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Building Progress ~ December 2010

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

Happy New Year – 2011!
Snow disrupted things in mid-late December with a fall on the 17th of December staying with us until just after Christmas – so between that and Christmas itself progress has been limited.

I had high hopes for what I’d achieve before Christmas as I wanted to start laying the flagstone patio for use over the festive period and also mostly complete work on the main bathroom – neither got done as we were snowed out of the barn over the weekend I had that work planned for.

I managed some work in the bathroom – which has taken a step back towards being a building site, to hopefully shortly be able to take a few steps forward towards being a bathroom.

After Christmas, I continued work levelling the patio area and on my ‘tap hut’ (the shelter around the external tap that stands proudly at the front of the barn). I also at last managed to get out my new concrete mixer and mixed a load of concrete for the floor of the tap hut and a mix of cement mortar for the recycled back wall. I’m pleased with my mixer – a Belle Mini Mix 130 – and it’s made in Britain!

The snow and ice caused some further erosion along the bank on the garden side of the path at the back of the barn. This is a problem as the original ‘garden’ wall (a two foot wide mortared stone wall) is perched on top of the bank and needs some support. To provide that support I’ve started ‘under-pining’ the wall with concrete and stone and suspect I’ll need to build a low wall along the whole of the path to tidy up.

I also have an area where the path at the back of the barn ends to tidy up. I thought this would be relatively a straight-forward job just requiring me to build a low retaining wall. However, as I dug in the area I discovered that the soil is very stratified and contains a lot of clay and in places holds a lot of water. As you dig, occasionally the water runs out from where it was trapped in small rivulets. So although not very wet under-foot I think drainage needed. There’s already a length of drainage pipe that connects into the land drain – I just need to dig a trench to accommodate it. Another job for the list…

Finally, I spent many happy hours getting my satellite dish installed, cables run underground and behind walls and all the associated Freesat gadgetry working. I’ll spare all the gory details for now, suffice to say my advide is – use Freeview via an aerial if possible! (Actually I exaggerate, it’s not that painful and I’m quite pleased with the results really) I plan to publish a more lengthy post on the subject shortly.

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Happy Christmas 2010!

Category: Barn Conversion Journal December 24th, 2010 by mbc

“Oh the weather outside is frightful…”

…never seen so much snow, but Christmas is here at last…

From Barn Conversion 2010

Have a delightful one…

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Building Progress ~ November 2010

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

At last I’ve broken the strangle-hold that pointing has had on me! I’ve also gone back to being late making my monthly updates to the website (this one for November being written on the 15th of December) – swings & roundabouts I guess…

I’ve retired from pointing for 2010, probably in truth falling just a little bit short of the finishing line in relation to my original goals for the year. I have about a square metre to point at the top of the back wall and the gable end (6 or 8 square metres) to finish. We had a major (for Carmarthenshire) deluge of snow on the day that I intended to finish the back wall and the cold weather has put me off ever since.

Beyond pointing I’ve been busy in the bathroom, finishing the floor, mosaic tiling and boxing-in. As previously reported, we started some work on landscaping the garden, first with a digger and I then started to level the patio area by hand with a pick & shovel and plan to lay flag stones on sand in the area shortly. I’ve also started to build a small ‘hut’ around the external tap that stands rather proudly at the front of the barn. My ‘tap hut’ is another victim of the weather as it’s been too cold to play work with my new concrete mixer to mix up the mortar and aggregate mix I need to finish the ‘hut’.

I’ve also got a satellite dish to install, but that’s a job for December and all those Christmas repeats on TV…

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Been Caught Snowing…

Category: Barn Conversion Journal December 2nd, 2010 by mbc

Last Friday the 26th November it snowed like mad – 3 or 4 inches fell in just over an hour. Took me an hour and a half to complete a 7 mile journey and I gave a lift in the car to two separate groups of snow-bound refugees. Needless to say I didn’t get much work done. Although I did restart work on the main bathroom which felt strange as I’ve spent so much time over the last few months working outside.

From Barn Conversion 2010

Last week I promised some photographs of the garden after we had cleared it with the digger. Unfortunately, you can’t see much as it’s covered in snow…

From Barn Conversion 2010

I’m hoping for a thaw this weekend. The water pipes have frozen again this year despite my efforts to build a ‘hut’ around the outside tap…

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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"

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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

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

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The Stirling prize 2012

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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?

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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’?

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

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