Limewashing and a barn repair

Limewashing and a barn repair

October was a busy month at Lackan, tackling all the regular jobs that we’ve been putting off too long. The cottages have been limewashed, repairs made to flashings and everything made generally weatherproof. Three years after we bought the lime-hemp plaster,...
A strawbale barn

A strawbale barn

One of the hardest things about producing your own food isn’t growing it, it is storing it afterwards. It really wants to break down as fast as possible, and all manner of creatures want to eat it first. Until now we’ve stored food all over the place – hanging up in the living room; in cupboards. In short, not ideal. Another issue that we had was that our 4000 litre rainwater tanks and pump were not terribly pretty and very exposed to cold temperatures. The pump especially has been badly damaged by freezing twice now. The problem, as they say in permaculture, is the solution, and in this case takes the form of a strawbale barn, which incorporates the water tanks as its back wall.

Roofing for the DIY renovator

Roofing for the DIY renovator

Prior to landing at Lackan, I’d never re-roofed a house – let’s face it, its not something you do every day. Throughout our search for a house, my primary selection criteria was ‘is the roof straight’, and on that basis, this cottage was winner. There are two cottages here, and on one we kept the old corrugated roof, for reasons of budget and fear, and the other we re-roofed, having a bit more money and confidence. Hopefully this post will be of use to others who are wondering what to do with their old cottage roofs.

Barn building on a budget

Barn building on a budget

One of the last existing buildings that we took down here was the old wooden garage outside the cottage, and the time has come to replace it with another useful structure that will be used to store garden produce and tools. We want to build it on a tiny budget using reclaimed or local materials to create a natural looking structure that has minimal visual impact.

Willow fencing

Willow fencing

When I headed off to Tipperary to collect willow cuttings so that we might grow our own basket willow, Richard was kind enough to give me a trailer load of dry willow. The smaller stuff is all for baskets but I’d been wondering what to do with the heavy stuff. In a bid to protect the young hedge around the garden, Claire and I decided to make a woven fence, which then evolved as Claire suggested bending it over into hoops. The result is excellent, and blends into the garden without shading plants too much.

Building a  pallet porch

Building a pallet porch

In a climate like ours, some sort of porch is pretty much a necessity, not just as a place to store muddy boots and wet coats, but to act as an air lock so that warm air loss from the house is minimised when the door is opened. When we built the classroom we left a...