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.

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 


  1. I love seeing the roof coming together, because the completion of the roof gives me that feeling of the construction being halfway finished. As you said, with the roof up, the structure of the house really starts to show itself. What material did you choose to go with for your roof?

    ~ Otis Kunkle ~

  2. Aside from the roof itself, it is also important to invest and make sure to have well-built trusses, for it will hold the roof together. How’s the roof construction going, by the way? This is a large project, so I hope plans are going according to schedule.

    -Elizabeth Hoffnung