Month: July 2012

Building reclaimed wood shelving

The recently painted utility room has always been bereft of shelves. All the paint tins, barrels of tile cleaner and bottles of white spirit had no proper home and so gathered in those little used corners of the barn instead. Something had to change. Propelled by the freshly painted utility room and the poor weather I started on some new utility room shelving. When we bought it, the end of the barn that now houses the kitchen housed chickens. The chickens resided in some rather nicely built animal stalls, that had been constructed from hard wood that I suspect had…
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Barns Gallery on Remodelista

For all would be convertors and barn enthusiasts, there is a lovely gallery of barn related inspirational photographs available on Remodelista. There are lots of sliding barn doors (that I really fancy constructing at the barn) and there is an American bent to the content. But there is plenty of inspiration that could be applied wherever in the world you are. remodelista.com Remodelista, "the sourcebook for considered living" - barns gallery.
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Building Regulations

I've been skirting around UK building regulations since the start of the conversion of the barn, with building control sign-off looming, I thought I should get a better handle on the regulations, their scope, breadth and depth... In general terms, building regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK, the exemptions are listed at the end of this post. In England & Wales, the Building Act 1984 is the legislation underlying building regulations, the equivalent in Scotland is the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 and in Northern Ireland the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (amended 1990 and…
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Barns – the Long House

After my recent complaints about the Balancing Barn, specifically the mismatched blend of Dutch design and the Suffolk countryside, I came across Alain de Botton and Living Architecture's latest development, the Long House. Situated on the North Norfolk coast, this is a building to admire, incorporating a modern reinterpretation of medieval barn roofs with references to the local vernacular through the enclosing giant flint walls and extensive timber work. This quotation from the Observer suggests great success in the architectural design: "Insulated from the elements yet somehow part of the landscape. Which is perhaps the best experience a holiday house…
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Painting colour scheme

I thought that it would be worthwhile to record the brands and shades of paint we've used throughtout the barn, if for no other reason than to remind me when I come to repaint. This is our complete palette for now. I like to keep things minimal, simple and fresh when it comes to the use of colour. I find strong, bold colours rarely pass the test of time when it comes to our ongoing enjoyment of and appetite for them. In keeping with my healthy house ethos, I've tried to use products that are as natural as possible and…
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Barns – the Balancing Barn

For some reason I'd remembered the name of this architecturally impressive holiday-barn in Suffolk as the 'hanging barn', which makes it sound more like the title of a rural horror film than the first of Living Architecture's holiday homes available to rent in the UK. The aim of Living Architecture is to promote world-class modern architecture in rural Britain. Alain de Botton, writer (author of 'The Architecture of Happiness' amongst others), philosopher, television presenter and entrepreneur, is one of the co-founders. Living Architecture In their own words: Clad in elegant silver tiles, the house dramatically cantilevers over the landscape, providing…
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Building Progress in June 2012

The seemingly eternal internal door frame painting continues. They're going to take undercoat plus two coats of eggshell to give a finish that I'm happy with. The prepainted architraves probably don't need the second coat, but the raw wood frames certainly need the three coats. From Materials The utility room is now fully painted and I've added a splash of colour to the small dressing area between the main bedroom and the ensuite bathroom. It's a Farrow & Ball colour called brassica, a brown / purple colour (probably a bit like cabbage juice which doesn't make it sound very attractive)…
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Art – design – form – function #FrankLloydWright

I was rather taken with this Frank Lloyd Wright observation that succinctly encapsulates the relationship between art and functional objects. Art is a discovery and development of elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use. With reference to contemporary architecture, I think that the 'beautiful forms' part is too often overlooked in all but the most high-end projects.
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What is SAP?

What is SAP and what are SAP calculations? SAP 2005 (Standard Assessment Procedure for The Energy Rating of Dwellings) is the approved tool for the calculation of the energy performance of buildings. SAP is the Government's Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings. SAP 2005 is adopted by government as part of the UK national methodology for calculation of the energy performance of buildings. It is used to demonstrate compliance with building regulations for dwellings - Part L (England and Wales), Section 6 (Scotland) and Part F (Northern Ireland) - and to provide energy ratings for dwellings. from http://projects.bre.co.uk/sap2005/…
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Painting…

I've been doing a lot of painting recently. I like to take the opportunity to take an occasional photo to break up the monotony, otherwise, it's all a bit like watching paint dry at the same time as slapping new paint on... From Barn Conversion 2012 I'm quite pleased with my purple / brown / gray dressing area... From Materials ...an interesting colour that 'in the flesh' looks nothing like the colour on the photograph and varies throughout the day under differing lighting. I feel there'll be more fascinating paint related posts coming soon (sorry!)...
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