Sunday, 29 November 2015


That's about the size of it right now. Just a little tatting here and there to keep things ticking over and trying not to spend too much cash.

I'm putting a bit of cladding in the loo to finish off the walls, dabbing some gloss on the doorframe and door and just trying to finish off the odd jobs.

Some more skirting to go in here once all the cladding is finished and painted, and the seams to glue on the lino.

The loo is actually quite cosy and bright now, and the new 8.1W LED bulb is warmer and brighter than the old CFL. 

Some builder's caulk to finish the seam between the cladding and the side walls, and another coat of paint and the front wall is beginning to look acceptable now.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Finish Line In Sight

I did mean to do another update on Sunday, but what with one thing and another, I didn't get a round tuit.

Progress? I fitted the last of the skirting trim to the two sides and the office area is looking more tidy now. I have a few damp issues, but the dehumidifier is generating output and the carpet is waterproof and rot-proof so any dampness shouldn't cause a long term problem. I think it's the driving rain and wind that is pushing damp into the cracks and crevices and as soon as I get a few dry days, I need to finally caulk up any gaps and finish weather-sealing a couple of last small holes in the roof trim.

I have also replaced the 13W CFL in the kitchen with an 8W LED bulb. I wasn't expecting miracles but I have to admit I'm rather impressed. Firstly, it is a 'warm white' lamp so the light isn't as harsh and as blue as the GU10 LED spotlights in the office. Secondly, being LED and essentially a regulated DC system, the light doesn't suffer from voltage fluctuations at the end of the long line when using power tools or the kettle. That doesn't seem like a big deal, but it makes a difference.

To finish the otherwise bare window, I fitted a cheap B&Q Colours roller blind. Looks a lot more cosy now with the blind down. 

So a bit more weatherproofing to finish, dry out the box a little, finish a little trimming between the front wall and the sides, finish cladding the loo and then one last section of ceiling insulation to install and then that's most of the hard work done. I still need another fiddle with the phone line...I picked up my messages having rejigged the connections, and half an hour later the line was dead again!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Aaaarg! Colour Balance Issues

Grumble grumble grumble chunter...

Ok, some days I get lucky. Other days I'm not so lucky. Yesterday was a not so lucky day. I thought I had two different colours of carpet. The blue with red speckles out of the rooms on the ward from the hospital, and the turqoise carpet from the corridor. Turns out that the rooms had very slightly different carpets in them, One was a lighter blue with a more brownish speckling. So, not enough of any one colour/pattern to do the whole box. Never mind. It's not supposed to be a thing of beauty, but a practical solution to the drumming of the ply floor and to absorb a little of the echo-y sound, and to add a little insulation to the floor to keep the box a tad warmer. Both those ends achieved, so although the colour difference was a bit of a downer, not the end of the world.

The floor is covered, and that's all that really matters. To trim it in neatly round the edges (the carpet was originally just slashed witth a Stanley knife and peeled up in sections) I've painted the original phenolic board scuff boards the same colour as the walls and fitted the ex-hospital recycled MDF skirting, which actually looks rather nice and gives a better finish to the 'room'.

You can see in this photo the colour difference between the sections of carpet :o(

Part of the ethos of the conversion was to use as much recycled, repurposed or reclaimed material as possible, so I have recycled carpet and skirting board. That's one eco box ticked, at any rate.

I know I have spent a chunk of cash on some 'new' stuff, like the Recticell insulation, door, cladding, the kitchen and some of the electrics but the sink is reclaimed, the loo is made from recycled pallets, a lot of the timber was salvage from Portishead and most of the 12v dc equipment and a goodly chunk of the solar thermal and solar PV was repurposed or recycled from 'stuff I had to hand'. 

All in all, it's turning into quite a comfy office cum workshop, with loo and brewing facilities.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Getting There

Now I'm a wage slave again, finding time to fit in work down at the box is a little tricky, but I got here for the day on Sunday and B&Q phoned me up today to cancel my shift, so I squeezed in another day today.

I've thrown some cladding on the front wall. Not Homes and Gardens standard - it doesn't need to be - but enough to give me a solid wall over the Recticell insulation. A slap of the Sandtex to match the rest of the decor and job done.

I've also repurposed some of the ex-hospital carpet. Again, it doesn't need to be Axminster or Wilton standard, but it will insulate the floor a little and stop the box sounding so, er, 'boxy'.

Just a few more offcuts to fit in at the door end and some double sided tape to join the edges and it's a tidy job. I need a metal capping piece for where the carpet joins the vinyl by the loo, but that's another B&Q day to procure that.

I also have some nice skirting recycled from the hospital to trim in the side walls and cover the slightly ragged edges a little.