The One Where We Finally Got Going


Panic over, everyone. We did get planning permission, and it was all thanks to Storm Doris, officially recognised by the council as an Act of God. I’m an atheist but I’m not arguing. If the council say so, it was definitely God who knocked our wall down.

So only a mere 18 months after first setting eyes on this barn we’ve finally properly got going with the renovation stroke rebuild. The incident with the ex-wall and the ex-builder doesn’t count.

I use the word “we” very loosely. Unless the hours I spend searching Pinterest for pictures of freestanding baths is work, it’s the builders who are doing most of (all) the actual hard stuff. To be honest there’s not much “we” can do yet. Our role currently consists of standing around getting in their way, taking photos of the progress almost hourly, and occasionally paying them huge chunks of money. 

And these guys are fast! Barely had the ink dried on the Re-Planning Re-Approval official email when variously shaped yellow digger thingies had levelled the massive pile of soil and crap, dug up the nettle plantation and taken down half of one wall and the roof of the cowshed. 

By the end of day two we had perimeter fencing around the boundary, neatly organised piles of scrap metal and asbestos waiting to be taken to wherever they take rusty metal and broken asbestos, and a chemical toilet. When I saw it on the drive I literally felt a surge of excitement. A chemical toilet! 

I know. 

Shut up.

It represents progress.

Clearing my undergrowth for erection of the site office.


Day 3. The new second hand “site office” aka caravan arrived. I must admit I was expecting a Portacabin, but this does the job and works out cheaper. We’re intending to sell third hand afterwards at hopefully only a small loss. We are not, repeat NOT ever moving in to it. Not even if Kevin tuts and shakes his head when we go over budget.

Rental of a Portacabin would have cost about £250 a month. Now, I’m no mathematician* but that’s a saving of at least err.. nearly two hundred and fifty pounds a month over 9 months*.



Day 4. More ground clearing/levelling and the other side of the concrete cowshed came down. The parts near the barn are deliberately being left alone for now, so as to avoid a repeat of the Great Wall Collapse of February.

Day 5. The builders started taking off roof slates on the front, and

Day 6.  ditto the rear ones along with half of the sarking boards.

So what are sarking boards? you’re almost certainly not asking. They are narrow softwood boards that were used on roofs in the 18th Century, more commonly in Scotland than England. The boards were nailed across the rafters for insulation and extra stability, and they are apparently what has kept the roof relatively intact for so long.

By early next week the roof should be completely gone and the purlins and trusses exposed. So what are…

Never mind, they are both wooden beams.

More soon…..





2 thoughts on “The One Where We Finally Got Going

  1. Progress Annette even if it does mean you end up with what looks like less than you started. I rememeber when we moved here we had lots of gutting inside to do and what was an Ok ish house turned into a shell within a day….scary stuff but the end is worth it. amazing how quickly they can transform a site with a few machines isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely. Progress is very fast which is good, but still a tiny bit scary to see the building being dismantled. Not as scary as when we didn’t know we were going to get planning permission, though!


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