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The French Blatting Company


The Barn Conversion

October 2009.


You know how the best laid plans of mice and men....

I was going to do so much and ended doing so little.

Firstly I got a lad from the village to help me carry the large stack of plaster boards from the corner of the barn into the newly cleared garage. I first knocked a doorway in the newly built wall. The wall had been built by Chris Eccles but I decide that I would need a back door to the garage so may as well knock it through now and save walking all round the building each time I wanted something from the garage.

This is the plasterboard that was moved into the garage. The hand made clay tiles can be seen on the plinth to the right of the plasterboards. There's another stack on the plinth opposite. They're all in the garage now.

Having moved the plasterboard, which took a whole day, I started on the end walls of the lean-to, which will be the kitchen. I want to lower the slope of the roof so I can get a window in the barn gable end at about 2 foot of the upper floor. This is so we can lie in bed and look out across the kitchen roof over the fields to the west.

In case it matters, I will refer to the walls as the orchard side and the rear.

This is the orchard side just after starting partial demolition. 


And this is the same wall when reduced as near as possible to the angle required. Note the colour of the sky, this picture was taken on 26th October (2009).


From the other side, note the rubble on the ground and the slate stacked up against the wall. Hope we have enough slate, it's for the breakfast room floor. I have plenty of hand made clay tiles to make up any shortfall.


The rear wall after demolition and nearly rebuilt. It doesn't look pretty but it will be the inside of the utility room and will be covered in insulated plasterboard.


The rear wall finished and levelled off with gobbo. I have been advised  2 different methods for the roof. I think I'll go for a wall plate on the gable end and fix joists between brackets on the wall plate and the front wall. The roof joists will, of course sit on the two end walls. This wall will have the utility room roof extending out. Now, I'll bet you think I know what I'm talking about. WRONG, not a clue, but I know a few chaps who do.

Toward the end of October I ran out of sand. A friend has (had) an old Nissan Cabstar tipper van  When I ran a dealer group we made tipper bodies on Cabstar chassis'. However, I had asked him if I could borrow it when I needed sand etc. No problem. But when I asked he informs me he's given it to a neighbour! I left the wall building and spent a day clearing the old tiles from the plinths in the barn to there new home in the garage. Then spent a few days trying to get the large oak joists in the barn moved around in order to sand blast those that will be staying. In case you're wondering what I'm on about we are planning on having an upper floor at the west end of the barn which will be he bedroom and bathroom. This floor will be open and have a balustrade not walls. It covers about 1/3rd of the floor area, which is 11m x 7m. The eastern end will be open to the top of the roof, which is 7.26m high. However I couldn't get the compressor to start, the I went down with a mild case of flu and stayed indoors for a few week. By mid November it started to rain. and rain, and rain. Just as well as before this deluge the pond had almost dried up. I didn't fancy working when it was so wet outside. When the rain stopped it got very cold and we were now into one of the coldest winters we've had. Still we didn't have the snow that the UK got.


So, in short I've had the winter off. It's now mid January and the outside temperature has, at last risen above zero. Looks like I'll be starting work again in a few weeks.