Partial Renovation Project

  • We were asked to carry out basic refurbishment on this old stone house in Serta.
    The owners wanted to have the heavy and urgent work before finishing it off themselves. This is a common situation for us. We are used to preparing projects to a given level and letting the owners take over. We occasionally get involved in rectifying DIY nightmares too. The house is stone built (schist) and has been altered and extended over time. Originally it had Lojas on the ground floor where the animals were kept and the wine was made. These had a low wooden joist and board ceiling and rough hewn stone floors.
  • It was decided to excavate the rock from the ground floors to make the ceiling height suitable for habitation and to maximise the available space.
    At the same time we had to manage the drainage of water which entered the house through the foundations as we had dug below the foundation level.
  • You can see one of the damp areas on the outside wall were the old paint was not adhered.
  • We laid a sub floor, continuous drain with a heavy damp proof course "DPC" This is to control and contain any water/humidity which may come up from the rock below.
  • We laid a sub floor, continuous drain with a heavy damp proof course "DPC" This is to control and contain any water/humidity which may come up from the rock below.
  • Waterproof rendering is a way to see if the moisture can be halted. If it can't because the wall is too porous or the outside water pressure is too great, below ground level for instance.
  • Then we make an insulated cavity wall in brick...
  • ...which is then skimmed to provide a dry, warm, smooth, wall ready for paint.
  • After much head scratching we came up with an "L" shaped flight with quarter landing.
    This was so we could accommodate two doorways, have enough head height so as not to hit your head on the first floor beam and still have enough room around the bathroom doorway. Rubix cubes? No problem!
  • The area that was chosen for the position of the stairs was fortuitous:
    After many years of rain entering the house had started to rot the corner of the floor. This was removed when the stair's and new landing were created.
  • The new stairs.
  • The new stairs.
  • The skirting boards and banisters are next to be installed.
  • The skirting boards and banisters are next to be installed.
  • The old iron window frames were warped and ugly.
    New double glazed windows are to be fitted. First we remove the old windows and make the walls square ready for the new windows.
  • The new window sills are solid mocha crème limestone, traditional in this area.
  • We also cut through a stone wall to enlarge the kitchen and let more light into the room by making a large patio door.
  • The new door sill is also solid mocha crème limestone.
  • As rain water and wood worm had damaged two traditional style ceilings we replaced them in a similar traditional style.
  • Treated against insect attack and protected under a new dry roof, the ceilings will last for many years.
  • The blue tube is the conduit for the power cable to the ceiling light.
  • The new bathroom.
  • The old kitchen was cleared out and a new doorway cut through the external wall of the house to give easy access to the bathroom from the bedrooms. A new door was fitted.
  • With the work almost completed, we will soon hand the house back to the clients for finishing off and painting.
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