Monday, 23 November 2015

Updating the Well

Hendy's arrived to start work on the new well. This involved a lot of digging and a lot of mess! They needed to install some new pipework, take down the old pump, install a new one and update the ancient housing of the old well. So, first things first - demolition! It had lasted an age, but it was time to say goodbye to the knackered old pump:

Jon was in his element, digging away and making a right old mess!

The black tank was a temporary water pump which they set up whilst the works were underway. And after 2 days of digging, burying and erecting the new housing for the well - it was starting to look a lot neater:

a new overflow pipe was installed and the water tested. Flowing at a rate of 9 gallons a minute(!?) we were definitely back in business:

A series of new pipes were connected up to the pumphouse. Then a new line was run over to provide a water supply for the chicken shed. The old piping was dug up here too:

Then all of the digging work was back filled:

Major surgery around the pumphouse - but all connected and flowing nicely now:

Like a scene out of the Somme in front of the caravan:

Down from the caravan to the bottom of the field:

Just a little bit further - can you see it?

Our lovely new, environmentally approved for public consumption service well:

Good job Hendy's!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Underfloor Heating

Exciting day today - the liquid screed arrived to seal the underfloor heating in the kitchen/diner! Mike and Steve had already prepped the floor by placing insulation down and plastic sheeting over the top. They also sealed up any joints with waterproof tape, to secure the flooring ready for the underfloor heating pipes:

The plumbers came in to lay down all the heating pipes:

With the ends left ready for connection at a later date in the old oil tank room:

The screeding team arrived the night before to lay levelling guides across the floor:

The truck arrived with the screed at 7.30am:

First of all, it was a case of testing the mixture before attaching it to the pump:

and when it was ready it was all stations pump!

The guys walked it through the room, spreading as evenly as possible:

Checking that it was all up to the same level on the markers:

And that it hadn't leaked into any other areas:

Once all clear and packed away it was block up the doorways so that naughty little cats can't get in!!!

The floor will be dry enough to walk on by tomorrow morning, but has to cure 1 day per millimetre. We are 85mm in some places! So, that's looking like the end of February before we can think about tiling! I'm sure we'll find something to keep us busy in the meantime though....?!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Plastering has started to happen in force now and things are starting to feel like they are turning a corner... No longer does it feel like we are destroying the place, but rooms are starting to actually feel like rooms!
The teacher's bedroom:

The kitchen -

where we really love the wavy edge near the re-located bread oven:


The living room during the four stage process -

1. the sand and cement waterproofing layer:

2. febtank for top coat waterproofing:

3. base coat plaster layer

4. top coat plaster:

Looks completely fit for purpose now and will look great when we get the woodburner installed...

We were really impressed by the finish of the febtank layer. This is the first time we have seen this product on a stone wall - we really like it! It is possible to paint straight on top of this, so we are going to look at using this in a few other spaces that we were wanting to expose the stone but were concerned about the effect this would have on damp. With this you can essentially create an 'exposed stone effect' with the added effect of waterproofing it at the same time - bonus!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Finders Keepers

In a few weeks, we will be having the underfloor heating installed in the kitchen/diner. Before this happens though, we needed to make some decisions about the wall of the dining room... Now that the space is starting to come together across the two rooms, we can begin to get a greater sense of how it works being open plan. We are becoming mindful of the need to create two distinct and separate areas across this vast space, and have talked at length about using a differing palette of materials for each area, in which to achieve this.

And, as we had been clearing lots of material out of the house and the barns, I have been stock piling various pieces of wood in the old chicken shed:


This has started to look like it was getting a bit out of hand of late and that before long we would need another space to start housing it all!? So, interested in the idea of reclaimed timber cladding, we decided that this would be a good feature for the dining room wall...

After the wall had been stripped of it's cupboards in the initial stages of the kitchen remodelling - the paper that was left behind revealed a very 60s feel:

We stripped back the paper (and saved it of course!),
then chipped away at the plaster to get the wall back to a stone finish:

Mike then erected a series of batons as a framework,
to which the collected timbers were then applied:

It was a really fun process, like constructing a huge collage. Each piece of timber was selected and cut to fit across the batons. These were then sanded and assembled in such a way that a balance of colour and patina was present across the whole wall:

And when it was finished and the light shone in - WOW!

It's going to be a really cosy dining space when it's all finished 
- but even at this stage we're ever so pleased with it :)