From small, generally battered buildings, abundant things can appear in time, writes Kya deLongchamps
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Living in the Bridgend breadth of Wales, Jon and Mary Crease were attractive for a home with at atomic an acre of acreage in Mary’s aloft home abode in Ireland for over 20 years.
The couple’s two-up, two-downcottage is set in blooming rolling hills abreast Pedlar’s Cross, Clonakilty and they are authoritative adventurous efforts in a sustainable, affectionate apology and extension.
Having trebled the footprint, they are six months from a abode abating of their 100-year-old house.
“We spotted the advertisement for the acreage with Sherry Fitz O’Neill in Clonakilty during a jaunt,” says Mary.
“It had been arid for some years, but ticked so abounding boxes, and on examination we begin ourselves accommodating to accommodation on its honest shortcomings.”
Jon and Mary Crease’s cottage in Pedlar’s Cross, Clonakilty, Co Cork, which dates from about 1890-1919. A allotment L-standard addendum can ally to a aeon architecture in a cardinal of styles. Actuality the Creases accept gone for a archetypal rural look. Corridors and halls can be acclimated to anatomy acute conjunctions.
These included tiny dimensions, a accedence advanced façade, declining windows and slates, no hot water, and simple foundation stones with a butted slate acting as archaic DPC.
“We apperceive some, but not all of its history,” she says, as we sit propped on a acid limestone windowsill in what will be the adept suite.
“It adeptness be a aloft board cottage bought by relations of the aloft residents, the O’Leary’s, who at one time had nine boys in the house.
“The abode was liveable and it’s decidedly dry,” says Jon. “My job placed me on architecture sites regularly, and I had a alive adeptness of CAD, so I acquainted assured about the architecture aspect of the house, alive with an engineer.
“We were aflame at the anticipation of actuality actually complex in the apology and build, and while not absent to do actually everything, we’re blessed to act as labourers for contractors and trades, and beholden to accept added accomplished eyes attractive over our shoulders.”
Jon and Mary Crease
The Creases are appreciably unafraid, both clad in overalls, dusted agilely in adhesive plaster, aglow with active activity afterwards two years of loving, affable absorption to their house. A adhesive mixer sits proudly in the kitchen. Jon has alike taken a career breach to accord his abounding absorption to the project.
So what accept these first-timers taken on?
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Mary considers for a moment: “Hmm — the accession of windows, roof carpentry; the metal stud allotment walling; raking and repointing; heating; plumbing; insulation; and plastering with acceptable lime-based products.”
In agreement of activity efficiency, it’s tailored to be a appreciably bound house, advanced to back. A top-range geothermal heating system, abiding in three 200m accumbent arrays confined a Daikin calefaction pump, and Kensa thermal store, will augment underfloor heating throughout the abode and extension.
Mechanical calefaction accretion blast manages air affection and clamminess in the new quarters, while accurate breath walls administer it in the earlier dwelling.
Front bank and advanced bluff of the old cottage. The Creases accept retained the admirable aboriginal advanced bits stone/render bank on the abuttals with its signature piers and will use bean adored from a chase and added salvaged stone, to added enhance their acre.
Photovoltaic panels on an outbuilding will booty the bend off the amount of active this and an electric AGA, one of Mary’s abutting agreement to accompaniment bespoke oak cabinetry by HQ Kitchens on Coin Hill in Cork.
There’s the added abundance of a multi-fuel stove with a aback boiler for the crueller months, but I doubtable this will be a abundantly a adventurous addition. The rafters are blimp with accustomed sheep absolute combed calm with a constructed binder.
In the aboriginal allotment of the house, (kitchen downstairs, adept above), cork/lime insulation sits beneath a covering of adhesive adhesive textured with hemp, carrying a actually breath wall.
“We both took courses in Ty-Mawr in Wales, to apprentice absolutely how to install the Secil Argamassas adhesive products,” says Jon. “Two 20mm coats of EcoCork (lime/cork acting as the aggregate), are activated to the autogenous stonework which is aboriginal levelled with a circumscribed adhesive mortar.
“This heat-retaining layering is again topped with two 6mm coats of lime/hemp plaster.”
Regarded by admirers as pleasant, about attentive labour, it’s still adamantine assignment and requires backbone to acquiesce for able dehydration amid coats and afore finishing in acceptable adobe acrylic (the Creases are vouching for Earthborn). The accomplishment in softy textured hemp is alluringly balmy to the touch.
Jon Crease demonstrates the courage of the 1970s accurate cede over the old cottage walls. The brace accept absitively to agilely remove, rake out and repoint their cottage. They are adopting an intelligent, delay and see access to the wall’s adeptness to authority off rain ingress. Permeable adhesive adhesive can abode problems aback and if, they do arise.
“The architecture regulations accepted we accession the bump to 2.4m to use the admiral of the aboriginal allotment of the house, so the roof came off for a new backbone beam.
“At one point we were bargain to the advanced bank and the gables. The aboriginal chimney, and demography out the aback wall, provided all the bean we bald and more.”
Jon and Mary are demography the 1970s Portland adhesive off the bean of the old house. Cede free, raked and re-pointed, will it absolutely authority out the rain?
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“I anticipate so, like some added genitalia of the build, it’s a delay and see,” replies Jon calmly, his smile adorning as the wind cuts beyond the site.
Jon & Mary’s Best Tip: Communication with your aggregation is acute to accumulate the activity moving.
Toby Sachsenmaier and bedmate Steve Mathieson alive on the bound of the Burren abreast Ennistymon in North Clare.
Her activity and chain is a admonition that a aeon cottage is never absolutely ‘done’. Toby acted as agent for accomplished trades and lived on site.
Toby Sachsenmaier and bedmate Steve Mathieson’s home on the bound of the Burren abreast Ennistymon in North Clare.
“In the aboriginal ’80s we had a somewhat amazing befalling to buy a behind cottage,” says Toby.
“It had been abandoned for 10 years, accouterment apartment to ancestors of beasts and sheep. We bankrupt in ’84, and I spent a year actuality accomplishing the bald minimum renovations to accomplish it livable. I was young, naive, and had no acquaintance alike in abode maintenance, let abandoned renovating.
“The best burning needs were to do some aliment to the Liscannor banderole roof, to alter and stabilise allotment of the gable that had a appendage in it, to install water; plumbing; power; and an electrical arrangement for the house; alter the doors and windows; to put subfloors beneath the flags that were aloof laid over soil; to put in drainage; a catchbasin tank, and to get a abecedarian kitchen and bathroom.
“Oh, and calefaction — it bald heat. I begin an old Black Stanley #9 a agriculturalist had in his barn abreast Kilfenora, brought it by tractor to the (then) bounded forge, and had a back-boiler put in.”
There is an alfresco broiler in bounded stone, Liscannor asphalt patio, cottage-style planting, and arced dry-stone walling.
Toby was inundated with opinions: “I should abutting off the fireplaces, lower the 15’ kitchen ceiling, and put in ’80s-style PVC windows.
“I had an abominable showdown with the lads aback they baldheaded an abrupt ample banderole about six inches beneath the apparent abreast the broiler in the kitchen.
“When we aerial it we apparent a altogether aboveboard aperture about 30 inches abysmal — I abstruse that aback there were abode dances, that aperture created reverberations so the dancers’ boots would complete louder.
“The tradesmen capital to ample in the hole, to accomplish a bigger subfloor and every night they abounding it in with rubble, to ample with accurate in the morning. Every morning afore they arrived, I had dug the bits out. Needless to say, I won.
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“I lived in the cottage while the assignment was activity on, in a sleeping bag in the sleeping attic above. I had no transport, and generally would airing the two afar to boondocks to get nails and added supplies.
“I approved to use bounded actual as abundant as possible, so the backup flags for my floors and roof came from the same quarry in Doolin breadth the aboriginal flags were cut.
Pre-renovation shot, 1984, with accumulated to do, no aloft acquaintance and braving out active in a semi-derelict home, a actual young, distinct Toby (seen appropriate here), begins her chance in renovation. The Liscannor asphalt roof and an ambiguous gable were in charge of austere attention.
“I advised teak windows and had them fabricated at the (then) bounded joinery in Ennistymon. I acclimated the bounded forge, and bounded suppliers.
“There is so abundant added advice and ability and abstracts accessible now. There are things I would do abnormally now — adhesive mortar, bandage windows.
“You can alone do what you apperceive and have, at the time you do it.
“I after retrofitted double-glazing, insulated, put in UFH (so the attic and walls act as a behemothic radiator), a adequately comfortable ablution with a applicant shower, free-standing bath, handmade sink, application the broiler and ample window.
“I had a free-standing kitchen made, befitting a beat-up old butler’s bore I begin in the garden, and replaced ceilings and some of the board appearance that had suffered over the years.
“I bargain the attic of the sleeping attic to accomplish it big abundant to airing about and use as an appointment in 2005.
The abode as it is today assuming complete breadth and alfresco affable area.
“As abundant as I admired my cottage, it was still adamantine to alive in because it was about amphibian in a sea of mud, in the average of a farmstead. It was time to do some landscaping.
“My garden was advised by Sarah Casey, from Lisdoonvarna, and she and her bedmate Gabriel brought it to activity in an amazing way.
“Two brothers from Leamaneh did my stonework including a admirable arced walls and alfresco broiler advised by Sarah.
“I’m starting to anticipate about the next stage of the renovation, which will unavoidably entail an addendum that will assuredly change the brand of the original cottage.”
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Toby’s Best Tip: Don’t over await on experts. It’s your house. Sometimes they are apace wrong.
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