The Content Of The Article:

With a little help, good documentation and perseverance, Nicolas Henri realized his dream: to rehabilitate a half-timbered barn in ruins to transform it into a comfortable home.

Before - after: a ruined half-timbered barn converted into a dwelling house

Diffculté - Cost - Time - Equipment

Difficulty: 4/4
Cost: 73 000 € (tools, equipment and materials)
Time: weekends and holidays for 7 years to 2 people
Equipment: tools of bricklayer, plasterer, carpenter, roofer, electrician, plumber, carpenter, painter, upholsterer, tiler...

When he bought his land, our 23-year-old reader did not know that it would take him seven years to live comfortably in this old, half-timbered, abandoned barn. At that time, he did not have any knowledge or know-how in heavy work. With a dirt floor and the absence of buried foundations, the rehabilitation of the building requires significant structural work to leave on a sound basis.

Straighten the wooden sides of the walls of the barn

Before the first pick, Nicolas Henri had to resort to an architect to secure and make his project viable.
The main difficulty consisted in taking over all the foundations and basement: it has thus deposited, replaced and sealed in depth the stones of the base on which the half-timbered walls rest.
Our reader then straightened a facade that had been slightly displaced over time by the roots of a tree. In addition, the wooden walls are no longer plumb, he mounted a contrecloison interior breeze blocks (with air gap) and replaced the original mud pad with cellular concrete to benefit from better thermal insulation.

Equip yourself with the construction site

Helped punctually by his father, talented handyman, the young man has done almost everything himself, training and equipment necessary throughout the site.
It did, however, call on two companies: one to evacuate to a dumping ground reserved for professionals some 120 m2 fiber cement sheets covering the roof; the other to deliver the concrete by truck spinning and pour a slab 20 cm thick on the 90 m2 on the ground floor of the barn.

Shoring of sand pits

Support the foundation

The sandstone stones of the basement are carefully deposited with the chisel and the hammer. They will be reinstalled later to maintain the original style of the building.

Do not remove the stones of support

Leftover cement is removed with a chipper and the area is thoroughly cleaned. At this point, avoid loosening the stones that support the lower runners (horizontal beams).

Eliminate vegetation around the barn

All vegetation near the seat is eliminated. To dig up a stump, the earth is removed with the shovel, then the stump cut with the chainsaw and evacuated.

Removing the cob from the studs

The daub of the studs is summarily deposited with the hammer of the formwork or the hammer.

Support the beam supporting the studs

Once the mud of the studs completely removed, the low beam supporting the timber is supported with bastaings laid on blocks. It is then leveled with several shims inserted under the beam.

Digging a trench under the sandpits

Above the sandpits, a trench 40 cm wide is excavated with shovel and pick: its depth allows to dismount the last stones without damage.

Reconstitution of the barn foundation

A concrete base for the stone base

A concrete bed is placed at the bottom of the trench and serves as a base for the stones of the masonry plinth. Each is carefully replaced in alignment with the sandpit.

Coffrer the stone of support

A basic formwork is installed around each stone. The inside of the planks is coated with formwork oil (avoid draining oil that stains concrete).

Putting an iron around the stones

Another batch of concrete is poured into the formwork and an iron is placed around each foundation stone. The concrete is vibrated by striking the walls with a mallet, then smoothed with a trowel. Dropped the next day, it takes several days to make his decision.

Straightening of the sand pits

One of the sanders is straightened by a few centimeters using a hoist. During the maneuver, it is normal to hear the cracks of the wood frame.

Finish the peripheral foundation footing

A formwork, consisting of two planks, allows pouring concrete in the trench to complete the peripheral foundation footing.

Brick blocks to support the foundations

After stripping, two rows of 15 cm thick breeze blocks are sealed with cement mortar under the low runners, while carefully controlling the level and plumb.

Mortar filling of the space between the sand pits and the rows of cinder blocks

The space between the sandbox and the last row of blocks is filled with mortar, from the inside; a shuttering board placed outside prevents it from spreading.

Grouting your stone for foundation facing stones

Using mortar tempered in a trough, sandstone facing stones are troweled up and the joints are filled with stone grouting mortar. They are then brushed with a wire brush and then smoothed with a damp sponge.

Replacement of the rotten timber of the stud

Replace the rotten half-timberings

At the junction of the pinion and the side façade, a post rotten by moisture is replaced, after shoring, by another of the same section provided with a notch made by the chainsaw.

Replacement of a rotten bass pit

A low sand pit, also attacked by moisture, is cut at 45° to the chainsaw.

An old beam of the same section is cut in inverted bevel at 45°. The basement is rebuilt as before (blocks + facing).

Assembly of the masonry of the barn

Dubbing of the wood frame by a contrecloison

The wood frame is lined with a counterblock in blocks (15 cm thick) with an air gap of 3 to 5 cm (to reinforce the insulation), mounted on a concrete footing.

Filling of concrete studs

The filling of the studs is made of cellular concrete (thickness 5 cm), material whose qualities contribute to the insulation of the house. The tiles are glued and set back 1 to 2 cm to apply a facade plaster.

Removal of some beams on the renovation site

Inside, some beams are deposited (after shoring), others inserted and sealed with mortar in the reservations provided for this purpose.

Shoring of the rear sprocket

In the rear gable, the wood structure is supported and the joinery deposited. A concrete block wall, intended to be coated, is mounted on a concrete base.

Laying a rain screen on the rafters

A rain screen is placed on the rafters, with an overlap of the strips (about 10 cm), and an overhang of at least 15 cm at the level of the sewer and ridge.

Remodeling of the first floor of the barn

1st floor is reworked to create an opening. The log structure is fixed on the original farm and on the masonry. The assembly of the blocks continues until the entry. The clapboard is screwed to the frame. A strip of zinc is stapled along the banks of the roof.

Rehabilitation of the roof

Replacement of damaged faults on the roof

After removal of the sheet on a first roof, damaged sections of faults are replaced and 8 x 10 cm rafters nailed to the purlins, from ridge to sewer (distance between 40 and 60 cm).

Cover of the window sill with a zinc flap

After nailing the battens (28 x 32 mm) the slates are fixed on the hooks laid in progress. The window sill is covered with a zinc sealing flap.

Installation of barn woodwork

Removal of a mortar bed on the window sill

The formwork in place, a bed of mortar is deposited on the surface of the window sill and the bricks laid with a slight slope to the outside.

Installing the windows of the barn

The windows (with keys) are applied on the inside.

Installation of the shutter

The bricks of the support are then jointed with a flat or semi-round jointed iron. The swing shutter is positioned on its hinges and maintained level with wedges placed above and below the shutter.

Insulation and interior layout of the barn

Insulation of the barn

After having fixed the beams to the beams (via hooves) and made a trimmer (ideally against a wall of facade) for the hopper of the staircase, panels of chipboard (thickness 22 mm) are screwed with staggered joints. On the underside, the floor is insulated (rockwool) and covered with plasterboard.

Insulation of roof voids with expansive foam

The gaps between the frame and the blocks are filled with expansive foam to ensure a good seal.

Attic insulation of the barn

The attic (bottom of the crawlers included) is isolated by reserving an air gap of 2 to 3 cm, then the metal frame screwed to mount the partitions and ceilings gypsum board.

Distribution of ducted networks

At this stage, the networks are installed (electricity, water, evacuation, ventilation) and distributed in ducts, using as much as possible the reservations in the ground or in the partitions and suspended ceilings in progress.

Pour a screed

After complete drying of the concrete slab on the ground floor (approximately 28 days), a 5 cm screed is drawn to the mason's rule by resting on leveled metal shims.

Laying tiles

Gluing the tiles is then done with the notched trowel. To avoid cuts, the stairs are raised by wedges. It will be permanently fixed after drying joints.

Supplies for the renovation of a half-timbered barn

• Breeze blocks, cellular concrete, cut stone, cement, concrete, various types of wood (frame, roof, interior layout, staircase)
• Tiles and plasterboard
• Clins
• Slates
• Strip and zinc strip
• Joinery
• PER pipes, PVC evacuations
• Fireplace, flue
• Power supply board, communication board, ducts and electric cables
• Paintings, wallpapers
• Tiling, laminate flooring
• Plaster of facade...


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