Diaries - Travel

House Story Home

Between House And Barn Projects
The Diary of Our House And Barn Projects

June, 2008



Dear Families and Friends,



Original (March) prognosis:"The plan is that the outside should be done by the end of June. We'll see."

Actual June progress: The outside is close, but not "done".


June 2, Roof Tiles and Window Views

Knock on wood, it's looking good for our original prognosis. The Nehr crew arrived at 6:15 this morning to prepare for the roof tiles. The tiles showed up at 8:00 but barely had time to rest on the ground before they were whisked away to be installed. By the end of the day, there was only a small patch not covered. All in all, a good day's progress.

Axel also had a busy day on-site. First we met for a couple of hours to discuss all the immediate decisions needing owner input. This included how to accommodate the big barn doors to the sloping "Hof" (barn yard) without leaving a big gap; making the bath a bit bigger; getting the upper front window to function well with the hoisting post; treatment of "cow stall" floors and roof; old-vs-new material for the sleeping deck floor; etc; etc. These are the sorts of details that just "come up" as we discuss lists and it makes us appreciate a good relationship with our architect.

Of course the highlight of a planning meeting can now be the "site tour". While we didn't join Axel out on the beam walk (maybe we needed those special shoes he was wearing), we did enjoy the views through the window openings. The large windows on the field side will be wonderful and the upper window on the street side would have a nice view of the palace next door, if it weren't for all the trees on the palace grounds (and for the scaffolding).

We also released Axel to authorize the windows to be built, the satellite TV antenna to be installed, and some steps to be taken on starting plumbing and electrical work. I'm almost afraid to say how well things are going right now!

June 7, Outer Surface

The upper part of the barn is getting its wood covering. Local tradition calls for the use of "larch" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larch) , a northern European conifer that is tough and waterproof. (Back home in California, I think we would use redwood, for the same reasons.)

Eventually, it will fade to a gray or blue-gray color and our next design decision is to select a window frame color that will work with the faded larch. I'm not sure how we do that since the wood won't fade for years and we need the windows now.

June 21, Scaffolding Going, Going, ...

The front scaffolding is gone now, and the outside looks much better. We also get to use the passage to the back door of the house again.

The garage is prepared for a new concrete floor, as is the cow stall.

Inside, the floor of the sleeping loft is installed. This is still a little rough up here, but we can certainly appreciate what the view will be.





Next week we'll start getting more details: concrete floors, maybe some rough plumbing. We also have a Thursday appointment with our local lighting shop, a very professional organization doing major work world-wide, but run from a local village and still serving "regular people".

June 27, Concrete Progress

After the big flurry when we were gone, progress has slowed. I wonder, is there a lesson here?

Nevertheless, there are always conversations with Axel. Here is also a shot Marianne got from her walking path out in the fields behind the house. Our new shape fits right in.



Of course, there was a bit of work that doesn't show too much, but will make our lives easier. We now have a garage with a real, concrete floor. This was originally going to be a later option, but it will probably makes things go a little better -- and cleaner -- as we finish the work.


We also took an hour out to look at barn doors. We need to build new ones for going to the garden and these, with the tilted square windows, seem pretty nice and common enough around here to be declared "traditional".

Out front, we have two doors/shutters. The small one on top should be easy, just like the example here. However, for "shuttering" the larger glass doors below, we have not settled on an idea. They will be sliders, but that's only one part of the decision. Oh well, that can wait. The windows they cover aren't even made yet.

The only other activity lately has been a couple of sessions with our lighting people from Niesyt Lighting in Sterpersdorf, a small village near us. This is a great family-run shop, with tons of lighting choices. When we went to look around and get some ideas, Mrs. Rau (nee Niesyt) sat down to plan what we needed. She brought in her brother, Mr. Niesyt of course, who proceeded to treat our loft like a major project, considering light quality for an artist's studio balanced with a good ambience for regular living areas. It seems he normally does this for commercial projects with hundreds or thousands of lighting fixtures. Later in the week, Mrs. Rau came by with samples and we came up with a plan for 70% of the lights. This is definitely not the sort of service one gets at Home Depot!


That is probably it for June. Monday is the 30th, but I suppose there won't be enough progress in a single day to warrant another Barn Diary entry.


John and Marianne

Diaries - Travel

House Story Home

Between House And Barn Projects
The Diary of Our House And Barn Projects