Simon decided to use the mini digger to lift the barn door beam up and in position above the door opening. We have a lot of lifting and carrying to do so we decided to look at practical and safe ways to save our backs.
Whenever there is heavy lifting to be done we aim to use leavers, pulleys, winches the mini tractor, and the mini digger. Sometimes it takes a little longer to figure out how to shift things but it’s better than strained muscles.
We have been working on bay 1 of the barn and covering bays 2 and 3 to protect them from the weather. There is a lot of preparation work to complete before we can get to the tiling of the barn roof of bays 1-3.
We recently poured a concrete floor in bay 1 to get some stability in what currently is an earth floor. Our plan is to raise this section of the floor (bays 1&2) to the same height as the house for ease of use. Luckily the old stone floor is intact in bay 3 onwards. After lots of clearing, we are ready to set up the scaffolding inside the barn to reach up to the highest point of the ridge. We then need to reach the apex that adjoins the house and lime mortar the top stones securely pointing them ready for the new rafters.
After all the preparation it’s a question of waiting for a period of dry weather before removing the last of the ridge tiles and boarding out before adding the sheets of waterproof membrane. Adding the lats and finally get the new tiles on the roof will complete the most damaged section of the roof.
Barn door beam: A note about safety for DIYers
It’s always good to complete a risk assessment no matter how big or small the job. We didn’t get hurt during this job but we did look at our film and considered there were many ways we could do better.
Simply checking in with another person is an opportunity to get ‘fresh eyes’ on your work and it helps to consider what is the worse thing that could happen? Then we can work out how to prevent accidents.
Every time we place a ladder or a scaffold or attempt a lift we now run through a quick series of checks. The first essential check is just taking a moment to think. “I might be happy to attempt this work but would I worry about Simon if the ladder wasn’t secure if yes then secure the ladder for yourself too?” Before starting the work we ensure that all safety PPE gear (personal protection equipment), tools, and workspaces are safe.
We have friends who work in health and safety. We know in detail when one tiny mistake can have a catastrophic effect. Contrary to the phrase ‘it’s health and safety gone mad’ many of these stop and checks are there to protect us. Accidents are exactly that accidental and every one of us says we would do anything to prevent a nasty accident. Following some simple guidelines is a really good place to start.
We are not professional builders we are amateur DIYers. It is so important to take care during your project and we encourage anyone following our story to ensure that safety is high on their list of priorities.
Thank you for following notes from le Chassaing and for your support x