Cowieswells is a derelict farm south of Stonehaven in NE Scotland. We were lucky enough to acquire the place in August 2010 when we were moving back to the UK from Norway and looking for something to match or even better our previous, fjord-side home. The farm house and steading (barns) command an impressive and exposed cliff top location with fantastic views across the North Sea. The buildings were constructed from sandstone in a traditional style and our goal in rebuilding it is to be sympathetic to the original design whilst creating a much larger house which is modern, efficient and maximizes the unique views.

Since we bought the place we have spent over a year working with architects, planners and generally doing stuff that doesn't make for interesting reading. This blog picks up the renovation process in late 2011 when work outside got started. Over the coming months it will be updated every week or so with pictures, movies and the odd bit of text. Like Grand Designs but without the suave sarcasm of Kevin McCloud.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Week 24 - Onward progress

I was away for 10 days in Norway and Ireland and was pretty eager to see what had happened in my absence. We had a site meeting with the builders and the architects on Friday afternoon. Things are progressing although I was hoping to see the trusses for the rest of the roof up. they are piled up and ready to be erected on Monday. 

Still the main extension is coming on well and you can really get a feel for the layout of the rooms. We now had lots of decisions to make in the next few days about fireplaces, staircases, door handles etc etc. 

I have some good timelapse footage which will be posted as soon as I get a spare hour to edit it all. In the meantime here are the obligatory photos.

Main extension dressed in shiny tin foil 

Its that curved piece of steel again. View of the main living area 

Upstairs and a view of the main extension and the east extension. All that is left is the trusses to go up on what was the old part of the house. They are piled up ready for the crane

Stonework has cleaned up nicely. This will be exposed to capture some of the feel for the old place 

View from our bedroom window, will be even better once the scaffolding has gone 

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Week 22 - And we have a roof ...

...or at least we have some trusses up on the two extensions, which is a definitely moving in the right direction. (Click on the photos for bigger versions)

We always knew that when the joiners arrived things would start happening quickly and it has. On Wednesday the crane arrived to lift the trusses on and since then the guys have been busy building the upstairs and the roof. This is a really nice stage because you can start to see exactly how the house is going to look.

 I was down there most of last week building workshop and storage space in the bothy and the whole family was there on Sunday receiving visitors and Katharine turned the VW into a cafe wagon and distributed tea and bacon sandwiches to all comers. Later Sophie was the first member of the family to actually sleep in the house.

The main extension with a roof 
Lots of stud work in the downstairs 

Main living area, kitchen and dining room.

Upstairs view of the trusses for both the main extension (left) and the lounge extension (right)

Steel and Wood 

And some nice sandstone

Forget Roddy Doyle's van, this is Katharine's Kitchen  

Happy customers (especially Max)

Sophie gets to be the first person to sleep in the new house 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Week 21 - The joiners have arrived

As the title suggests, the wood working boys are in and most of the inside walls are now framed. Gives an excellent idea of how the room layout will work. Picked up a couple of minor glitches but nothing serious. And its finally stopped raining!
Some delicate adjustments to the steel work 

Kitchen and living room area. Note that curved bit of steel again 

Main extension framed up. Room are an office, bedroom, shower and boot room , clockwise from top

Some nice neat welds on the steel work 

Upstairs in the main house

Upstairs view of extension with the bothy and the steading in the background
Farmer has also been making good use of the fine weather 
But the fungus gives an idea of how wet it has been