This month marks our third anniversary at Green Farm Barn, and the calendar has given us a timely reminder that our goal of completion within five years is creeping ever nearer. Having survived the slow progress of winter, we've picked the pace up in an effort to get the thatched barn finished this summer.

 

 

This month Spring has finally sprung, so we decided to make the most of the improved weather to get the courtyard lawn sorted. This required raising the soil level by about 100mm, which didn't sound like much, but took us two weekends of hard slog shovelling topsoil from a heap in the field into wheelbarrow loads which we rolled through the dining room and lounge then into the courtyard.

 

 

As well as filling the courtyard with topsoil, we laid out the edges of the patio by the link, and also the corner of the garden where the hot tub will go. We put timber frames around the sides where we need to pour concrete and lay brick edges, then barrowed in the final topsoil. All in all we shifted about 5 tonnes of soil, then topped it with a layer of fertiliser, ready to sow grass seed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael dropped off more twiglets for the dining room ceiling, so Sarah set to work pulling out old nails and wire-brushing the wood. After scraping they got a dose of woodworm treatment, and will be oiled before heading into the ceiling.

 

 

 

 

We've been busy painting and oiling in the lounge this month. We started by getting a few coats of paint onto the freshly plastered west wall, which was a mix of easy rolling and very tedious brush detail around the stone and timber edges.

 

 

We also gave the timber lintels above the windows a thorough soak in Danish oil to bring them to life. The huge old beam across the centre of the room got a final wire brush and oil soak too, as did the pair of smaller beams supporting the mezzanine.

 

 

Michael delivered a mobile scaff tower to enable us to get up to the apex of the ceiling: it's about 4.5m high so from the top platform Mark could just reach the ridge beam, 6m up. Thankfully the tower has plenty of cross-bracing and stabilisers because it gets a bit wobbly way up there... not a job for the faint-hearted. Focusing on the south end of the room, Mark got the smoke alarm installed and the first pair of spotlights. We then went over all the woodwork with a small scraper to remove any excess paint before finally giving everything another coat of Danish oil. After a couple of weekends and quite a few evenings the old timbers in south end of the room are all done.

 

 

We're not quite finished yet: some plaster and paint repair is needed to finish the spotlight installation, and we need to buy and fit the big screen before we can move the scaff to the other end of the room. We bought the projector this month, since we need it running to determine the exact size of the screen, and it also gave us an excuse for a night off to watch a movie projected onto the stone wall. Awesome.