Month: February 2008

Building Progress ~ February 2008, week 3

Things are moving along at a pace now as the first floor is in and the upstairs partitions are about to go in. We have had a couple of challenges in positioning both the walls and velux windows as the plans don't completely line up with the actual dimensions and the windows hadn't been positioned on the plans with reference to the A-frames and so have had to be repositioned slightly. Now if only I could decide on the heating system! (and bathroom fittings and lighting and plumbing ... )
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My Favourite Things ~ ‘Rounded Corner’

One corner of the barn has been carefully rounded, it speaks to me of workmanship, care and simple good design (don't worry I'm not literally hearing walls speak). The stones are arranged to offer no sharp edges, no right angles. My favourite reason for constructing the wall in this was is to save cows that round the corner from banging their hip bones - although friendliness to any animals or machines going that way is probably the real story.
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Building Progress ~ February 2008, week 2

Whilst the insulation continues to be installed into the roof of the barn, I have a admission to make... despite eco aims and intentions I've not been precious in ensuring that the insulation products we are using adhere to this ethos. To be honest, I find the various pro's and con's of individual insulation solutions tortuous and often divisive. Questions such as: How far has it travelled? What chemicals have been used in its manufacture? Is local rock-wool greener than chemical impregnated sheep's wool that has travelled far and wide chewing up carbon as it goes? ...serve to cloud issues…
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Clay Based Paint

I've recently been undertaking some redecorating (not at the barn - we're not that advanced yet) and as part of the healthy house ethos that I'm following, I thought I'd explore the possibility of using natural paints. I chose to use earthBorn clay paint as an alternative to a standard emulsion for painting internal walls. Not only can it offer the health benefits I seek, as in it: # minimises condensation and deters fungal growth such as mildew # [is] water-borne, VOC free, low odour # [is] highly breathable, making for a more comfortable living environment and minimising the impact…
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Building Progress ~ February 2008, week 1

The true proportions and dimensions of the final building are now beginning to appear. The wooden frame that will hold the insulation and boarding away from the original walls is now starting to take shape, the insulation is going into the roof, and the basic structure for the first floor is nearly complete. I approach the place with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Worries about size and choices and what the finished place will be like mix with excitement for the new building that is taking shape.
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Gothic Grand Designs Redemption?

I'm determined not to keep going on about Grand Designs, so this is the last I'll say on it (at least for the moment), but it was nice to see Kevin find his old critical eye again - I guess he lost it somewhere on the way to all those rich peoples houses. The Gothic Executive Tudor Timber Frame Mini-Castle featured in this weeks programme was a little difficult to get to grips with at any level - architectural, aesthetic or practical. Personally, whilst I admired the whole Gothic principle underlying the design, the non-structural oak propped up by a…
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My Favourite Things ~ ‘Cart Door Arches’

The barn is endowed with a handsome pair of opposing cart doors. The doors stand about 12 feet tall and are topped by a arch of cut, dressed stone. After some research on Wikipedia, I reckon they are segmental, shouldered arches. The arches are two of the major features of the barn, when building has been completed they will both be glazed and will hopefully provide ample light to the interior. What I want to do is to leave as much of the arch-work visible, not just outside, but inside as well. This is difficult with building regulations demanding heavily…
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My Favourite Things ~ ‘Arrow Slits’

With a project like this it is sometimes easy to allow the big picture to overwhelm the little things. It is often the little things that make the whole thing seem worthwhile at the beginning. So, in appreciation of the little things, I thought I'd put together a series of posts on those features that add texture, detail and richness to the whole and that make it all seem worthwhile. I always get corrected when I refer to the ventilation slits in the wall of the barn as arrow slits. But the little boy who loved castles is irrepressible when…
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