The conversion of our beautiful barns is going full-steam ahead. First fix is all but finished, the tackers are busy filling walls with insulation, and I’m writing this while waiting for delivery of the bathroom suites. Shopping for bathrooms for a build like this is always one of the fun parts of the job. The spaces in barns are often quirky, and finding innovative ways to use them always leads to lively discussions between the designer and the plumber! Vaulted sloping ceilings in the master bathroom here inspired a free-standing roll-top bath with a hanging traditional circular curtain rail enveloping it, and modern floor-standing taps to set it off. I can’t wait to see it finished!
: Wildlife Watch
One of the best bits about working on a rural project like this is the variety of wildlife you interact with – particularly in old barns like our lovely conversions in Headcorn. The blackbirds nesting in the roof have already successfully raised one brood, and are noisily feeding their second batch of chicks; our swallow pair are swooping in & out through one of the old windows up to their mud-house tucked against one of the ceiling joists; and all manner of amphibians are noisily impressing their mates in the ponds. We’ll wait for all the young ones to fledge before closing up the openings they’re using – we can work around them for now. Enjoy the summer, everyone!
: Floors down
We finally poured the floors at the end of May, and have started putting the internal walls in place. It’s now that you can really see how these former agricultural buildings will work as modern family homes – how the light pours in, the sightlines over the open countryside, where the cosy wood fires will burn. We’ve also had a long think about the gardens, and will start to chivvy the existing planting into shape and prepare for the new turf, flower beds and pathways. It seems like ages away, but some preparation now will definitely pay dividends later!
: Bank Holiday Sunshine
Our beautiful barns in Headcorn are really starting to look lovely. We’ve done a lot of tidying up – replacing tired timbers, repointing, new weatherboarding – as well as the more serious structural stuff (new foundations, rebuilding brickwork, steelworks) – and it really shows. We brought the scaffolding down this month, and the change is remarkable. There’s still a long way to go, but it’s clear that these will be something special, nestled in a quiet lane in the countrysides. The plan for this month is to finish putting the internal drainage in and then insulate and screed the floors. By the end of May we’ll be working on the internals, and they will really be starting to take shape. Watch this space!
: April Fool
Our lovely new tenants took possession of the Collier St Barn today, and are busy preparing their new home. It’s always great to see what people can create on the blank canvases we prepare – the imagination of people with furnishings, rugs, pictures and plants always amazes me. We hope they’ll be very happy there for years to come!
: First of Spring!
Today is, despite the generally-miserable weather, the first day of the meteorological Spring. Spring is a perfect time to move house – the flowers start to bloom, you can have the first barbecue of summer in the new garden, and sunlight streams through the windows into your new living room. This is particularly convenient, as we’re just finishing up our lovely Collier St barn conversion project! Our talented decorator, Trevor, is working there as I write, and the cleaners are booked for next week for the final pre-occupancy clean. Happy Springtime, everyone!
: January Blues?
No time for that here at Raspberry Homes! The sites have been busy, with progress towards completion made on our barn conversion in Collier St, and some sterling efforts by the groundworkers are starting to see our Headcorn project take shape. We’ve been working hard to complete some structural works, in partnership with our innovative engineer and ever-patient steelwork manufacturers, and are just starting to see the fruits of everyone’s labour. There’s still a way to go, but at least we’re starting to put things back together after weeks of taking them apart!
: New Year, New Project
The New Year is always a good time to take stock – to look back on the year past, and to look forward to the months ahead. Here at Raspberry Towers we’re doing just that. The final quarter of 2017 was pretty hectic, with a big push to get our beautiful barns completed before the Christmas break. Now they’re done, we’re looking forward to the next one – we’ve got a few pots on the boil, but we’re not sure what will be ready to tell you about soonest! We’ll keep you posted – in the mean time, Happy New Year!
: Another day, another year!
The construction industry traditionally closes completely between Christmas and New Year; the builders’ merchants are closed, the sales calls from suppliers stop, and the tradesmen take a well-earned break with their families. It’s the same at Raspberry Homes – our sites are quiet (which I’m sure our always-patient neighbours are grateful for!) and our subcontractors are at home. For me, as well as time for the family, it’s a time to catch up on paperwork and admin; to do end-of-year filing; VAT returns; and take stock a little of how the old year worked out, and to make some plans for the new. However 2016 was for you, all here at Raspberry Homes wish you a 2017 filled with fun!
: Holiday Season!
The year has gone whooshing by, and it’s almost Christmas again! Over in Headcorn, our newts are safely hibernating in their new logpiles & hibernacula, and in Collier Street we’ve just got the walls up on the barn conversion. The rain has held off (for the most part) so far, but it will come sooner or later and we want to be weathertight when it does. So it’s all go at Raspberry Homes, with the final push on before the traditional holiday break between Christmas and New Year.