Month: February 2010

Step 7 = high level design

Your design ethos will be the very highest level of your design. Beneath that the next level of your design is to define the major systems, materials and design elements that you want to incorporate into your project. No need to be too specific initially ... start vague and define... Here's a checklist to get you started: Roof - construction material, requirements for attic space? Walls - for a conversion your hands are usually tied but you'll need to consider insulation, finishes and any remedial work. Floor - floor levels are dictated by a heady blend of building reg's, foundations,…
Read More

Stoneworks

One thing I realised from my recent post on the downstairs travertine floor was that I haven't recommended Stoneworks who are the company I bought the travertine flooring from and I've subsequently ordered mosiac tiles from for the splashbacks. I've always received great service from them and wouldn't hesitate to use them again. It's also worth contacting them for any advice you may need related to tiling with natural stone wall or floor tiles. Thanks StoneWorks!
Read More

Downstairs tiled floor

The tiled floor that runs through the whole of the downstairs of the barn took a considerable investment in terms of both time and money in planning, sourcing and then fitting. It's been completed for a while now (since August 2009), but I thought that a post summing things up would still be worthwhile and an opportunity to show off! In terms of cost, the rather crazy numbers split pretty crudely three ways ...just over third of the cost was to buy and get the tiles delivered, another similar amount to get them fitted and the rest went on the…
Read More

Coppicing ash trees

The process of coppicing is pretty straight-forward: Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management in which young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested, and the cycle begins again. (Note that the noun coppice means a growth of small trees or a forest coming from shoots or suckers.) Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge). I think this diagram from Wikimedia Commons sums it up pretty well. I've applied this technique to…
Read More

Tree Planting – Winter 2010

I bought 60 hazel and 60 silver birch trees just after the new year started. Planting has been pretty slow going as I've been reusing old tree guards and stakes from some replanting of mainly ash trees that took place (I guess) 8 or so years ago. I chose hazel and ash to provide some variety in amongst the mainly ash existing tress and because quite simply I like both varieties. These are fitting into gaps in the woodland both natural and created (where I've cut down some existing trees). From Barn Conversion 2010 The first weekend I managed to…
Read More

The four new English “eco-towns”

The building of four new towns in England (housing being one of those aspects of policy devolved to the Welsh assembly government who are probably concocting some more crazy schemes like sprinklers in residential properties instead of schemes like this) at or near Whitehill-Bordon in Hampshire, St Austell in Cornwall, Rackheath in Norfolk and North West Bicester in Oxfordshire is a strange concept when you think about it. New towns have long been the butt of much humour - you only need to think of Milton Keynes and a whole plethora of jokes follow (What is the difference between a…
Read More

Building Progress ~ January 2010

(Very) belated Happy New Year, so what has 2010 brought so far... My formerly lost at sea oak flooring is spending January acclimatising and I plan to fit it, at least along the landing floor in February. I've taken delivery and started fitting some mixed 'brick' shaped and mosaic travertine tiles that will be used as the kitchen sink splash backs and the back panel for the hob. I'm just hoping that my latest foray into the world of tiling can be quicker and more effective than the last one, the thought of regrouting anything again fills me with dread.…
Read More

Future Fuel

As I've mentioned earlier I have plans to start work this year on managing the small amount (I'd guess at around half and acre) of woodland that I have. As all our heating depends on either the sun (solar thermal water panels) or our stove (multi-fuel burner with boiler) the need for a dependable source of fuel is a constant one especially in the grey winter months (in fact it becomes a bit of an obsession). At this stage, management of fuel consists of four threads: 1. Buying in / bringing in fuel. I've been buying in various types of…
Read More

Feed-in tariffs … coming soon to a roof near you!?

The feed-in tariffs scheme certainly looks to be of great interest. For the unitiated, feed-in tariffs are the governments new scheme to encourage the takeup of renewable technologies through financial benefits. These financial benefits are two-fold, firstly in the form of savings made to on-going energy costs and secondly through a payment made through the scheme: Installing solar panels [2.5 kilowatt peak photovoltaic system], which cover a space of around 10ft x 10ft on an average sized roof, will cost around £12,500 but this will be paid back in 10 years because the households will be paid £900 per annum,…
Read More
No widgets found. Go to Widget page and add the widget in Offcanvas Sidebar Widget Area.