Year: 2011

Cabin bed build ~ part 1

With plans in place, some success under my belt and a enthusiasm for cutting wood(!) I recently started work on a cabin bed for the second bedroom in the barn. The cabin bed build was a part of a larger project that included boxing-in the large thermal water store and all the associated pipe work, pumps and control boxes. For clarity, I'll focus on the cabin bed in these posts and cover the boxing-in elsewhere. I based my plans on some that I found on the web that I've since lost and in reality pretty much disregarded, but they gave…
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Local Government Committee brands the National Planning Policy Framework as “unhelpfully vague” and a “lawyer’s charter”

According to an article in today's Telegraph a cross party group of MP's has been pretty critical of the National Planning Policy Framework, commenting amongst other things that it is "unhelpfully vague" and a "lawyer's charter". The Local Government Committee go on to make the following recommendations: * Scrapping a clause where developers are given a default "yes" to building in areas where councils have failed to draw up local plans to protect the environment. * Reinstating a commitment to develop brownfield sites before greenfield ones to help encourage urban regeneration. * Dropping a clause which allows development to go…
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Design in Storage

When designing a layout it's easy to forget to plan for storage. With a barn conversion the challenge is heightened (often literally) as we often design in full height, full length / full width open spaces that subsume those areas of the home we utilise for storage in more traditional houses (the attic, under the stairs etc.) into the main habitable volumes of the building. In 'A Pattern Language' Christopher Alexander tells us to give 15-20% of the volume of the building to bulk storage. Plan for dedicated storage rooms, shelving up through double height rooms, raised cabin beds with…
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The anatomy of a floor

Laying bare the basics of my floor structure through an annotated diagram that a layman like me can better understand, the aim of this post is to answer the question...what are the component parts of a floor? The diagram is based on the floor of the barn to the best of my recollection (it's been a few years since the floor was put in). There's a fair amount of leeway in terms of the order from bottom to top that the various components of the floor go into it. But the parts - hardcore, topped with a sand blinding, insulation…
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Building Progress ~ November 2011

We completed the fencing around the shed in November - the gate latches and catches are all in place. It will certainly be an improvement when the field next gets residents. After much trial and error and eventually giving up only to find it was fixed, I got the satellite dish back into action. The tile-topped boxing-in in the bathroom (wooden frames, with painted sides and a slate and mosaic tiled top) has stalled. I've built all the constituent parts and I now just need to get the impetus up to assemble and finish. The reason for my distraction has…
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Oak beam lamp stand

My wife has been hankering for some solid oak beam lamp stands for around the barn. You can get them from quite a few places across the 'net, but the cost of delivery is usually quite prohibative due to the weight and size of them. As I was tidying the garage the other week I came across a lump of oak beam that I'd squirrelled away there a couple of years ago. I thought it was an offcut from the internal beams, but it can't be as it is smaller than the large structural beams in the barn. Its source…
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An old friend

Here's and old friend that I don't see as much as I'd like... From Barn Conversion 2011 ...and we probably need to start seeing more of if we're to get ourselves out of this mess...
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Cabin bed – plans

So with the ability to build shelves firmly under my wing (or rather under my stairs) I started on my second carpentry challenge, to - Box in the thermal store and build a cabin bed in the second bedroom. Basically, to enclose everything on the other side of the internal door shown on this photograph... From Barn Conversion 2011 This is a much more involved job than my simple shelves. As I've previously described it "The cabin bed will run along the length of wall ... with wardrobe doors on the left to allow access to the tank then the…
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Sketchup

I've been dabbling with Google Sketchup recently. Sketchup is according to the blurb "3D sketching software for the conceptual phases of design" or as rather more grandly proclaimed by McCall & Associates "SketchUp is the finest (and most innovative) tool available for anyone designing anything from coffee pots to skyscrapers." I've wanted to produce a series of 'anatomy of...' posts detailing the components and terminology related to the various parts of a building for some time now. I really wanted the series to be driven by diagrams rather than words - this is one of those subjects where a picture…
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