Month: November 2007

Design Patterns ~ my choices

I've already written about one of my favourite building design books A Pattern Language - Towns Buildings Construction by Alexander, Ishikawa & Silverstein. I thought it would be worthwhile stating which of the patterns I'll be paying most attention to in my design. The list is not exhaustive, other patterns will have a bearing, new patterns will come along, chosen patterns will fall by the wayside. But here are my main current choices: 106 Positive outdoor space. A complex pattern, but generally - give outdoor space a distinct and definite purpose, make spaces entities. 112 Entrance transition. Provide a graceful…
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Building Progress ~ November 2007, week 1 and 2

Let the games begin. The first phase of building involves excavation of the exterior ground levels all around the building to provide drainage trenches and ensure that exterior floor levels are below the eventual interior floor level. Internally, the existing flag stone, cobble and concrete floors have been removed and dug out down to the level necessary for the installation of the new floor. Hardcore has been placed in the main barn and compacted as the beginnings of the new floor. The wooden first floor in the kitchen end of the barn has been removed. Trenches have been cut along…
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Le Corbusier ~ The function of a house

The functions of a house, setting aside all other 'romantic cobwebs' are to provide: " 1. A shelter against heat, cold, rain, thieves and the inquisitive. 2. A receptacle for sun and light. 3. A certain number of cells appropriated for cooking, work and personal life. "Le Corbusier ... keeping it simple.
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Green = Mean ?

I've spent the day practicing my version of precision carpentry cladding openings of my big metal shed. My approach to carpentry is based on one of the many mantra's of someone of great wisdom who used to work with my father and brother: Measure twice, cut once. I have finely tuned this to: Measure once, cut once. (It'll be OK) Thus saving a third of the time that would otherwise be spent ;) Whilst hacking away roughly at the wood I've reused from the animal stalls in the barn I got to thinking about the wisdom of what I was…
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I’m certainly no bathroom designer / the strange 1 metre wide space

The original plans for the barn had two largish bathrooms one of which contained an airing cupboard that to my mind was a waste of space. Not being a person who knows when to stop meddling, I decided to remove the airing cupboard, add an ante-room to the main bedroom's en-suite and move one of the walls. This created a rather strange 1 metre wide space of limited value. Whilst getting quotes from builders it came to light that we'd allowed for one doorway too few to be cut through the main internal stone wall of the barn (the left-most…
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New Pictures ~ Before

I've been promising these for a while, but eventually I've got there. I'd added a whole new set of photographs of the barn to the site that I'll use as my before photo's. Hopefully, I can use these to demonstrate progress as the conversion goes on. Some of them are similar to other pictures I've taken in the past, but all these are new, taken at the end of October 2007 just before work began. That clear blue sky is typical of the weather we get in West Wales at that time of year (well at least sometimes) ... Here's…
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Attention to detail…

So, as we have started work, we need to think about all those details that I've put to one side until we had a builder. Not liking getting too formal about such things, it seems like a good idea to make a list so: Last update [4th November 2007] Ground or Air Source Heat Pump that is the question. Heating. Go with under-floor heating on the ground floor with radiators on first floor ~ drawbacks, problems, source of hot water for radiators (potentially from back-boiler on multi-fuel room heater)? Internal doors (find some that we like). Openings through internal walls.…
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