This month we were concentrating on floors: in the lounge we started by clearing the room, then fitted a layer of 60mm dense polyurethane insulation, followed by huge sheets of steel mesh. Once that was cut to fit we laid out the underfloor heating pipework, about 150 metres of 15mm pipe zig-zagging over the floor. We also coerced Lawrence to help with the fiddly details around the steps between the lounge and dining room.





Once all the insulation and underfloor heating was down we had screed delivered: two cubic metres that we shovelled up, barrowed through to the lounge floor, dumped and raked out then floated by Michael.



A couple of days later the screed was dry so Michael, Jody and Martin started laying the flagstones. First down was the hearth stone: this came from a local church and dates back around 1000 years, so it makes a great focal point of the room as it will be the base of the fireplace. It also weighs a huge amount, so it was quite a feat to get it into the room and laid in the right spot.



With the hearth stone in place they laid the rest of the floor, then once it was scrubbed and dry we rolled on a couple of coats of linseed oil to give it a beautiful warm glow.





Finally Michael fitted the windows in the lounge, facing the courtyard, so we gave them a rub-down then a coat of stain to match all the other sets of bi-folds.





Following on from the lounge floor we continued our efforts in the dining room. First step was the ceiling: Mark wire-brushed and oiled the ridge beam, purlins and truss, and fitted three smoke detectors, all from the top of a scaff tower. Michael then clambered up with a collection of old rafter twiglets, trimming and fettling them in to the top sections of the ceiling.



As we were pushed for time we dropped the scaff tower before fitting the lower rafters, and cleared the room out to give us space to construct the floor. This room had concrete poured directly on the subbase, so our nightshift tasks started with fitting the damp-proof membrane. Next layer was the 60mm insulation, followed by steel mesh and 15mm underfloor heating pipework.




We managed to get that all done in a few late nights, just in time for the second screed delivery. This time Giles joined the work-gang, as we barrowed another two cubic metres of screed into the dining floor. Michael and Jody floated the surface to give us a lovely smooth, flat floor ready for flagstones next month.




We've had more great growing weather this month, with warm sunshine punctuated by heavy downpours, causing the grass to grow long and thick. After much consideration we've decided to cancel our previous plan for a goat grazing in the field, and will instead allow it to grow into a wildflower meadow with a scattering of trees. Consequently we bought a mower, then planned out a series of curvaceous paths though the long grass and set to work creating them. We also planted a couple of apple trees to compliment the William Pear tree, so we can have homemade apple and pear crumble later in the year.