Got a conversion to do? Building project? Got questions? Need Answers? Offering a product or service? Visit our forum...

My Barn Conversion

Login

canadian pharmacy
About | Shop | Privacy | Forum | Gallery | Contact Us

My Favourite Things ~ Stairs

Category: Favourite Things November 22nd, 2010 by mbc

We invested a lot of money in wood when converting the barn. The stairs, doors and window frames have all been pricey items. Each involved a number of decisions – hardwood or softwood, oak or pine, painted or treated, natural or stained … Suffice to say that the decision made was rarely on the side of the cheap option. I’m happy with (but poorer because of) the results:

From Barn Conversion 2010
From Barn Conversion 2010
From Barn Conversion 2010

On the last picture you can see how the ball on the top of the newel post has begun to get shiny from use…

Posted in Favourite Things | 2 Comments » « Leave Yours
Tags: ,

the things done on not enough money…

Category: Books November 2nd, 2010 by mbc

I’ve been poring over Roger Deakin’s Notes from Walnut Tree Farm again. I feel somewhat chastised for my insistence on oak in the interior of the barn (although there’s also beech in the kitchen)…

…converting old barns with as much oak as possible. Oak represents value now and is like gold teeth here: you have an oak staircase, an oak floor, oak bannisters. Yet I can’t help preferring the things an earlier generation of us did on far less money – the things done on not enough money…

Read more – Notes from Walnut Tree Farm on page 122.

…I told my wife we should have had softwood stairs – I wasn’t trying to be cheap – honest!

Posted in Books | 1 Comment » « Leave Yours
Tags: , ,

Lintel fungus

Category: Barn Conversion Journal October 28th, 2010 by mbc

Lintel fungus – not a phrase you hear every day…

A job that fell by the wayside some time ago was to treat the reclaimed hardwood lintels over the new window openings we added into the gable end. That was until I realised that there were various varieties of fungus growing from them…

Three coats of borax and three of a wood preservative have been applied. I’ll finish with a layer (or two) of yacht varnish. Hopefully that lot will discourage further mushroom farming…

Posted in Barn Conversion Journal | No Comments » « Leave Yours
Tags: , , ,

Borax as a wood preservative

Category: Products & Materials October 26th, 2010 by mbc

In keeping with a Healthy House ethos I’ve tried to avoid the use of potentially hazardous or environmentally harmful products in the barn. When it came to wood preservative borax was the option that stood out.

What is borax?
Borax is the name given to several mineral compounds of the chemical element boron, namely sodium borate, disodium tetraborate and sodium tetraborate. Boron is a metalloid and so belongs the same family of chemical elements as silicon and arsenic. It has a diverse range of properties and is used in products ranging from detergents, through to cosmetics and as a food additive (E285 – it is a preservative and gives a firm rubbery texture to food!).

Of relevance us and this blog, in building applications, it is fire retardant, it is anti-fungal and an insecticide – ideal for treating previously untreated timbers in renovation projects.

Application
It should be applied at a dilution of around 1 part borax to 10 parts water. It is best applied to a moist surface and will travel through the grain of the wood – several coats are recommended. If possible timber should be dipped in a weaker solution (around 1:20) and allowed to soak. Upon drying crystals of borax may form on the surface of the wood and can simply be wiped away.

Toxicity
It is worth noting, that while not acutely toxic, it can be detrimental to health. A significant dose is required to cause severe symptoms, but exposure can cause respiratory and / or skin irritation and ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Handle with care and keep away from children. The EU has recently reclassified borax as a Substance of Very High Concern and as such it is no longer available as a general cleaning product. Despite this borax is still widely available – check Amazon or eBay as a start. I’ve personally used borax with my usual degree of care and despite it coming into contact with my skin, suffered no adverse consequences.

More information
The green living tips website has an informative article and loads of comments discussing the many uses of borax.

My experience
I must admit to a slightly belt and braces approach to wood preservation on the barns external hardwood lintels as I’ve also treated them with a branded wood preservative – I just didn’t want to take any risks.

Posted in Products & Materials | 1 Comment » « Leave Yours
Tags: ,

Wooden Galaxy

Category: Barn Conversion Journal August 20th, 2010 by mbc

I found this lurking inside an old off cut of wood…

From bochgoch

Pretty hey?!

Posted in Barn Conversion Journal | No Comments » « Leave Yours
Tags: ,

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…