Having cleared the barn out the work “proper” has started, half the roof has been retiled with the “Marseilles” tiles and the hayloft floor has been completely replaced, making it safe not just to bear the load but also for bouncing on and holding wild late night parties that can’t be heard from the house (joke!). Other things on the “to do” list as part of this project include:
- Installing a new ladder to hayloft with a handrail (for the elderly and infirm)
- Fitting a DB (distribution board) and putting up lights (inside and out) and a few power sockets
- Installing a frost free tap under cover for winter use.
- Making the old outside sink and tap work.
- Fit a couple of beams as roosts in the poultry palace (the room under the hayloft)
It’s probably important to add (for the sake of any artisans, craftsmen or renovation purists who might be reading this – or others contemplating a similar project) we are NOT attempting to do a faithfully traditional renovation to make it look like it did originally using 100% traditional methods and materials – this may or may not be a good decision. It’s over 50 years old, and yes there’s a few dodgy bits we are sorting out as best we can as the main priority is to get on and start using it as soon as we can. Our goal is a possible 5-10 year solution without (hopefully) any major structural issues.
Part of the project is to build a platform for two IBCs to sit on, well above ground level (about 1.5m) to gravity feed pig waterers, eventually a duck bath and for general irrigation. The runoff from the roof won’t always be sufficient, but (at least in the non-frozen/freezing months) I should only have to keep at least one IBC full from either the well or mains water to meet day to day water needs for the critters – maybe topping up no more than once a week, but we will see. Winter watering will probably (almost certainly) still be completely manual :-(. Also, as part of making the IBC platform, we are tidying up and strengthening the “buttresses” left from the house that support the ends of the front and back walls of the barn – if you know what I mean :-).