Today we started applying plaster and tanking to the inside of the exterior walls that have elevated ground outside them. The walls have all been injected with damp-proofing chemical, but require a coating of waterproof tanking on the inside to finish them off. The brick walls were smooth enough to take the tanking directly, but we had to plaster up the holes in the stone walls to provide a relatively smooth surface for the tanking.



We stopped work a little earlier than usual so we could settle down to the Wales vs England Six Nations rugby match. As Mark was wearing his Welsh jersey we had to side with our ancestral team, so we were delighted when we succeeded in a historic victory over the "world champions". Yippee!


Michael and Keith were back on site today after a short break, to continue building the new block walls. The internal walls between the bedrooms and bathroom was first, followed by the wall between bedroom 1 and the garage, which is having a temporary doorway left in it for ease of access during the build.



We also had the big farm trailer delivered today so we can clear off the great piles of rubble that have been building up in the courtyard.


Ken and Cass dropped young Angus off this morning; they are having a weekend in London so we are baby-sitting... although it may be more accurate to say we are exploiting some child labour to clear up the site. Angus has a huge amount of enthusiasm and energy, so he leapt at every type of hard labour we could offer, starting with lifting a couple of tons of brick and plaster rubble into the trailer. After that we moved a huge pile of stone from the field behind the barns to our stone pile in the courtyard.





After lunch we stopped for a couple of hours to watch Wales whip Italy in the rugby (yippee!), then got back to work preparing some tanking for tomorrow.


Lots of tanking today: Angus proved himself very good at stirring, as armed with a battery drill and large paddle attachment he mixed up many bucket loads of tanking cement. He was also good at painting it on the walls, so we managed to get a couple of coats on all the internal walls in very good time.

Cass and Ken came back in the afternoon to collect Angus, so they had an opportunity to check out the builders' progress and see Angus' handiwork.



Mark met Malcolm on site today to discuss details of the roofing work, and look at options for the insulation in the roof above bedrooms 2 and 4. Malcolm also checked progress of the wall building.


Michael was back today to start building front wall of the open barn. He's stopping the wall at half height for now to allow enough light in to the rooms during the rest of the building work.




Michael and Keith continued building internal walls today, raising the front wall to window height, building the bedroom 1 ensuite wall up towards the ceiling, and starting the end wall of the bathroom. The front wall will stay at window height all along its length until the other walls are done, since we need to let in as much pale winter light as possible during the build.



Sarah spent a few hours at work this morning while Mark caught up on the build paperwork. After lunch we decided our key task for the weekend was to strip the old ceiling from bedrooms 2 and 4, to see what state the rafters are in and allow access for timber treatment spraying. We soon discovered the existing ceilings consist of plasterboard and miscellaneous piles of straw and paper that birds and rats have dragged into the roof for nesting.

By the end of the day we had completely stripped bedroom 4 and prepared scaffolding for getting up to the ceiling of bedroom 2.



We continued stripping ceilings today; with more practise we got a good procedure sorted. First Mark poked access holes through the plasterboard with the sharp end of a crowbar, then yanked the plasterboard sheets done, generally trying to avoid hitting us on the head. Once the boards were down we set to work with hammers and crowbars pulling out all of the nails from the rafters, and finally Sarah brushed out all the nesting material and cobwebs, leaving us with a nice clean roof.

The rafters are in very good condition, and are the correct size and spacing, so we will have the timber treated in situ then install new insulation on the inside, and strip off the old slates, battens and felt on the outside to replace them with new versions.




After a light dusting of snow yesterday we awoke to a heavy snowfall this morning, which was very pretty but delayed the builders for a couple of hours as the road were impassable. Eventually the sun came out and everything thawed enough to allow work.




Michael and Keith reached another milestone today as the new walls in the open barn were completed beneath the trusses, allowing the acrow-props that have been holding the roof up for three months to be removed. They've also made rapid progress with the new walls in bedrooms 2 and 4, so we now have defined spaces for all the bedrooms, ensuites, bathroom and hallways.



Our final task for the day was to drive to Heathrow, as Mark flew out to Melbourne, and Auckland, this evening.



Green Farm Barn