Stone Cottage - Refurb

7 Dec 2010
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United Kingdom
Hi there, just looking for some advice.

I have a small stone built cottage, approx 100 years old. It has been re-furbed (lath & plaster removed) and an extension built (i reckon around 70's), then further improved 10 years ago with double glazing & improving the single brick extension to timber frame. (cavity, breather membrane, OSB, 100mm stud with fibreglass then plasterboard). The only set of plans i have relates to the work 10 years ago.

Now i've pretty much finished the kitchen, i want to sort out the master bedroom and living room in the original part of the cottage as there is no insulation. The extension is noticably warmer than the original cottage!

The original part of the building has a conrete slab poured in the original founds. On top of that there's a beam and block floor. This consists of plastic sheeting on top of the slab, blocks laid on that every metre or so on which the joists sit. The joists are slotted into the walls, and have DP membrane round the ends, and where they touch the blocks. Chipboard on top of the joists, all seems fair enough and is nice and solid.

The ceiling level has been lowered and is plasterboard on framework hung from original roof beams.

Walls are plasterboard on a light framework as they arent load bearing, there is no insulation at all behind just a cavity between that and the stone wall. There is tar sprayed up to about a metre up the stone walls. The stone walls feel slightly damp (as you'd expect) but that's all. All seems in reasonable condition given age.

I've done some exploring peering in behind backboxes and down the cavity from the loft. Behind the plasterboard on the gable wall in the living room and it seem there are two alcoves at either side, with a bricked up fireplace in the middle. The existing plasterboard is immediatley on front of the old stone fire surround.

I'd like to rip out the plasterboard, properly re-frame & insulate the walls, re-instate the alcoves and fireplace, eventually with a woodburner. Should make for a nice feature wall and make the room feel bigger.

What i'd like to know is how i should approach re-framing and insulating the walls. What sort of cross section would normally be used assuming current building codes? I don't mind trading a bit of living space for improved insulation. Might consider taking up the floor and insulating between joists with PIR/PUR also, would probably be silly not to if i'm going to all that trouble, for little extra work. I have a bundle of 75mm celotex left over from the kitchen which would do the whole floor area.

Just looking for opinions on how this is best approached. Will be doing as much of the work as possible myself though speaking to a few friends who are builders too for a bit of advice too.

Thanks for your help,
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I live in a very old stone cottage that had a damp problem. I treated the outside with a water sealant, fitted central heating, warms the stone on the inside, no more damp. as for lining the walls on the inside there is no way i would do that.
Yeah i've got central heating too, the existing plasterboard and timbers do not seem to have any damp issues at the moment, and it's been there for a fair while.

Like you say perhaps thats because the heat being let through is keeping the walls dry. Don't appear to be any mould issues, but i sure don't want to create one.

I guess a there is a bit of luck involved too, if the ground is well drained you'll end up with less moisture up the walls to deal with?

I'll try and take a few pics.

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