The three, two and one bedroom cottages/barn conversions:
In total we have Six houses, four of which have been houses in the past and two big barns, which we are transforming into houses, these are for personal use only….
Many of the roofs had been leaking in multiple places for several years, causing a mass amount of internal damage, so over winter months, we had to replaced six roofs during the frosty weather, it was hard going and it was freezing, but to stop the deterioration of these buildings, it had to be done.
Repairs to these buildings were marked as Urgent on our list to do, with the roof timbers rotten and collapsing walls, that made the buildings structures dangerous and unsafe – if not repaired soon we might not be able to save them…
The second floor beams were rotten and only just holding into the walls, floor boards were water damaged and rotten in places, staircases were very unsafe, we even had trees growing in a wall of one cottage, Yes! you heard right trees…
We have completely dismantled the two cottages and barns, inside and out, down to their stone wall shells, which took some hard work, we hand chipped all the old internal and external plaster covering the stones, which took many days and many aching arms, our hands were full of blisters and our backs were so sore, we never imagined chipping plaster off would be so exhausting…
After the hand chipping, the big sand blaster took the stonework to the next level, taking off years of build up, the sand blaster works by using coarse sand and shooting it at high pressure against the stone, it penetrates and breaks up a fine layer of the stone, leaving behind a very clean surface, definitely produces amazing results, but this is a one person machine, with the operator having to wear the “Darth Vader” mask, which provides a supply of filtered air, so we don’t get fine sand/stone dust and the very toxic silica in our chests…..
We repaired cracks and loose stones in walls, and replaced all roof timbers, then laid roofing felt and new roof tiles.
We had to break up and remove the old concrete and the rubble/earth below it, then we had to prepare the ground, leveling and sanding in the area.
Before putting down the plastic and the steel reinforcement.
Followed by pouring and spreading the concrete, and removing air bubbles and flattening the surface.
It is very important that there are no air bubbles in the concrete and the floor was leveled and smooth.
And what a satisfying job it is!
This is basically where we stand today with the houses, With the new concrete slabs down and the waterproof membrane beneath, we can move on to the next part of the renovation process….
We need to re-plaster internal walls for water tightness and to return strength back to the limestone walls, we also need to repoint the joints of the exterior walls – leaving the stone exposed!
Next will be the fitment of new double glazed windows and doors, run all new electrics throughout, plumbing and heating, new septic tanks & water heaters, followed by insulation and drylining of the walls and ceilings.
Staircases to be fitted, tiling and flooring to be laid, then fit out bathrooms and kitchens and any trimming around the edges.
There we will have two, clean and cozy one and two bedroom cottages, ready to be lived in.
The process is much the same for the two barn conversions, but thankfully only one needs a new roof! We have installed all new floor beams and upstairs flooring throughout plus the concrete slabs on the ground. We will end up with a roomy three bedroom barn and a large and modern one bedroom loft style barn once complete.
As for the remaining two, one bedroom, three/four room cottages on the property, they will need to await their renovations in the future, far in the future.
These cottages and barns are one of the main factors why this Château was so appealing to us in the beginning, we could envision the potential of turning these all back into homes for the family, and so far our visions are turning into a reality.
Keep posted, we will be back for another article soon!