Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


Friday, 18 April 2014

Moving the Workshop - Day 1

As part of The Barn project, we had to either move or get rid of the outbuilding that I'm currently using to store lots of outdoors stuff, and as a workshop. The first idea was to scrap it, but that would leave us with a problem - namely, where to store all the workshop and outdoor stuff while the new barn was being built. This was quickly superseded by another idea - to move the outbuilding as a whole, and then convert it into a tractor mower shed and potting shed when the Barn is commissioned.

The outbuilding is a fairly basic construction - a concrete foundation, two layers of concrete blocks, and then wood stud walls made in a frame style. I thought that if we could dig a new foundation and build an identical block wall, the wooden walls and roof could be disassembled and moved without too much hard work.

I did some calculations concerning the foundations for the outbuilding (and a new slab I'll need to pour for the relocation of the oil tank) and ordered a delivery from our local independant Builders Merchant, for 1700kgs of ballast (mixed sharp sand and gravel) and 250kgs of cement, in plastic bags in case of rain.


This morning, we started by pegging out the site after measuring the existing slab about eight times to ensure the correct dimensions! We had help all day from our neighbours son, who bought his John Deere Gator with him.


The Gator was hugely useful - we loaded all the cut turf into the load bed, and later filled it up with recycled hardcore to line the bottom of the trenches - and so was he, digging all day and trying to be helpful!


This is where we got to after 9 hours - trenches all dug, and more than half of the shuttering is in place. The front trench has hardcore in the bottom as well.


There is a forecast of rain for Sunday, which isn't great for fresh concrete - the loose plan is to pour concrete as soon as we have finished shuttering tomorrow, then cover the site to prevent the concrete getting wet.


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