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The Building Restoration. So far...

A five-year project on the scale of Wheathills is without doubt a daunting task, and even at the end of our five-year programme it is unlikely to be completely finished. Whilst restoring a period property like Wheathills, there will always be something to maintain, improve or change.

In December 2001 we purchased Wheathills - a rundown Country House, wet through with damp, broken windows, blocked and useless drains and the whole property divided into nine flats.

  Suspended Ceiling
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In January 2002 work began and two months later the team of builders had removed all the suspended ceilings and dividing walls, filling ten full-sized builders' skips.

Walls, both interior and exterior, were rendered with hard cement which acted like non-breathable barriers creating condensation, which literally ran down the walls inside the house. Luckily most of the inside wall covering simply fell off, although the exterior has proved very stubborn. Perished plaster and render were removed exposing the brickwork beneath and then left for several months to dry out naturally.

This has now been fully re-plastered in the traditional manner with lime. Plaster moulding throughout the house have been fully repaired, and missing sections re-run in situ.

Interior wooden features such as doors, floors, mouldings, panelling, fireplaces, shutters, deep skirting-boards and chair rails have either been repaired or recreated from original designs found around the property.

Traditional antique block flooring  
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The Hall floor was missing, therefore reclaimed antique block floor is being fitted in the traditional manner. Great care is being taken not to disturb the natural patina of the original polished surface. The one and only original Regency interior door found in the cellar, has had its layers of hardboard removed and several layers of black paint and varnish stripped away.

  Colour blending the door
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The door has been dismantled, repaired and reglued with reversible animal glue as was originally used. The restoration process was completed by colour blending the door to its original surrounding shades and traditionally refinishing using lemon shellac, burnished with an oil and beeswax composition.

Deep skirting-boards constructed of several components are being replaced throughout, some will be painted and some polished, dependent on the room.

Original wallpaper gently removed for later use.  
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Some original wallpaper was found in the Ballroom, which will be carefully conserved. Patches of paper were gently removed for later use as material to repair the barrel back alcove, which is now complete.

Case study on the Replacement traditional sash windows used throughout Wheathills:

Case Study

 

 
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