Houghtons were appointed as main contractor for an interesting renovation project in the west coast of Scotland. Cul Na Shee, a Landmark Trust property is located in the small village of Saddell, Kintyre, about a 25 minute drive from Campbletown. The only access is through a narrow archway at Saddell Castle followed by a rough track, and finally a 60m walk along a picturesque gravel beach.
Whilst this makes for a lovey approach to the property it made delivery of materials to site a rather tricky process with large delivery trucks needing to be unloaded into a small van for the track before being carried by hand along the beach.
The trust had a bat survey completed as they were known to use the building, our bat specialist obtained a licence for work and carried it out in a manner so as not to disturb the bats. Peaceful new modern homes were provided by way of bat boxes located in the woodland.
Working the whole of October meant the harsh Scottish weather was against us at times but the local subcontractors took it in their stride.
The early works involved stripping the external walls of all the old materials, replacing all decayed timbers and the application of woodworm treatment / fungicide. Before replacing the existing insulation (which was posing a fire risk) the plywood was renewed and a vapour barrier introduced. The final layer was prefinished galvanised corrugated metal sheets. Black was chosen for the walls as in the early days the building had been coated in tar rather than paint and the roof which had originally been coated with red lead was reflected in new “terracotta” colour roof panels.
Externally; the gradual build-up of debris since the 1920’s especially to the rear of Cul Na Shee meant some landscaping and land drainage was necessary. This was covered with a dressing of local beach gravel making the area both more visually appealing and usable.
The internal work comprised a full re-wire, new kitchen, new enlarged bathroom, improved heating along with a full internal and external decoration.
The internal walls are clad with knotty pine boards which had a waxy finish, this was painstakingly stripped and the boards prepared ready for a specialist primer followed by top coats of brush applied paint for a traditional look.
The decorating team also had the job of thoroughly sanding all of the wooden floors, not an easy task! Following this they stained and polished the floors, the end result being beautiful warm looking floors throughout the building.
The original bathroom was small, cramped and un-inspiring. A cylinder cupboard was removed and re-located to provide more space and an improved layout. Drainage was altered for the new bath, toilet, basin and shower. New LED lighting and extraction were installed. The resulting new layout gives space, looks fresh and creates an inviting and pleasantly warm atmosphere.
Old in-efficient storage heaters were replaced with modern low energy controllable heaters, providing warmth when and where required, quite important when the outside weather can change rapidly along this stretch of coast!
If you have a similar project, or require any of the elements of this project, for example, window repairs, bathroom refit, a new kitchen and so on please don't hesitate to contact us.
In the latter part of last year we were asked to manufacture and install a new pair of glazed oak entrance doors to a local York church. The doors are fitted with toughened glass which has been distorted to give the appearance of traditionally manufactured glass. The doors were given a clear satin-matt finish and feature a concealed door closer to help keep the church warm.
We had the pleasure of being asked to travel to Lindisfarne (the holy island) in Northumberland to examine one of the castle doors and bring it back to our workshop for repair.
The project has also been awarded: both an Institution of Civil Engineers Certificate of Excellence / John Fowler Award and was the winning entry for Conservation & Restoration’ in the 2016 York Design Awards.