Lizzie and Sally Gatenby 15th September 2007
It's all included in the price

This door was built after a long lunch

Kitchen_wall_002 The next step on the barn to kitchen conversion is sealing up the large barn door to make us weatherproof. Hopefully, this should be done in a month (including making the doors and windows).

It is a really great feature of the barn because it lets all of the late evening sun in and especially on a hot day we find it remains cool but especially light and during the months of June, July and August the sun streams in a lights the back stone wall with a warm orange glow.

Unfortunately, we encountered a bit of a problem. both sides of the door frame are not perpendicular which meant that any door frame would not site inside that well and look nice.

The solution which we eventually settled on was to knock out one side of the door (as seen in the picture with the acro props holding up the oak lintels) and bring the door frame in slightly on the other side.

The corner stones are really big and I wonder how the builders got them into place originally? One very strong man could lift the first few up to waist height and two strong men to shoulder height but then putting them gently into place without disturbing the one underneath would have been hard.
Do you remember the days before the telescopic? I really struggled to start with and then purchased the block and tackle which made the job so much easier and even simple. Because I could lift and lower by a millimetre at a time I had so much control.

Kitchen_wall_005One corner of the door is actually the rear corner of the house so I am surprised that this is not upright so the original builder could not have used a plumb bob or a level.

It does not really matter that much and it gives us more options and flexibility to arrange it the way we want. However, before the ceiling and crepie were done I wish we had taken out the lintels completely and put in a nice straight (but old) oak  beam/lintel. I may have been able to have manipulated the sides with a large oak upright if I had of done this.

So, today (saturday) I will build up the other side to form a new corner and maybe by the end of Monday we will have a square hole in which to manufacture and fitt the doors.

Doors and windows

Windows_006 This scares me a bit. Those that have been following us will remember that although an enthusiastic d├ębutante as far as woodwork was concerned I had very little experience. I erected and modified loads of trellis, gates, fences etc in my work as a landscape gardener but never tackled making furniture or windows.

At one point I did not really think I would ever be competent at it as it really challenged me. I am sure I have some kind of dyslexia or attention span deficit which means I do not seem to take in or absorb numbers that well when measuring or understanding what I am doing.

I have stood over a rough plan of a window for half an hour trying to unravel how it works and had to walk away in frustration because I just could not see the way to do it.

Anyway, after a few attempts it started to come together and every new attempt is a whole lot better than the last and now I am relatively confident in my fledgling abilities.

The kitchen doors will be three panels of half glas (top) and half wood (bottom) from the outside they will look equal but the left two will be doors and the right will be fixed. The far left will be used as the daily entrance door and the middle panel can be opened when we want extra light and air in.

So this next phase will probably be the most interesting and technically challenging for me. I both look forward to and dread so watch this space.

I will try to keep you up to date on a blow by blow basis.