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About this blog

We are Dave & Jill and this is the history of this site.

The Little Stud Barn 'to be' is a barn in one of our fields.

We bought the host property Little Stud Farm at auction as a semi derelict house with 5 acres, it was a redundant intensive pig rearing unit that had up to 2,000 pigs.  3 acres were covered in pig buildings.  The house had been empty for a couple of years and most of the windows were broken and any wiring eaten by rats.

Anyway, that was 20 years ago and 80% of the old pig buildings were knocked down and put to grass for my horses.

Unfortunately, the contractor knocking down the buildings got a bit carried away and knocked down 9 out of 10 of the high ceiling sheds.  When I arrived on site I managed to stop him from knocking down the last one.  We ended up with 260 m2 of buildings left, but most of them have pretty low roofs.

4 years ago I had a major accident and was in a wheelchair for 6 months.  Although I can now walk we decided that we should try and build our dream single storey house by converting the remaining buildings.

It took us 3 attempts and 2 years to get class Q planning.  Class Q rules are very strict and all dimensions and curtilage must be exactly adhered to and with the height restrictions this has meant that we only have 240 m2 of the 260 m2 full size and some of each of the south side rooms can only be utility space and not living.

The better news is that the floor levels are raised in the 5 south side areas so we can at least get these dug down which will help with insulation and UFH.

 

This is what it looks like at the moment, from the North West.  I've realised that I don't have a direct shot on this PC, I will find one later.

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Building itself will start next year because at the moment we are in the process of a Phase 2 contamination survey with gas monitors.  The gas has to be monitored for 3 months with a visit every fortnight. We have had 2 so far.  Once that is finished then a report will be produced and sent to the LPA.  Depending on what the report says we can then commence (don't forget CIL) or carry out remediation steps.

 

As we are literally self building with help of experts where necessary this is likely to take a number of years to complete.

 

I am hoping to post to this blog weekly once we are underway.

 

 

 

 

Entries in this blog

Spring has sprung, but still wet and cold, but some progress.

After my horrid time earlier this year I am now going to post something more positive.   As of yesterday, I was offered a job, not ideal (is any job ideal), rather than working from home I must go to the office which takes 40mins each way and hubby is disappointed that he will be left on his own all day.   That said even with time out for funeral 250 miles away and wet, wet, wet we have progressed.   Some pictures.   hardcore & binding (take 2 after pr

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LSB in Apr 2024

new year - it was supposed to get better

I really hoped that now we are progressing after our suspended floor saga that things would get better, but something somewhere is determined to make sure that doesn't happen.   The only change is that this time the things that have gone wrong are not build related. Firstly, my brother, only 63, died of a heart attack with no history of problems.  I spent 5 days with him and his wife / kids in intensive care hoping against hope that he would pull thorough, but at 6am 6th Feb his h

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LSB in Jan 2024

Wet weather, BC, SE, Drawings, cost and more wet weather

Our tale of delays and woe is competing even with @pocster for time taken   From Oct - Dec progress has one again been delayed by weather, flooding, cold and in all honesty a bit of incompetence on our part meaning we are further back than when we started.   This period started well enough with the trenches for foundation filled ready to start building walls.   After digging down and down to the required depth (or so we thought) we started to place the cellcore read

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LSB in Dec 2023

More trenches, holes and crushing concrete

So in the last couple of months we've moved on quite a bit for us.   We started on our next section of the build, to be the snug and entrance hall. This is the sticking out part of the 'L' of the build.     We removed the roof covering some time ago, so at the start of July it looked like this.           Then the 4 layers of floor and internal walls were broken down          

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LSB in Oct 2023

Breaking up and Building up

I just noticed that my last entry was 1st June and now it's mid August.   Where does the time go.   Once again we've lost time on the build, HID did too much breaking and hurt his back and we got a new puppy who is a huge time waster.  Although I WFH I also have to visit clients so quite a bit of puppy sitting going on.     Then there has been the weather, total opposite of last year.   So, down to what has been done. The first main wall is now u

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LSB in July 2023

Wall A & B1 up to damp course

As many on this hub are aware DIY self-build is a slow and sometimes lonely process, particularly when you are a novice.   HID knows how to build, but he's never had to make the plans or decisions previously, he's just been told - dig that trench, lay that foundation etc. etc.   So, we are finding having to explore in depth every step is time consuming and pretty tricky and there is no one place with all the details. We don't know what we are looking for - how do you kno

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LSB in May2023

At last we have take off

Well, it's really happening. HID left work last Friday, spent the weekend fixing the horses fencing, but it didn't matter as he can now work on the build.   I've created a very detailed project plan for his for 3 days and intend to keep this going as he works much better this way.   This will approximate timings which will no doubt go out the window. We did have an issue last week, he had dug a trench, we had torrential rain and one side fell in, some of our soil is

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LSB in Apr 2023

Wish I'd known everything that's needed before building

I am in the state at the moment of wondering why......   I never realised it was going to be so complicated to get all the paperwork sorted just to lay some blocks with holes in for windows and doors and a roof on top and preferably some heat, cooking and washing facilities, but I would even have considered giving up on those at some point.   Due to the complete lack of time we decided that the builder (HID) would take voluntary redundancy and early retirement and then build

30th May 2022

Well 6 months on and once again the only progress is paid work. After all the disappointment over the issues we have been pretending that it's not happening.   We came up with a list of options.   Give up totally and clear the site  Return the barn to stables Sell as it is Sell barn and our house so we don't have to watch someone else do what we wanted to do. Hand over to a building company even though we can't really afford to. Try and progress

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LSB in Try again

Well that's a poke in the eye with a pointed stick

I haven't posted to my blog for a couple of months, mainly because we haven't been able to progress until we got the Structural Engineers report. This was promised in 2 weeks and ended up taking 10.   I now suspect that this was because they didn't want to tell us the news.   Our build is a barn conversion so we've had to jump through lots of hoops. ,making lots of money for other people.   But, particularly for the SE, first it was the report where they said t

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August 21 - clearing the back passage

During August we focussed on clearing the exterior of the site to allow for easier access for future work, such as laying drainage and installing electricity.   This was the back passage when we started, at the end of the winter before all the weeds started growing.     and this is after most of the roof is gone and the bank & retaining wall are cleared.         In the south west yard where the electricity pylon is, this time

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Jul 2021: FT work + DIY build = slow slow slow

This blog is for me to look back over time to see how things have changed and to assure myself that we are making some progress, albeit very slow. I appreciate all help and friendly comments, but appreciated that this is not an exciting blog. Looking through my diary for the last month it seems to say, work / work / work and not on the conversion. Moving to a new factory seems to entail lots of extra hours.  Good to add some OT to the budget, but by the time the taxman etc. have t

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June 2021 - slow progress

Well despite the light evenings progress has been very limited during June. I've been working 8-6 with an hour travel each end, then with the dog to walk the horses to sort out and dinner there has just been no time. I've also been decorating in our house, which needs to be done because we have visitors in a couple of weeks.   HID has been more productive, but as we have our separate roles he has been held up as well. Just outside the end of the barn when we were trying

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28th May - digging out and repairing

Over the last month we've spent most of our time continuing to take parts of the barn apart whilst repairing some bits that need to stay.   What's brilliant is that all the fibre cement roofing which contains a small amount of asbestos is gone.  The skip company delivered on Friday and collected on Monday and after seeing it all wrapped said it was very good and we didn't need to wrap the skip as well. We've pretty much finished clearing the back sheds, although there is stil

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26th April - taking apart (carefully)

Over the last month we've spent our time removing bits from the barn that will either be returned, replaced or disposed of depending on there condition and the LPA requirements. This means that the yard is filling up so deliveries and other storage is now being put in the fields.  That's okay with a very dry April, might be more tedious if we have a very wet spell.   I removed the roof from the barns where there was a low ridge height, but that also included the insulation (lucky

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Mar 25th - Lots of Expense, a little progress

Whether you are converting a barn, like us, or building from scratch I just don't know where the time goes.  Agreed hubby works full time and although I'm only supposed to work 3 days per week I've been doing a lot more lately as we are so busy with the work new build.  It's also been dark and cold which doesn't inspire enthusiasm to get outside to do things.  I'm also very limited in what I can do, I'm not very strong and don't always know how to do things. I've also found that keeping the

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Feb 13th Insurance, Warranties and Building Regs

We now have all our conditions discharged and agreed and can start to plan the real deal this year. Our build is a Class Q barn conversion, which like lots of people on this forum is going to be an almost total DIY job, partly out of satisfaction and wanting to know everything is done right, but in all honesty also due to a rather restricted budget.   We had an architect draw a set of original plans (no measurements) and submit for planning, refused, we paid another few thousand t

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9th Jan - New Year yet still little progress

I've read in many articles and books that you cannot project manager a build and work full time, even when you live on site. They are right, I've made barely any progress over the last month since work has ramped up to full time. Originally, the new factory move was planned for end Feb with the offices end March.  But, this has now been delayed with factory at the end of April and the offices May. That's great for work stress less, but bad for self-build stress levels.  The extra

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12th Dec - Self Building - not a chance

At the moment my project at work is the IT planning for our new 8,000 sqm factory, with a 2 floor office space. Under normal circumstances I work 3 days per week to allow me time to project manage our own build, but not at the moment. We get the water tight building handed to us on the 8th January, then I've got to organise the 1st, 2nd and final fix of all the IT infrastructure from cables to servers. When I tried to place the order for fibre leased lines I was told, there's no f

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2nd Dec ASHP - or not

As part of my barn conversion I was planning to use an ASHP, that was until I read an article in Build It magazine. This considered the cost of installing and running heating and the eco credentials. It included gas (mains), oil, ASHP, GSHP and biomas.   Well, somewhat surprisingly ASHP came out at high for cost, very high to run and not very eco friendly.   This has put me in a total quandary about what to do. My planning says ASHP with a backup boiler.  

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Nov 27th - Bike Shed to Storage Shed

I usually post my blog entries on a Wednesday, but somehow it didn't happen this week.   This week I have submitted the application to discharge our planning conditions.  Although there were 5 listed, one was to say 'do what you have plans for' and the other 4 were all to do with contamination. Condition 2 was to get a phase 2 contamination report and 3,4,5 were all to do with remediation if any contamination was found. The report was 72 pages, guess that's where 5k goes, and

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Nov 18th - Phase 2 Contamination Results

Yesterday, ahead of schedule, we received our phase 2 contamination survey report. No surprises, but it's good to hear that everything is good.     The report is 72 pages long, but then for the cost of it I expect to have lots of detail.   It's been a long drag to get this far with difficulty getting planning permission and needing lots of reports, surveys and plans We went into this process thinking that we would spend up to 10k trying to get planning an

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Nov 11th - Let's not forget

I have huge respect and admiration for those who have gone before us, including members of my own family, for what they did in any war to protect us. At times I think they were conned as much as any of us, but they were there in good faith putting their lives at risk.   Thank you one and all.   But, back to this blog, this is also so I don't forget. I'm going to try and update weekly on what I've achieved, or failed at, in the previous week and hopefully on plans fo

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Nov 4th - It's not good being a woman at times

This week I have been getting price estimates for everything I need, the list is getting very long and it's taking ages as I'm trying to get multiple quotes, I may give up on that idea. I am also submitting this to estimating companies / builders merchants, but want the control of also doing it myself.   This morning the roofing company man rang me, asked some stupid questions and didn't listen to the answers as he talked over me. He then said, I'll be there at 11.  At 12:45

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Oct 28th 2020 - Estimations and dumpers

This week I have been going through each room of the build and looking at what it needs, not furniture, but sockets, lights, floors and painting amongst the list. I have never in the past appreciated just how much is involved in creating rooms from scratch, despite doing multiple renovations & extensions. Before I can send off for estimates I still have the family room to complete, I've been avoiding that one as with the kitchen, multiple doors and outside access it will be quite d

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