Month: December 2007

Building Progress ~ December 2007, week 3 and 4

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! Obviously with nasty old Christmas getting in the way (!) progress has slowed a little, but not to the extent I would have expected. The beams are looking great and have been completely embedded in the wall - the walls have been rebuilt where the holes where pushed through to allow the beams to be put into place. Apparently, each beam weighs around three quarters of a tonne, enough to make the machine that was used to lift them lean alarmingly before getting the job done! The two windows that…
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Organic Architecture ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

A Frank Lloyd Wright quotation: Organic architecture more or less means organic society. An architecture inspired by this ideal cannot acknowledge the laws imposed by aestheticism or mere taste, just as an organic society should reject any external imposition on life that contrast with nature and the character of the man who has found his work and the place where he can be happy and useful in a form of existence suited to him. In short, architecture should follow the needs of society and the individuals within that society; that any awkward imposition caused by aestheticism or mere taste should…
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mybarnconversion.com goes YouTube

I'm always looking for new ways to get the message of this site across, so I'm happy to announce that I'm going to start adding video content via YouTube. The first video is on the interior of the barn as it begins to take shape. The floor is partially finished, oaks beams are in place and work has started on the first floor. It's a little dark and gloomy, but not too bad for a first attempt... Enjoy...
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We have stalactites in our walls!

Rather strangely, I've we've discovered stalactites in our walls. Whilst the photograph is not that clear, that downward dribble to the right of the centre of the picture is a lime stalactite that has formed within the south facing wall of the barn. Whilst the wall is not very damp at the surface, internally it is quite wet and obviously sometimes runs with water. Whilst lime is supposed to breathe, this amount of moisture would take colossal lungs to exhale! That aspect of the building has been recently (over the last 10 years) repointed with what I thought was lime…
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Building Progress ~ December 2007, week 1 and 2

The first of the structural elements that will form a finished part of the building have been installed. Our much debated oak beams, that were selected over steel beams as a key element of our healthy house design have been delivered and put into place. As the walls that will support the beams are already built (being the original barn walls), they have been installed by cutting holes right through the wall at one end of the beam and a recess into the wall at the other end, then being fed through the hole and back into the recess. Shame…
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Flooring

As well as the health benefits of not using carpets in your conversion project, alternatives can also help your bank balance when incorporated into the building during its conversion. You can reclaim VAT spent on flooring during your conversion except for carpet. 8.10 Carpets Carpets, carpet tiles and underlay are not building materials for VAT purposes and cannot be claimed. Other forms of flooring or fixed floor covering, such as vinyl, ceramic tiles, parquet and wooden floor systems are building materials and can be claimed. extract from HMRC: Notice 719: VAT refunds for 'do it yourself' builders and converters One…
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Building Progress ~ November 2007, week 3 and 4

Through to the end of November progress has been mainly on filling back in what has been taken out! The original internal floors were removed and extra excavation carried out to give sufficient depth for the new floor. The new floor comprises of a layer of well bedded in hard-core, then a damn proof membrane (which incorporates radon protection), then a layer of concrete. That is the stage we reached at the end of November. This will then be completed with a layer of insulation that will include the underfloor heating pipes, a layer of scree above that to provide…
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VAT for barn convertors – Update December 2007

I thought it was about time to review the VAT situation regarding the barn to ensure that my understanding is correct, so an overview of the current legislation follows with appropriate extracts. My apologies if any of this reads a strangely, I wanted to keep as much of the wording from the official sources intact to avoid incorrect paraphrasing or misquoting. My focus in reading these documents has been very much on barn conversions so again my apologies if your interests lie elsewhere. Notice 719: VAT refunds for 'do it yourself' builders and converters Who can claim? You can claim…
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