Houghton, West Sussex BN18 9LN | Website: southdownsstay.co.uk | Email: info@southdownsstay.co.uk | Tel: 01798 839256 | Mobile: 07947 108825


24th April 2010

The main barn frame was repaired in 2010. As many of the original timbers as possible were used and will be visible internally joining together with new oak to form the main structural support for the restored building.

20 March  2017 – 2 June 2017 – Groundwork

The groundwork and foundations have now been completed by David Pegley’s team of men.

June – November 2017 – Scaffolding

Both external and internal scaffolding was provided by Abbey Scaffolding Ltd.

Ongoing from 20 June 2017 – Carpentry

A new oak timber frame made by Oakmasters arrived on site.  This is the main southern addition to the building. Carpentry specialists, Dan Oakford and Ben Parker, worked with us to erect the frame using centuries-old construction techniques that joint together the frame with wooden pegged mortises and tenon joints.

Dan and Ben, the carpentry specialists, then made the northern and western additions to the barn.  They have now insulated all the walls to the building, prepared the thatch roof for the thatcher, installed the windows and external doors which were made by Fineline Joinery of Petworth and clad the external walls of the property.

5 June 2017 – 16 June 2017 – Brick and Stonework

Outer brickwork has been done by various craftsman.  Sussex traditions for striking and pointing the traditional mortar have been used.

The stonework has been done by a Stonemason, William Penny, helped by his father. This is the craft of sorting dressed local stone into accurate geometrical shapes, at times simple, but sometimes of considerable complexity, and then arranging the chosen stones, in a traditional lime mortar to form the plinth wall structures.

Ongoing from 2 June 2017 – Electrics

Hidden into the frame, the electricians, Paul helped by Troy, from Price Jones Electric, have laid many meters of first fix cables.  They have come periodically to install the lights, fans and underfloor electric central heating.

24 July 2017 – 30 August 2017 – Clay Tile Roof

The southern and western roof tiling work has commenced. Roofing specialist, Henry Lywood, helped by Kai have sorted out the second hand clay tiles we purchased and have been working around the times of recent rain to line the roof with felt.  They have then fixed the battens up the roof with a specific spacing between known as the ‘gauge’.  The ‘gauge’ is in fact the same as the ‘margin’, which is the length of the tile exposed.  This is all calculated according to the size of the tiles, the pitch of the roof and the degree of exposure.

Clay tiles are laid on the battens in a ‘brick bond’ pattern, i.e. with the joints between them aligned with the centre of the tiles above and below, and with about 3mm between the sides.  This layout gives a double lap covering.  The tiles fitted to the verge (at the end of the gable) are wider to ensure that the pattern is maintained.  The ridges are made up of half round ridge tiles which have been used on both the horizontal and hip ridges to give a good appearance.

Provision for bats has been made in the roof as proposed by the bat ecologist.

7 August 2017 – Plumbing

The plumbing work has commenced.  Plumbing specialist, Paul Taylor arrived on site this week to lay the first fix pipework.

The hot water system will be generated by ‘Earth Save Products’.  The Ecocent is an internal air source heat pump designed to take warm air from inside this well insulated building to make the hot water we will use.

18 December 2017 – Paul returned and the shower trays are now installed.

10 August – 29 September 2017 – Thatching

Master Thatcher, David Henton, helped by Mike worked on reinstating the Long Straw thatched roof to the barn.

The wads of thatch were pinned tightly against each other with hazel spars.  Further thatch is laid so that each course overlaps the one below it, providing a continuous depth of straw over the entire roof.  The thatch is then combed to remove short or unfixed straw and to ensure that all of the surface straw are lying vertically.  This barn has a simple flush ridge in line with the surface of the main coat as it would have been originally.  Fixings of plain sparring form a neat pattern.  The whole roof has been netted to preserve the thatch from wind and birds.

October 2017 and January 2018 –  Plastering

Local plastering contractor, Eddie Mustard, has plastered all the internal walls.  Friends helped us mask off all the internal beams which was a big job!  The painting was done by us once the plaster was dry. As soon as the internal rooms were formed, Eddie returned again.

29 November 2017 – Floor Screed

Mayhew Easyscreed laid the floor screed this morning.  Now dry, the carpenters have been erecting the internal walls of the rooms and the electricians have laid the underfloor heating mats which we have screeded over.


© Copyright 2018 A Barn. Website by Lime Creative