Month: November 2008

Cleaning oak beams

I wanted to minimise the use of steel in the building and I like the texture and appearance of untreated hard woods - that led to the importation of two eastern European oak beams for use in the barn. That long journey (let's not worry about carbon footprints for now) and a few weeks sitting outside on my yard left their marks on the beams. Both were water stained and blackened and in this state were installed into the barn and the first floor was built 'on' them. Based on a combination of hind-sight and time earned experience here is…
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Corner bath?

The bath I bought doesn't quite fit into the bathroom if it's placed along the same wall as the shower... It does fit if placed across the corner as in the picture, so the question is corner bath? Does it say badly planned bathroom or boutique hotel? Corner bath?
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Main bedroom ‘suite’…

Please excuse the slightly pompous title to this post - guess I'm pretty happy with way this aspect of the conversion has gone. The initial design was a little bit strange, with two doors through an internal wall that didn't really have enough space for them and an over-large en suite bathroom that was a waste of space. After a fair amount of thought a new plan was decided upon and after some juggling and guess-work started to be put into action. Entering from the landing So now, with the walls and doorways in place and the finishes beginning to…
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Items ‘ordinarily’ incorporated in a building

Having spent much time pawing over VAT documentation in preparation for my VAT reclaim I discovered that the HM Revenue & Customs definition of items 'ordinarily' incorporated in a building makes for interesting reading and may suggest a few VAT free inclusions for your design. In short, you can claim for building materials that are ordinarily incorporated into that type of building during the course of the conversion. These include: Air conditioning; Not good for the environment - definitely not encouraged! Dust extractors and filters (including built-in vacuum cleaners); Built in vacuum cleaners! - Cool! Flooring materials (not carpets); If…
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The case for coal

Now here's a conundrum... First the facts: The barn lies just outside of the South Wales Coal Field. Our heating system will comprise of solar thermal water heating (from in-roof panels) with a multi-fuel burner as the 'primary' heat source (& a backup electrical heating coil in the tank) [Read the background to that] (I'm still not sure if this stripped down heating system is a brave or foolish solution, but the decision is made and plans in place). I will have a need to keep the multi-fuel burner fuelled, albeit infrequently, and providing some heat over-night and into the…
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Step 6 = define your design ethos

Decide upon your design ethos. Much as I hate the pretentious word ethos I think it's essential to define what you want to achieve. To continue on a pretentious theme whilst shifting into the world of business speak to define your terms of reference. For example, do you want a eco-minimalist, 'healthy house' or country kitchen style (or perhaps try to blend all three for a unique yet barmy finish)? There are many ways to approach your design and approach is not something to consider as your build comes to a close and you start thinking about final finishes or…
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MBC Photos now on Flickr

With the somewhat baffling success of our YouTube videos now playing on Channel MBC ... (Serving over 1,000 discerning TV viewers to date!) I thought I should turn my attention to still photographs and using the best of the web to make them available to you. Please join our new My Barn Conversion flickr group My intention is to use this feed for pictures of progress and key stages and developments. Keep checking back! www.flickr.com bochgoch's my barn conversion - progress photoset You might also like to view my more arty photographs under the name of bochgoch. www.flickr.com bochgoch's bochgoch…
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