Photo by one of our guests, Darren Waters.....many thanks for letting us use it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Parting with our architect and starting work.....

Going back to October/November'08.....

When we bought Pantyrhwch in early 2008, we saw it very much as a renovation project, gutting out the cottage and extending it to become a modern eco-home. We selected our architect on these principles but as we spent time there planning what we were going to do we started to realise how "untouched" the place was and maybe we should keep as much of it as possible intact.

This caused our architect a headache....renovation and extension works would require planning and Building Regs.....these would in turn require us to take out or make make major changes to many of the original features.....roof, wall's, floors, windows, doors, stairs, etc. Keeping the cottage original would also have implications in terms of what could be achieved in terms of insulation and energy efficiency.

After much thought and compromise, in October'08 we took the major decision not to make any changes to Pantyrhwch and only to repair what was already there. This meant there was no longer a need for architectural services and we amicably agreed and settled the architect
's fees incurred to date. The architect's input had not been wasted as he'd given valuable guidance on the ecological options for power, heating, insulation, water, sewage, etc. and these have been incorporated into the restoration.

During October'08 we contracted Cliff Blundell and The Lime Company of West Wales (TLC) to undertake the restoration work. The work would be done in three phases:

Phase 1: Remove cement and friable materials from exterior walls and internally, remove modern materials (hardboard ceilings, concrete fire surround, paint,) and friable plaster. Making surfaces ready for repair. Take down the delapidated modern brick/concrete block extension on the north gable end.

Phase 2: Dig land drain at rear, repair internal plasterwork on walls and ceilings, apply 3 coats of limewash, instal skylight in kitchen, replace lintels and cills, and repair walls around kitchen and rear extension (llaethdy) windows, install sheeps wool insulation in roof space, remove quarry tile foor, lay limecrete floor and relay quarry tiles.

Phase 3: Erect scafflod and protective hessian to all exterior elevations, remove friable materials, repair and repoint lime mortar, harl 2 coats of lime roughcast to gable ends and rear ectension (llaethdy), apply 5 coats of limewash to all elevations.

In mid November'08 The Lime Company of West Wales (TLC) started work on Phase 1 which was completed by the end of the month.

With the initial work completed we agreed to meet up when I returned to the UK for Christmas to review the next phase of the work and to visit some of TLC's past and current projects.

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