Month: September 2008

Insulation ~ Cork

You knew there was a use for cork except for sealing wine bottles... Description Cork is a natural and effective insulator. One disadvantage for the UK builder is the need to import cork from countries with the climate to grow it such as Portugal and other Mediterranean countries (China and India are now getting in on the act). Cork is fire-retardant, resists mold and is non-toxic. Features Biodegradable. Renewable. Low embodied energy. Excellent acoustic insulation. Low impact production - few chemical additives. Self-supporting. Cork boards do not slump and therefore maintain their structure and insulating properties over time. Performance Cork…
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Building Progress ~ August 2008

Progress in August was ... sporadic. A case of tidying up and finishing off. Plaster boarding continued, the 'missing' kitchen window was 'found'. The one major piece of progress was the installation of the new gutters and downpipes - aluminium and moulded on-site so that they consist of a single piece for each section (no joints). Very neat they look too. It's amazing how quickly time passes, how quickly the weeks go by. Sorry for such a dull month - I'm expecting (and currently seeing) great things in September!
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Progress in Pictures

I'm judging that we are something over half-way through the conversion, not in terms of time or money, but change - it's no longer a barn and not yet a house. This is one best left to the pictures, so no more words... Before... Before (picture taken October 2007) During... During (picture taken August 2008) Keep checking back for after...
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Insulation ~ Hemp

To those yet to be introduced to the wonders of hemp, this type of insulation can seem like a hippies dream, however a simple Google search will soon lead you to the world beyond students bed-sits and Pink Floyd soundtracks to textiles, biodegradable plastics and fuel. However, we're interested in insulating properties of hemp, so back on track... Description Usually produced in batts (a precut, presized, blanket of insulation). Inorganic, non-toxic natural salts and thermoplastic binder are used to improve structure, durability, moisture, rodent & insect protection. Grown in many climates C02 is 'locked-in' during growth. Features Non-toxic & non-irritating.…
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Lime Pointing ~ Summer 2008 – part 3

Whilst not wanting to become a lime-pointing-bore (I bet there aren't too many of those in the world) I feel another update is in order. The tools that I ordered to help in raking out the mortar joints have disappointingly not arrived yet but the repointing tools have. I managed to break the mortar hawk as soon as I took it out of the box so it didn't score highly for resilience, but it's nothing a drilled hole and suitably sized bolt can't fix. More on the pointing gun below... I’ve tried some innovations to my repointing technique with good…
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