Renovating a stone house in Ireland can be an exciting but daunting task. The allure of owning a piece of history, with the charm and character that come with a stone house, can make it tempting to take on the challenge of renovating one. However, there are several things to consider before embarking on such a project. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know before renovating a stone house in Ireland.
Cost of Renovating a Stone House in Ireland
The cost of renovating a stone house in Ireland can vary widely depending on the extent of the renovation required. Stone houses are often older, and as such, they can require a lot of work to bring them up to modern standards. Before purchasing a stone house, it is essential to get a comprehensive survey to determine the extent of the work required. This survey will highlight any structural issues, such as subsidence or damp, which can be costly to fix.
Costs can vary also depending on whether you plan to plaster, or point the stone using Lime. This can increase the cost dramatically as the cost of lime is more expensive than cement and also it is more difficult to get plasterers that work with lime.
If you want to continue or replace certain stone sections you could also be looking at a stone mason which is a specialised area that can also add to the cost.
One thing I will say is to make sure you have money set aside for any unforeseen obstacles. There are always plenty with old houses.
I also have an article here of the hidden costs in case you want to check it out. Click here
Preserving the Stone of the House and Blending it with New Blockwork
Preserving the original stonework of a house is crucial when renovating a stone house in Ireland. The stone is a significant feature of the property and should be preserved where possible. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to replace damaged or missing stones. It is important to ensure that the new stones match the existing stonework as closely as possible. Using a skilled stonemason is essential to achieving this.
Blending the old stonework with new blockwork can be a challenge. The two materials have different properties and can behave differently over time. It is important to use a skilled builder who has experience working with both materials. They will be able to blend the two seamlessly, creating a visually appealing finish.
Older stone houses can be notoriously cold and draughty. To make them more comfortable to live in, it is essential to upgrade the energy efficiency of the property. This can be quite tricky but can be achieved through the installation of new doors and windows, as well as improved insulation.
When choosing new doors and windows, it is important to select ones that are sympathetic to the style of the property. Timber-framed windows are a popular choice as they provide excellent insulation and can be made to match the existing style of the property however, your new style alud-clad or composite will work perfect. We have old-style composite sash windows on the front of our house and we think they look great.
Insulation can be added in a variety of ways, including cavity wall insulation or external insulation. It is important to choose the right type of insulation for your property and to ensure that it is installed correctly. Poorly installed insulation can lead to damp and other problems.
Also, the big takeaway is to insure the insulation for your stone is breathable. Click here to see how we insulated our stone. We installed hemp insulation.
Heating and Ventilation
When it comes to heating a stone house, it is important to choose a system that is efficient and effective. Many stone houses in Ireland have solid fuel or oil-fired central heating systems. However, these can be expensive to run and may not be the most efficient option.
Underfloor heating is a popular choice for stone houses as it provides an efficient and even heat source. It can also be used with a variety of different heating sources, including ground-source heat pumps and air-source heat pumps and your traditional solid fuel fires.
Heat pumps generally work best with air-tight buildings so best to get advice on this before installing.
Ventilation is also an essential consideration when renovating a stone house. Good ventilation is necessary to prevent damp and mould from developing. It is important to ensure that the property has adequate ventilation in all rooms, including the bathroom and kitchen.
I would recommend the Nuaire Drimaster Eco Heat HC.
See here the article explaining why I chose this ventilation system.
Styling the Interior of an Old Stone House with a Modern Twist
One of the benefits of renovating an old stone house is the opportunity to create a unique and stylish interior. The character of the stone can be incorporated into the design of the property, creating a stunning backdrop for modern furnishings.
Many people choose to create an open-plan living space, making use of the high ceilings and large windows often found in stone houses. The use of natural materials, such as wood and stone, can complement the character of the property. Incorporating modern technology, such as smart home systems and energy-efficient appliances, can also add a touch of luxury to the interior.
When renovating an old stone house, it is important to strike a balance between preserving the history and character of the property and incorporating modern design elements. This can be achieved by carefully selecting furnishings and décor that complement the natural features of the property.
Renovating a stone house in Ireland can be a rewarding but challenging experience. Before embarking on such a project, it is important to consider the cost, preserving the stonework, energy upgrades, heating and ventilation systems, and styling the interior. By carefully planning and executing each of these elements, it is possible to create a unique and stylish home that seamlessly blends the charm of the old with the comfort of the new.
It is important to work with skilled professionals throughout the renovation process, including builders, stonemasons, and heating and ventilation experts. These professionals will have the expertise and experience necessary to ensure that the renovation is completed to a high standard and meets all relevant regulations.
Renovating an old stone house can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it is possible to create a home that is both beautiful and functional. By preserving the history and character of the property while incorporating modern design elements and energy-efficient upgrades, it is possible to create a truly unique and comfortable living space that will be cherished for years to come.