well room reno : update 2

As autumn gives way to winter, we decided recently that our windows are now going to be our focus. How all were going to be sealed and no more draughts would sneak in. Yes, yes – it’s all still ongoing, but as ever, we guesstimated how much seal we’d need. And guess what? We under-guesstimated. So, until we can get some more, we’re cracking on with the next bit of vital renovation to keep us much warmer than last winter.

Over the summer, we created a “day-bed”, using the concrete block which sits in The Well Room, abutting one of the external walls. We’d been led to believe that this was where the filtration magic happened with the well. But this has been debunked, as a bit of investigation from our builder revealed that this was no sophisticated filtration system, it was a great big hole filled with soil and building debris. Never mind though, we could still make something of it, and as you might know, I have a bit of an overspill of cushions and throws…

However, The Well Room is still a work in progress – wooden flooring to be laid, new front door, windows, woodburner to be fitted, TV to be fitted, concrete table to be finished – and so we don’t routinely use this room at the moment. And so didn’t notice the salt ingress, and patches of dusty damp, behind the cushions, until I moved them this week, to paint the wall into the bathroom. It’s serious when my cushions get damp, so remedial action was required. We had a nice looking Well Room, with one painted statement wall – the same as in the living room – for one night.

It’s all back to chaos now though! The offending wall has been treated with a sealant, usually used in swimming pools, and today insulation tiles have started to be applied. Once these are all in place, a hard mesh will cover them and then the wall will be plastered. We’re taking the opportunity to create a false ledge, into which lighting will be fitted, so that when it’s all finished, not only will this area be sealed and dry, but it will also be a whole lot more comfortable and stylish. The only problem now, is that I am imagining ALL of the stone walls being treated in this way. And imagining a day when we have smooth internal walls…

This is where we’re up to today. Our builder returns tomorrow to finish the wall of insulation tiles, before the mesh is attached and the plastering done. Gyproc (plasterboard) will then be installed, with the creation of a ledge, at the height of the bottom left tile, with lighting. Still working out if this will be of the dimmable LED strip variety or dimmable uplit spots. Whichever, we’ll be so much happier with the new arrangement, which to be fair, on Sunday evening, we hadn’t even considered. Such is life when you are renovating an old stone house in Istria.

Published on 22nd November 2018