Farmhouse Restoration Donegal
Tirconaill Conservations restored this typical traditional farmhouse in County Donegal.
Farmhouse HistoryThe farmhouse was originally built in the early 1900s from volcanic rock sourced from the nearby shore. A hot lime mortar mix was made with earthy gravel. The gable masonry later developed cracks and poor renovations, undertaken in the 1990s, including construction of oversized concrete chimneys and block surrounds on windows that were not tied in, further weakened the building. The cement render, added at that time, hid yet more problems as the redbrick repairs had rotted and simply fell out when that render was removed.
Renovation by Tirconaill ConservationsTirconaill Conservations replaced the chimneys with brick chimneys of appropriate size and weight and built a new roof using reclaimed slate, with lime barges and attic windows.
To prevent walls from bowing, the building was tied from front to back with steel-tie bars, which is a traditional method of strengthening buildings: ten or more long bars were used to reinforce cracked gable masonry. A breathable, highly insulated, floor system was constructed using layers of geo textile, perforated pipe, rounded riverbed gravel and empty glass bottles covered with coarse sand and natural hydraulic lime plaster. The original staircase was saved once treated for woodworm. Natural Hydraulic Lime was used to repoint the exterior and interior. The kitchen fireplace was finished with a Douglas pine mantel and a very fine single slab of Inishowen slate.
Read more about this outstanding example of traditional skills and good conservation practice at LimeWindow A Farmhouse Reborn