This website is an introduction to my book, and offers a brief glimpse of what it is about together with images to give a flavour of its content. The book describes a range of options and solutions, which can have an enormous impact on building costs compared to quoted averages, but still optimise the final appearance and preserve their heritage. It then reviews a number of projects converting or renovating old buildings – from design to final groundworks – and examines different options to approach the builds, including the use of renewables and secondary heating sources. These cover most situations a would-be builder will encounter.
The book assumes that the reader has some basic knowledge of building processes. It is not a detailed technical guide but describes actual options and decisions made, in order, to illustrate the possibilities available. The descriptions are illustrated with over 160 photographs and plans before, during and after the builds to show both the initial results and how these have lasted over time. Although the book describes experiences to inform the amateur builder, it should also be of more general interest to those who are interested in old properties, their architecture (in one case medieval) and the challenges that go with them.
I started with very limited experience of houses and what can be done with them but finished with quite a lot of knowledge, which I would like to share. Some people may disagree with a couple of the decisions taken, but 20 years later the results have stood the test of time.
Taxes, rules, regulations and some techniques and materials have changed over the years and will be different in non-UK countries, but the principles followed and solutions used will have their equivalents everywhere and are as valid now as they were 30 years ago.
● offer cost-effective ideas to anyone embarking on a project on an older building, and
● be of general interest to anyone both inside and outside of the UK in terms of building heritage and what can be achieved with renovation and restoration projects , richly illustrated with examples from our own experiences
● greatly limit the cost of projects,
● achieve the best of appearances,
● preserve the heritage of the property,
● help inform decisions over the optimal use of renewables and secondary heat sources, and ultimately
● end up with a home for life.
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