Friday, 31 July 2015

Broadrake Bunkbarn - Week 40 27th-31st July

Another week of making sure that the barn will be insulated as well as possible...
& at last the old electrics are secured to a board that will  house the new electric consumer units

 & the last bit of ground floor ceiling insulation goes up

meanwhile, back upstairs, the neck-bending ceiling work ends and insulation of the walls is started - & not entirely straightforward around the windows

We decided to try and clean up an old floorboard to see how it would work as a sill as there are a good few floorboards filling up the barn and it would be good to upcycle them

 the short lengths can be used first for sills
A few times through the Wonder of Wood's sanding machine removed the old top layers...
the underside looks as good as new and the quality is better than new wood

and the original top layer has a bit more character...& 2 boards joined will give sufficient width
we are now waiting for Wonder of Wood to assess whether there might be sufficient good boards to make the staircase as well....we like this idea of re-using the boards

the stairwell long drop is boarded....


 and the doorway get the sheeps wool treatment before insulation boarding goes up

another day and all the north wall is completed

the insulation board pile goes steadily down

More insulation boards for the ground floor arrive in a 12' 7" tall wagon, proving that it is possible to get under the tree at the bottom of the track.....this driver wasn't phased at all
 safely on his way.....
through the grid, around under the tree and out the other side - with NO mishap!!

leaving a total of 30 insulation boards for the ground floor
 which should be a lot less fiddly with no beams to trim around....

 the electrics are all made nice and cosy...

 and upstairs its now all looking quite complete 


 this leaves just the little room to get the full insulation treatment
& thank you Toddy and Joe for the great tidy up of all the insulation board debris

On the baby bird front - the song thrush has continued to feed regularly and there is a noticeable difference in the volume of baby bird chirps between Wednesday and Friday. No sign of any house martin babies yet; the early morning chatterings continue and the parents are out flying regularly.



Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Broadrake Bunkbarn - Week 39 20th-24th July


This week the work has been upstairs adding insulated plasterboard over the first layer of insulation between the rafters. It's been a very fiddly process since the purlins are anything but nice and square, and lots of cutting is required to get a good fit.


the pile of 60 insulated plasterboards is going down..............not quite half way down yet







and Toddy after 10 days in Morrocan sunshine starts on the ceilings downstairs


Finally, whilst all the attention had been inside the barn, no one noticed the song thrush sitting on a 3rd nest in the big barn....now the birds have hatched and are being fed...


if we get 3 more babies, this will bring the known count of hatched song thrushes at Broadrake to 12!!! - 9 from the new barn, and 3 from the old barn
You can see why they've been successful because there are plenty of big fat worms!!

On Friday, Brian noticed that the pied wagtails he'd spotted nesting in the new barn had left the nest....they'd been tucked away right next to the opening door that bangs violently in wind.

 The house martins are still chattering early morning on the house, but no sight of babies yet....just more grass and feathers around the nest opening



Monday, 20 July 2015

Broadrake Bunkbarn - Week 38 13th-17th July 2015

This week sees the sheeps wool insulation going in upstairs 
 and down into the stairwell between the stud work



 top of stairwell now all wrapped up
 layer of sheeps wool acting as sound proofing on the upstairs toilet wall
meanwhile the PIR first layer roof insulation is completed
followed by the 2nd layer of insulated plasterboard

 and into the front bay under the eaves on the external walls
 and a change from all those boards, a shot of the lovely honeysuckle at the front of the house which is at its best and humming with bumble bees who love it!

Finally, a shot of the house martin's nest to show that there is in fact a very tiny entrance
We love their quiet chattering early in the morning, and we've seen both parents cosied in together. This accommodation was constructed in one week, no planning permission and no building regs!!!
we'll be aiming to get pics of baby birds as soon as they are peeping out!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Broadrake Bunkbarn - Week 37 6th-10th July 2015

At the rear, the wall continues along to the fire escape window....

and the threshold steps are put into place for the boiler room

the steps continue beneath the window 
 and a lot of the rocks and rubble finds a home as infill

and finally, old upper forking hole stone heads find a home as the lower steps
 and the remaining flags are put onto the top step. 
...the wire hanging over the window is for emergency exit lighting

meanwhile, the boiler room is concreted 

& in the wash room, the levels are prepared to flow to the central drain for cleaning purposes
ready for the final layer the next day
and remaining shower and toilet areas are filled & carefully levelled to drain

the last doors and windows get pointed up to the stonework...we'll think about handles soon
the studwork in the drying room is now tighter to the wall and looking squarer
The electric circuit boards will eventually slot in behind and between the spars.

The old beams are reinstated into the ground floor bedrooms  - some have been rotated so that the flattest side fits against the ceiling...this one was originally in the corridor between the front and back stalls




and the final one goes in the main entrance

and before he goes off on holiday, Toddy carefully renders up the washroom external face

finally, back on the wildlife front, three young swallows have fledged from the nest between the garage and the big barn - Mike and Jinx you can be proud!
not a great photo, very fuzzy, since it's so dark
They go back to roost, but I'm hoping that another brood might be raised....watch this space!

More exciting news is that house martins have chosen to build a nest on the house this year - probably because there is a plentiful supply of mud out front! We are very pleased to host these long -distance summer visitors at Broadrake. 
Please see pics below to see how they built their home in less than one week!
Sunday 5th July we awoke to gentle bubbling chatter outside the window....



almost all filled in...how do they get in? or out??
There is only a very narrow opening on the inside top edge left....and the chattering noise is now very quiet....have they barricaded themselves in for the egg laying and brooding stages??