All go at Pannells Ash Barn – a luxury holiday let renovation
On: December 1, 2012   |   By: Pannells Ash   |   Under: eco-friendly, Essex, luxury holiday let, Pannells Ash Barn, renovation, Suffolk   |   Comments: Comments are off

An interesting fact has come to light. The barn structure we see today, was not always how it was, at some stage in its life the barn’s roof was not gable end, instead, more like this..

The barn with a rectangular hip roof.
This fact came to light when Darren was replacing broken and rotten rafters. At both ends the last three original timbers had additional timbers cut into them to increase their length up to the ridge height.

Transforming the hip into a gable end. It was probably done to save on repair and tile costs. After all it was just a working barn ideally requiring minimal spend to keep it in working order.
Another interesting and expensive discovery was that the ‘plate’, (the horizontal oak beam that sits on the brick plithe that supports all the vertical posts) in the kitchen and east gable end both needed to be replaced.
The one on the kitchen wall is almost seven metres long and rotten. The rot was cause by water being trapped behind normal cement that had been used to make repairs to the brick work the plate sits on. 

Once the old plate was removed, two courses of brick work had to be removed so the new green oak beam could be slid under the hanging upright posts, and then pushed up creating a new base for the uprights. Each mortice was precisely carved to fit.

The east end plate was then suspended in position to keep everything snugly in place.
The end of the new plate has a seemingly massive joint cut to exactly fit the neighbouring plate end.

The two plate pieces of replacement green oak weigh in at almost three quarters of a ton.
Other timber repairs, will be lost from sight as the build progresses, which is a bit of a shame as people will never know the degree of care that Darren and his team have put into this conversion.
Their skill and handy work will only be admired and appreciated in centuries to come when some future owner of the barn will have to carry out other repair work.

Here’s a small gallery of photos from around the barn:

Darren cutting the old rotten plate in the lobby area.
The repair complete.
Bev carrying out joint repairs on the west end gable.
Chris wire brushes and cleans each beam by hand.
Richard starts work sawing a massive and very solid block of green oak.
Keeps sawing.
And has a breather.
Front door post repair.

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