2011 by mbc

With the good weather continuing working outside has been my main occupation.

The flag-stone fronted raised bed at the bottom of the main garden slope has been completed.

On the pointing front, I’ve still got just a couple of patches to finish – smaller patches than they were in March as I’ve been able to spend a couple of days pointing recently. I’ve completed all the easy bits with the two remaining patches requiring some enabling work – I’ve extended the concrete pad that the gas bottles stand on so the bottles can now be moved to allow me to complete the pointing behind them and I still need to move the TV aerial to complete the pointing around it. The problem I have with the aerial is the thickness of the walls – I’m really struggling to get a hole through the wall that I can pass the aerial cable through permanently… that’ll be next weekends job. The need for some kind of permanent, open duct or channel from inside to outside (obviously with doors, suitable insulation etc.) is one of those features that with hind-sight I should have allowed for. There are a few places where we’ve gone from inside to out – various vents and water overflows – all of which have been opened and then permanently closed off again with no allowance for future usage. Next time!

The oak lintels over the south facing windows have had another couple of coats of wood preservative and they really catch the weather.

I’ve spent a lot of time this month preparing the ground at the back of the barn for laying to lawn. After a couple of doses of weed-killer then many a happy hour or ten of raking out stones and roots I got the ground prepared eventually. Fertiliser and the seed went down last weekend – pictures are here.

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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

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Barns

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Barns – the Balancing Barn

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

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Design

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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

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Architecture

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

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News

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