With the reduced dig complete we used some of the concrete blocks from the old dairy and calving pens which we crushed in January to begin the backfill process. The weather has not been kind, however with a roof over the long barn the builders were quick to install the waste pipes and shuttering ready for the concrete.

By the end of week one we had a slab in the long barn, which will form the dinning room and accessible bedroom for when my sister comes to stay.

As the rain continued to pour the footings in the mill began to resemble a scene from the Somme.

The remaining slab in the long barn was next, the area which will form a hallway and utility/plant room.

The only complication was that we have still not instructed a contractor for our biomass. The biomass boiler will be located across the yard and the hot water will be piped in through a buried flow and return pipe. This is usually provided by the contractor and without one on board we had to improvise. A quick trip to Mole Valley Farmers to strap a 6m section of 8 inch pipe to the roof of our old VW Passat whilst the builders created a box section of shuttering in the utility room and we had overcome the problem. The 8 inch pipe will form a sleeve to take the flow and return pipe into the building.

That afternoon we backfilled with stone sand and laid the membrane ready for the concrete the following morning.

Having agreed a fixed price for this phase of work the weather was beginning to stall progress as we were unable to continue with the ground works in the mill. Thankfully we were able to continue undercover of the long barn.

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