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Babbs Tubb

13 September 2015

Autumn fruits. Yum yum.

Barbara Tubb

27 October 2014

He's 6 bricks short of the full chimney!

Barbara Tubb

28 September 2014

A busy week in the life of co-housers: Martin & Mark 'played' with the tractor. We played in the local boules tournament (came 14th & 18th out of 18 - we'll do better next year) and two of us got married!!!

Martin Prosser

4 September 2014

... and the grape harvest from an existing vine

Martin Prosser

4 September 2014

Grape vine planted to the base of the new arbour - thanks Kate!

Martin Prosser

4 September 2014

Scaffolding erected to enable repairs to the roof of the West barn, where we have commenced building two new houses internally. This roof is in better condition than the remaining roofs, and the repairs will allow works internally to continue without significant damage - we will, however, also be replacing these roofs in the Spring with the same corrugated fibre cement sheeting arrangement as we have used on the existing house.

Martin Prosser

4 September 2014

Scaffolding erected to enable repairs to the roof of the West barn, where we have commenced building two new houses internally. This roof is in better condition than the remaining roofs, and the repairs will allow works internally to continue without significant damage - we will, however, also be replacing these roofs in the Spring with the same corrugated fibre cement sheeting arrangement as we have used on the existing house.

Martin Prosser

24 August 2014

But we also have time for some fun - we are here to enjoy life after all!

Martin Prosser

30 August 2014

et voilà, à votre commande, une treille!

Martin Prosser

28 August 2014

Artists at work! Alan's daughter, Roisin, painting a sunflower on the shutters, and Ria, painting the door of the newly constructed chicken shed.

Martin Prosser

24 August 2014

Having erected scaffolding to allow us to re-tile the existing house, we also needed to try and re-house a thriving honey bee colony from underneath the tiles!!

Martin Prosser

24 August 2014

Sunflowers in an adjoining field, which prompted the name of our group. The property is located in a small hamlet near Champagne-Mouton, and we are surrounded by fields, with pleasant walks and cycle routes. The property includes a 4-acre field across the chemin from the house and barns, where we have started a jardin potager (vegetable garden) and a small orchard, and our intention is to farm pigs and sheep (we have had some experience in the UK), and also to create a rainwater collection pond. There are daily bread deliveries, an epicerie van calls weekly, and there is a small supermarket, small market, and a bar in the nearby village of Champagne Mouton. There are also Lidl's, larger markets and larger supermarkets in both Civray and Ruffec (20 minutes drive), and opportunities to have a 'formule' meal at lunchtime in a bistro there should one feel the need for an outing.

Martin Prosser

24 August 2014

The 1st floor and party wall construction to one of the new timber framed houses being formed within the stone construction of the existing West barn. The joists have been sanded and are to be left exposed, with a twin layer of boards sandwiching a sound insulation quilt at 1st floor level. The existing rear door opening in this house is to be relocated to the centre of the rear wall and fitted with French doors (what else?). We intend to only fit rooflights to the bathrooms, as these are noisy when it rains. We have also considered provisions for ambulant disabilities, but came to the conclusion that it would be better to retro-fit a stair lift should we ever need to - the existing house also has a ground floor bathroom and potential for a ground floor bedroom should it be required.

Martin Prosser

24 August 2014

Internal carcassing at 1st floor level to one of the two timber framed houses being formed within the West barn. We are using OSB as a surface throughout behind plasterboards so that we don't have to worry about fixing locations, and also to give some mass and airtightness to the walls in order to minimise sound transmission. Any sloping soffits are being underdrawn with foil faced bubble insulation, fibreglass quilt and polystyrene boards - we want to minimise heat ingress through the roofs in the summer, and also minimise heat losses in the Winter. The construction complies with RT2012, which is the French response to the Kyoto agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We also intend to incorporate copper tubing underneath the roof tiles externally to provide solar hot water, and a hot water back-boiler to a wood-burning stove, fired by coppiced chestnut logs.

Martin Prosser

24 August 2014

Early attempts to try and simulate cut-stone window surrounds (which have a fine hammered finish), using yellow sand, white aggregate and white cement, for proposed openings in the barn conversions. The formwork has been strengthened to give a better shape, but we still need to improve upon the finish, and we also need greater vibration of the concrete in order to remove trapped air from the surfaces.

Martin Prosser

24 August 2014

The 'canal' tiles used on the roofs in France are a continuous problem - in order to reduce future maintenance to a minimum we have stripped one slope of the existing house before recovering with corrugated fibre cement sheeting, overlaid with some of the previous tiles to maintain aesthetics. The chimney has also been taken down, and is to be re-built to accommodate a larger flue serving the wood-fired stove in the kitchen - we are adapting a proprietary 'plaque chassis' intended for a rooflight, which has an integral upstand, in order to prevent rainwater ingress.

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