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!


Monday 4 April 2016

Workshop Progress

Here is a reminder as to how wonderful my wife is - six months pregnant, and up a scaffolding tower painting the workshop.

The painting is finally finished - which means it is time for the floor to go down! Nothing spectacular; this is a workshop after all - but we might as well make it look nice, right?

We chose a cheap laminate floor from B&Q - it has a surprisingly good finish and it textured, to allow a non-slip surface. The gold stuff is foil backed foam underlay.

I made a couple of thresholds from offcuts of oak work surface, which are thouroughly siliconed in and oiled to prevent any water ingress affecting the laminate, and to improve the air tightness of the room.

This was the first 'job' in the newly floored workshop - making MDF covers for the brickwork that the structure of the Barn sits on. The Laminate needs an expansion gap all round, so there was no easy way to edge the floor without covering the bricks. It looks much better for painted covers over the brick and simple skirting throughout.

We bought a new woodburner for the Workshop - nothing fancy, just a chinese steel stove from a local firm. It is much more in keeping than the vintage Jotul I bought initially. I'll need to install a hearth (just a 12mm tile, thanks to the design of the stove) and tile a section of the wall behind the stove to comply with Regs. I wanted a stove with a little pasty warming shelf, but Kristy was concerned that I wouldn't even need to leave the workshop for lunch, so that idea was scrapped!

Lastly, this morning I took delivery of a pair of roller cabinets for storage of general tools - the pretty ones will live out above benches, and the normal ones will live in these drawers. Despite the foul colour, these cabinets are very well regarded and were great value for money. I intend to build them into an MDF frame with a hefty work surface on the top, and a hidden bicycle work stand in one end - this will be my 'dirty bench' for fettling anything mechanical - bikes, chainsaws and the like.

Hopefully the stove flue will be delivered tomorrow - here's looking forward to a toasty warm weekend in the workshop!


  1. Hi Simon, have you stopped this blog for good? I've just discovered it and read every post! You are basically enacting my long held dreams! Would love to see this Blog return or even a YouTube video blog version?!

    1. Thanks for the very kind comment! The blog has been on hold as you've noticed - our little chap is taking every spare moment, we are both working full time and I'm doing another oak build. I have been meaning to restart the blog, and your comment has kickstarted it! I'll grab the camera and make a point of doing a catch-up in time for this weekend. A video tour is another great idea...

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  3. That's awesome news! I look forward to reading about all your exciting exciting projects projects!