Longer hours of daylight and good weather have really helped progress. In our determination to make this project as sustainable as possible, over 2,000 pan tiles have been carefully lifted, individually cleaned and now re-laid over a Klober breathable membrane. The hard work has paid off and the tiles look beautiful in the spring sunshine, admired from above by one of our regular visitors, a red kite.
The concrete barn has finally been dismantled and will be re-used nearby for open garages and stabling. Pointing has started on the first floor stonework, cast iron guttering and downpipes have been fitted, and excitingly the scaffold has been taken down!
Inside the barn, a king post truss made to match the existing wooden structure is installed together with steels to support the first floor. Some of the energy efficiency measures are more obvious now, such as the recessed brickwork to ensure the insulation runs up to the windows and the first floor joists designed to accommodate the duct work for the mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system. Huge amounts of insulation have been delivered!
Next month – insulation, insulation, insulation!
The barn gets a face wash! All the stone is cleaned to reveal the full beauty of both the stone itself and the patterns in which the stone was originally laid. One of the barn doors has now been stripped back to bare wood and is ready to be re-installed into the building.
We also managed to bring traffic to a halt on a nearby road as temporary traffic lights were set up to enable the final connection to be made to link up our water pipes to the mains supply.
Additional window and door openings have been cut into the stonework and the removed stone is put to one side for grading. The stone will be used for one of the new internal exposed stonework walls which will be heavily insulated to give a low u-value but still retain the character of the barn.
We have also cut through an opening to the adjoining single storey building and there are promising signs of future civilised living as the water pipes have now been laid.
Next month……the roof starts to go back on!
The surrounding undergrowth has been cleared and preparations are made for laying the new concrete floors. The stonework is cleaned up and looking beautiful and the high vaulted ceiling shows its full potential. Decisions need to be made regarding exploiting the full character of the property, for example, having exposed stonework and high vaulted ceilings versus achieving the lowest carbon values possible.
Despite phenomenally cold temperatures, work continues on site without disruption. The fear of being impaled by an icicle as you go in and out of the caravan adds to the challenge.
The photographs here are from before any work commenced on site and show the degree of work necessary to clear the site both inside and outside the structure. You can also see the concrete frame of the adjacent barn (which will be dismantled in due course).