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Farmhouse refurbishment

Brief: update and repair (reusing as many materials as possible) an old farm house and convert into a modern family home.  Ensure all outbuildings are child-safe.

Project timeline: 11 months (before the children start school)

Original condition of building: the roof was badly leaking with tiles missing and others loose, some windows were broken and the wooden frames damaged to the degree that air circulated freely into the building.  There was no insulation.  The rooms were dated and had not been maintained for many years.  There were two kitchens – an original one for the maids and another small one to serve the house.  The rooms were mainly small interconnecting and the building was warren-like.  The floors were in desperate need of repair.

Structural changes to be approved: to open up the small kitchen to make a modern family eat-in kitchen.  This involved inserted structural beams to ensure that the building was able to accommodate this feature.  The outbuildings had separate planning permission to be converted at a future date so that was just a case of liasing with the relevant planning and building controls.

Scope of the project:

The roof and windows needed re-doing, the rooms were stripped down, new electrics and plumbing (with a new design for heating from two boilers) were installed throughout.  The walls were re-plastered and painted, the floor was removed, re-sanded and re-laid.  New bathroom suites were fitted, walk-in wardrobes were built and the new kitchen fitted.  The staircase was sanded and treated.  A well was discovered in the new boot room and was made into a room feature.

The outbuildings were boarded up and fixed to make them child-safe until work could commence on the conversions.

The garden was cleared, the ponds dug out and trees trimmed.  Two patios – one off the family room for a BBQ and another in the garden – were created.  The garden walls were re-built to suit the style of the house.  The drive was re-concreted and flower beds created outside the side of the house.

Conclusion: the project was completed with three weeks to spare allowing the family to settle before the school year

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