Refurbishment post 2007
For those people interested we thought we would include a brief description of refurbishment works we have carried out since we took posession of the property in May 2007. We started with the outside of the house which badly needed to be repointed as previous owners had removed a cover of render. In order for the walls to breathe lime mortar is recommended, as the house is rubble built it was a time consuming job to say the least and was spread out over several weeks. The result was a huge improvement. We include a small selection of pictures which show the works in progress.
It was decided we would begin on the back and the gable end of the house. August / September 2007.
The front of the house was repointed in May 2008.
Guest bedroom number 2
This was the next project. The room was stripped down beyond bare walls, old lathe & plaster walls that had fallen into poor condition were removed but the "A" frame beam of the house and the front wall were exposed and restored. The original reed ceiling was retained as still in good condition. Sadly over the years some of the features of the house have been covered up, as we uncover we restore as much as we can giving the house a theme of exposed stone & wood.
The picture below is as the room is as of at time of this update March 2013. Nothing has changed since the refurbishment other than soft furnishing.
Following on from room 2 we embarked on a programme of general decorating and tidying up along the landing passage and in guest room number 3, some private areas also benefitted from a lick of paint. There was no need for major works in room 3 but we always knew the landing would need to be renovated but more of that later.
Guest room number 1 or the family room
The next big project began early January 2011, this was the refurbishment of Guest room number 1 or the family room.
As in other areas of the house room 1 had been covered in woodchip paper, we cleared the room and removed all the plaster from the walls except one, which although very old horsehair plaster it remained in good condition. We hoped to make a feature of the fire place, sadly the stonework was not in great condition so we replastered the brest and had the two alcoves exposed and repointed. The en-suite was in good condition, modern, so we decided it was fit for purpose.
The following pictures show the changes from start to the finished room you would see today as of January 2013. Again only soft furnishings have changed since the refurbishment.
Path and patio area 2012
As an on going project the garden has of course been ticking over during the past five years. A large green house was added and lots of general tidying up was required. In 2010 / 11 we suffered from two quite harsh winters which eventually damaged the path from the car park to the house. We had the path removed and replaced with a patio style path which continued across the garden to the raised patio area. Fresh Cotswold stone gravel was added to the car park area and the fencing at the far end of the garden was replaced.
Below is an assortment of before during & after pictures of the above works carried out summer 2012.
Original concrete path
New patio style path
Dining room, Guest lounge & Landing Refurbishment January 2013
As previously mentioned woodchip had been used extensively throughout the house, covering several areas of blown plaster and other little surprises. We have always known that this particular job would be a major project and so we took the decision to close down for the two quieter months of the year and get stuck in. We were keen to uncover any little secrets the house may be hiding as we are keeping a record of our time here and whenever we can researching the history of the house.
We began by removing all the furniture etc and sealing up the other rooms to keep disruption to a minimum. The old wallpaper (woodchip) was stripped and any loose plaster was removed. We did not find any damp problems and the exposed walls both upstairs and down were in good condition. We found 2 messages from previous decorators who had signed the walls on the stairwell before papering, the older message from 1960 and another from 1977. The dining room had an old wood floor which had been covered for some time. The boards were in good condition but as we plan to have a tiled floor it was decided to lift the floor and have a concrete base put down. The dining room ceiling was also pulled down as it was starting to show signs of age. The guest lounge ceiling was sound which was good news. We were pleased to find a quarry tile floor in the guest lounge area, our tiler tells us in his opinion they look Victorian. We did a little research and discover that it was common in Victorian times to put quarry tiles down in the kitchen area and or servants quarters. This room has an old fireplace which we were told was the original kitchen. We cleaned up a small section and the tiles are in good condition, we hope to be able to restore the tiles if possible.
Message from 1960
Ceiling down in the dining room
Quarry tiles exposed
Dining room floor
Some walls will be replastered and others will be exposed & repointed with lime mortar. Exposed wooden beams will be restored, the old tiled widow sillls are to be replaced with new wooden boards and all electrical fittings and wiring is being checked and upgraded where necessary.
The landing ceiling is removed as the old plaster ceiling had seen better days. New plasterboard is to be fitted and we are making some minor changes to the landing area, removing some old door frames where doorways have been in the past. The staircase is now wider after the removal of the old chairlift. We will continue the theme of restored wooden beams and exposed sections of wall along the landing, with new lighting and new window boards and new plaster.
Below is a selection of photographs which are self explanatary, they show the scale of the project from start to finish. The works began on Boxing Day 2012 and officially finished Saturday 9th of March 2013 as we had guests arrive that day. We still had a little decorating to do but it was just detail work.
The finished dining room March 2013
Guest lounge, with the new wall and exposed Victorian quarry tiled floor
The finished guest lounge, the floor cleaned up well with a lot of hard work, at time of writing we are searching for a rug!! Sadly some of our before photos were taken on a different setting on the camera and are too large to upload here. You can see some on our Facebook page.
The finished landing March 2013
Hopefully we will find a way of loading more of the before pictures to the site in the near future.