Month: July 2010

Pointing opinions

Having spent a fair amount of time over the last few years staring at a wall with trowel in hand pointing I've built up some opinions on mortar, pointing and stonework and how the three should mesh together (tragic I know!). I'm no fan of overly fussy, decorative pointing and neither is my new favorite source of heritage building information - the Maintenance Matters webite: In contrast, there is little historic precedent for the use of ‘ribbon’ pointing, which is so commonly seen nowadays in cement. In this, the joints stand proud of the wall face to become the dominant…
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Maintenance [really does] matter

I discovered a great source of information on the maintenance and restoration of old buildings on the new Maintenance Matters website. The site has been produced by Cadw, the 'official guardian of the built heritage of Wales'. Short publications on such subjects as lime-washing, repointing and replacing sash cords are freely available and well worth a read if you're looking for heritage building advice.
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Building Progress ~ June 2010

Oh dear ... the June update passed me by, so here in brief and from some distance (19th July) is a summary of progress... I have completed under-coating all the windows twice with 'eco friendly' Farrow and Ball paint. Floor laying was slowed by my inflamed knee. My right knee stopped working altogether at one point and kept me from work for a couple of days - bit of a worry when I couldn't lift my foot off the floor for, but thankfully all better now. Doors are bought and due to be installed shortly. We've also started planning what…
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Room sizes

I keep mislaying these so I thought I'd put them on the site. With hindsight (wonderful thing that it is) I would have put all these types of things - room sizes, dimensions, plans and diagrams on the site way-back-when and kept them all in one place. Next time! Room sizes in square metres are: Downstairs 1.5 cart door 1.5 cart door 41.9 main room 1 steps / doorway to kitchen 0.6 back door alcove 12.8 kitchen 3.5 utility room 62.8 DOWN Upstairs 14.4 bedroom 2 8 bathroom 3.8 ensuite 3.4 dressing area 0.4 opening to bedroom 18 bedroom 1…
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Insulation ~ Foamed Glass

A strong yet light insulator, foamed glass is suitable for load bearing applications especially those demanding water and vapour resistance. Description Foamed glass insulation is made from (usually) recycled glass that is mixed with carbon and then heated to very high temperatures. Upon heating the carbon oxidises and forms bubbles in the resultant stone-like material. It is usually supplied as a gravel, but is also available in (very expensive) batts. Features High embodied energy. In the glass from which it is produced. Renewable . In that it is produced from recycled glass. Durable, hard-wearing and able to bear weight. Suitable…
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How much does a barn conversion cost? Part 3

Here I'll consider the actual costs of converting your barn and making it habitable. The Conversion So we've safely purchased our pile of stone, slate and wood and it's quietly decaying away in the corner of a farm-yard somewhere, how much will it cost to convert it to a place a person (rather than a pig) could live in? When I started out on my project I shied away from those cost-per-square metre charts that building books such as The Housebuilder's Bible Eighth Edition (8th Edition) and Building Your Own Home are so fond of. To my inexperienced mind averaging…
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