Building Progress ~ July 2010

Let’s get in early this month…

I’ve mainly been occupied with repointing the external walls. I didn’t do any repointing last year, but want to get it finished this year so I’ve got my hands full. It needs completing before the weather turns colder so I probably have until the end of September to get it done. I had forgotten many of the small skills and techniques that I’d developed previously – Which tools to use when, how to get mortar into that shaped joint at that angle, the fact that when I try to twist my arm to push mortar up into a diagonal over-hanging gap to my left, I pull a small muscle somewhere deep in my forearm and always to keep a bucket of water nearby. Anyway, after I guess 20-30 hours of pointing through July, much of what I had forgotten has come back to me. I’ve also, at last, come up with a mortar mix that I’m happy with – 1 part lime putty : 2 parts sand : 1/2 (half) kiln dried sand (for colour and to dry down the mix if necessary) : 1/2 sharp sand.

I’ve also put in a 9 inch wide concrete plinth at the base of the back wall where there is no path – it gives me a clean line to repoint down to and generally tidies things up. I need to do the same at the foot of the end wall and build a small retaining wall between the plinth and the path at the back of the barn.

The internal doors have been installed. I wasn’t really very keen on the idea of doors. I didn’t like the idea of being boxed in and the openness of the barn being reduced. However, happily, I like them now they are in – a bit of privacy is nice occasionally, we can close the door on the second bedroom which is still basically a storeroom for tools and materials and pretend it isn’t such a mess and the doors work well in the main bedroom / ensuite, allowing us to keep things darker for longer in the mornings (which is good with a two year old who likes to get up with the sun). It also helps that they are lovely looking doors – oak with chrome fittings. I’ve not taken any pictures of them yet, must get my finger out…

No further progress in earth-moving in the to-be back garden.






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