The new roof, with eight Velux windows on the northern pitch of the roof.

Me, stripping plaster in the dining room. The stone frame in the wall behind me becomes the double-glazed window to the cellar shown in the picture below.

The dining room, newly rendered. The shutters are on the double glazed window to the cellar.

Rendering the entrance hall.

The septic tank replacement.

The wall around the garden being built in 2015.

Pouring foundations for the garden wall.

Restoring the house has taken 17 years, on and off. Originally, it had a leaking roof, and the top floor – effectively a pigeon loft – was boxed off while its floors rotted. There was a small WC and shower roof leading off the kitchen and it only had three serviceable bedrooms.

The house end of the building now has a new super-insulated roof, although looking from the outside you can’t tell it apart from the traditional roman “canal” terracotta tiling because the top skin is exactly that: hand made terracotta tiles.

There is now a large kitchen and utility room, fashioned from raising the floor level of a section of the cellar. There are five bedrooms, all ensuite, a second floor lounge and a dining room/lounge on the ground floor.

I’ve installed a much larger septic tank, done a full rewire, installed a central heating system, straightened and strengthened both staircases and both landings, re-rendered walls almost everywhere and laid about 160 square metres of terracotta floor tiling. I blocked up the opening between the cellar and the large barn with local stone and pointed it (only I can tell where the joins are!).

The 900 square metre garden now has a new 2 metre high perimeter wall.

I’ve taken hundreds photographs of the works at every stage. Once I have dealt with more urgent priorities on the website, I’ll post some before and after shots. The early work was before digital took over so they will take a little time. I look at them and I can’t quite believe the transformation.