The Farmhouse Renovation
In May 2013 we moved to Blairhall Mains Farm. We lived in the farm cottage for 3 years while we renovated the farmhouse. There had been water damage to the farmhouse due to a burst water pipe earlier that year and we were not able to move into the farmhouse. We made the decision at that time to live in the farm cottage until we decided what to do with the farmhouse. We thought we would be in the cottage for about a year, we ended up being there for 3 years…..
It took us a while to decide what to do with the farmhouse and in the end we decided to strip it right back and all that was left was the 4 main walls and the roof. By doing this it allowed us to reconfigure the house to suit our family needs.
The original house had 3 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. 2 of the rooms were really small and one of them had a window and a door in an awkward place and it was really difficult to position a single bed in it. Downstairs had a small room at the bottom of the stairs that could be used as an office or spare bedroom. There was also a living room and good lounge. There was a small extension to the rear of the house where the kitchen was and a toilet at the back door. The house was dated and needed rewiring throughout. The original staircase in the house was very steep and it was only after my Mum suggested that we take the stairs out, that allowed us to completely reconfigure the house and make better use of the space. Prior to that decision we had been struggling to come up with a design that worked.
The exterior of the house was covered in brown roughcast which had become boss in many sections. We had to remove this and by doing this we discovered that underneath there was beautiful sandstone. Luckily it was all intact so we decided to point the sandstone with lime mortar as it would have been a shame to cover it up again and not keep this traditional feature. We also uncovered the date the house was built, 1863.
We replaced all the windows with traditional sash and case windows and painted them a historical green colour which looks good against the sandstone. The front of the house was quite plain and lacked a feature around the front door, so we decided to add an oak framed porch which now gives the house a bit more character and it looks as though it’s always been there.
By stripping the house right back and starting again, it allowed us to rewire the whole house, fully insulate it and put new water pipes throughout. The house is now heated by the biomass system we installed, which works well and the house is always nice in warm.
The old extension to the rear of the house was taken down and replaced by a new oak frame extension on a larger scale. The extension is to the rear of the farmhouse and now joins onto the old courtyard steading, which means we can access the farmhouse better from the steading when working on the farm.
The new extension has glass gables on each end. We also put 2 new windows in each gable end of the farmhouse on the ground floor and a velux roof light in the stairwell. This has brought as much natural light as possible into the house and made a huge difference as many of the original rooms on the ground floor only had one window and the rooms were quite dark.
We now have 3 large bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. A large kitchen with a larder, utility room, snug, living room and bathroom downstairs. We are really happy with the new layout and feel we have made the best use of the space. The house feels homely and we feel we have achieved what we set out to do.
The garden is the next project……….