See the progress of our old cattle barn being demolished & re-built from scratch into a beautiful wedding and events barn !
We purchase Brook House Farm. The two images show the old cattle barn and hay storage pole barn as we bought it.
The grey building you see in the background is the Cottage before refurbishment)
We consider renovating our barn and how to plan the site using the natural features of the land.
In the foreground you can see newly planted trees put in last winter. These young trees are less than 80cm tall and would need to be removed to make way for the car park. We hope to be able to save all of them by transferring them to a new area.
EARLY MARCH 2018,
We receive planning approval for the wedding barn and embark on our existing project on a cold grey, snowy winter day.
In this photo we are tooling towards the main road, marking out our 6 acre field for what will become the entrance gate and future driveway lined with young trees to lead guests to our barn and parking areas.
There will be much work ahead. To build our wedding barn we need to demolish our old cattle barn first. The old hay storage pole barn also needs to go too for the car park.
We make a start on the driveway with a 13 ton digger. Target is to complete a 160 meter long driveway and car park in one month!
Our younger daughter Maisie aged 10 comes up with the name The Haybarn for our wedding venue.
The snow is melting leaving behind a lot of surface water the digger is turning our field into a canal! This is only the beginning of what becomes a lot of mud later!
The clock is ticking, our next festival field wedding is 5 weeks away !! – The car park needs to be in use. No pressure then…
MID MARCH 2018,
Two weeks into the job, more rain = more mud!
These aerial photographs shows the driveway is half dug out. In the picture on the right, the top soil taken out to make the driveway is carefully placed into a large half moon shape to later plant many trees and turn this area to woodland for a future wedding ceremony area.
MID MARCH 2018,
The base material stone starts to arrive, with our first lorry load dropped by the new entrance. We are to expect another 25 lorry loads. We are compacting the base to allow heavy vehicles, wedding buses and delivery trucks for the barn.
Our son is enjoying watching the digger and roller compacting the stone. The drive is beginning to take shape. This will become a private & driveway to be only used for weddings and events at the Haybarn.
We need to go through the hedge heading towards the old buildings with the blue roof In the distance.
MID MARCH 2018,
The diggers have now dug out the entire length of the driveway and are starting the future main car park area.
First, we need to demolish the old pole barn which used to store hay when it this was a working farm. This place is definitely starting to look like Glastonbury.
Amazingly despite the works and destruction, a British couple who live & work in New Zealand come over for a viewing and book a wedding for Septemeber 2018.
9:00am , We take down the old storage barn. The builders aim to finish by 5pm tonight! … all good so far.
This lovely top soil which is excavated is perfect for us to plant our trees and woodland later.
Knocking down the old building certainly happens quickly with a little extra help from the digger.
Afternoon not going to plan…
The digger broke through an old land drain which went under the building.
With all the recent snow water gushes out of the broken drain adding more water to the mud!
In this image we are standing where the small trees stood.
This area will become part of the car park. The old barn in the background will be extended and become the wedding barn.
We have weddings soon this season, our next wedding is just two weeks time! We will soon have to stop the building work for the season.
Before / After,
Comparison images from September 2017 to now March 2018. We managed to preserve about a hundred of our young trees.
New drainage goes into the ground under the car park to make repairs to the old broken and blocked land drain.
We use 10 lorry loads / 200 tons of hardcore for the base of our car park, later we will need a gravel top finish. One Week to go before the wedding!
Late MARCH 2018,
Building a long driveway & car park involved the removal of 680 tons of soil. We wanted to re-use it instead of transporting it away for miles to be disposed and avoid this unnecessary environmental impact. To make use of the soil we designed a large half moon area where the soil is re-distributed and where we will plant 300-400 fast growing British Native trees and create a future natural dense woodland.
This will create a beautiful area surrounding the 300 year old Ash tree which is in the centre of the photo. Couples have already booked this area for ceremonies in 2019 (see JS coates image gallery for photos of the couple’s wedding). The 5 images bellow show this work.
We estimate 3-4 years for the woodland to start looking beautiful. By 2019 it will already look green and lush.
1st Week of April 2018,
Our driveway and car park is getting its gravel surface finish. We source the gravel from a local quarry. Our next wedding is in 5 days time!
Image bellow on the left shows driveway up to the barn, the other image is driving to the main road.
April 2018. – The drive & car parks are done!
After one month of heavy machinery and plant work, lots of rain, mud, snow and bitter cold winds, 680 tons of gravel later; our new entrance, driveway and car park areas are finally done. Just in time for our wedding guests !
We have also planted 400 young trees (in the circular brown area of the image). We will now need to restore our damaged grass area.
Our beautiful May wedding takes place with a tipi on our wedding field. The new car parks and drive work well with the new access point to our wedding venue.
Festival Wedding seasons starts for us. We stop building work as we do not wish create a building site during the summer months as we have several weddings!
See how a couple of of months makes a difference. Our August wedding with a giant Circus Tent marquee shows how well the trees and grass have grown (compare with previous image above). August a a fantastic time for a summer wedding in a field.
January 2019, Work resumes…
We start demolishing the barn tomorrow. Time to take pictures of the 60 year old castle shed. The previous owners of the property were farming sheep here for 25 years (barn was used as a lambing shed)
March 2019, Demolition done!
The image bellow shows a now leveled floor and open space. We removed the kennels, mezzanine, old equipment, electric wires, & outer walls.
The planning officers have requested we keep the original steel structure intact.
March 2019, we make a discovery.
We find a mysterious redundant old pit by the old barn, it was full of smelly black silt and water. The pit was over 2 meters deep !
After some head scratching as figured out it was used as a very old sewage tank. Not nice and very smelly!
Perhaps not in use for over 25 years.
Measures now need to be taken to fix this.
We have now completed the footings and DPC level. we will begin preparations for the timber frame.
Damp proof red bricks are now dine, we are ready for the timber kit which is due to be delivered in May.
We now get a sense of space and footprint the future barn will provide. The roof pitch will remain the same. We are yet to remove the old asbestos roof.
It is at the present time hard to visualise the finished project without the walls, but this will soon come.
We have started to do viewings now for couples looking at booking the barn for their weddings in 2019 or 2020.
12th May 2018, Timber Frame.
Our timber frame arrives from Yorkshire. Walls are built offsite and ready for our builders to erect. The process of erecting all of the insulated barn walls will take a week.
May 15th 2019,
Walls are being erected. We can now get a better idea of the future internal space the barn will offer.
The two openings you see in the first image bellow on the left will be the large windows to get get maximum amount of natural light into the building.
14th June 2019, Doors & Windows
Our custom made aluminium By-fold doors and windows are delivered and installed
15th June 2019,
We start cladding the exterior walls of our barn with Cedar timber boards. We opted for a design called Wainey Edge Boards which looks traditional showing the bark and “wavey ” edge of the cut timber. All timber sourced from local supplier.
The smell of this fresh timber is lovely.
18th June 2019,
We install a safety fence along the brook, and continue the landscaping by bringing in 100 tons of final surface gravel to create a lovely courtyard under 300 year old oak tree.
19th June 2019,
landscaping (phase1) done! The back of the barn is now looking finished with beautiful cedar timber cladding.
We are starting to see a nice barn coming on ! We are very excited to show our progress our couples.
The Cedar timber cladding is just simply goergous and worth the extra time and skill needed to lay it. Our carpenters are doing a fantastic job.
Lets build an entrance porch !
2nd July 2019,
This week we decided to add an entrance porch to the front of the barn. The feature makes a fantastic entrance, and built in a traditional style.
10th July 2019,
Our old asbestos concrete roof sheets are taken down and taken away making way for new insulated roofing
25th July 2019, Roofing
Our new roofing goes up. Steel sheets with thick insulation will ensure a cosy building in the colder months, yet keeping the industrial / agricultural barn look we want to achieve. There will be lots of natural light in the building with a number of skylights.
1st Sept 2019,
We work on the floor inside. A thick 4″ insulation material is applied in preparation for our concrete poor next week.
These photos also show the underside of our new roof and support timbers, we are still keeping the original rusty metal beams and will make them a feature in the finished barn.
8th Sept 2019,
Concrete floor poor !
3 lorries arrive pumping tons of concrete over the insulation sheets, once this is totally cured it will give a smooth surface to finish which can later be polished or finished with Epoxy resin. (yet to decide)
We will be unable to walk on the fresh floor for several days. We learn it will take 3 months to fully harden and cure before applying resin, timber floor, or polish.
10th Sept 2019, Interior walls
We receive 500 lengths of freshly cut scaffold timber boards sourced from a sustainable source in Eastern Europe!
We start to stain and de-stress by hand each board as this will form the final finish of our interior walls, creating an agricultural / industrial look to the barn interior.
We mix & blend over a dozen different types of home made natural wood dies using coffee, tea, charcoal, even vinegar, and a few secret recipes !
This will create a random, distress warm look.
Lets crack on… we estimate needing 20 solid days of staining !
We start to mount a few boards onto the walls to see how it looks.
10th December 2019, Walls are done !
Following a few set backs, builders holidays, longer lead times for our electrician, having to wait 3 months for concrete floor to fully cure and other unenforced issues, we have finally done it!
All electrical work is wired from scratch, and is time consuming. So not much lately in the way of photo updates..
However here we have it, our barn with interior wall and industrial lighting. Night time shots coming soon!
COME BACK SOON FOR NEXT UPDATES:
Flooring will not be polished concrete or resin after all. Today we opted to order a stone effect grey porcelain tile floor, this will arrive next week when we make a start on our floor before our Tiler breaks for Christmas. We are looking to complete flooring and finalise all for Mid JAN 2020 ! We hope to host our fist official open public day Feb or March 2020!
We have already received our dining tables which we will be de-stressing and staining to match the wall tones, Chairs are arriving in mid-late January.