Below is a selection of photographs showing the progress through the full restoration project of an old Le Marche farmhouse. The house was uninhabited and in bad condition when bought by the current owners, in 2006. It took a year to restore it to its current glory, and just a few years on the garden is mature, the fruit and olive trees yield wonderful produce and the house has slipped easily into its new life, as a permanent home for the english owners.
The house was not knocked down, but was carefully restored section by section. This started with the foundations; strengthening them to meet current building standards. Walls were repaired, the flooring completely renovated to include a damp-proof course and an airflow system under the new floor tiles.
Insulation was fitted to the walls and the new roof (essential, as the Winters can be quite cold and heating is quite expensive), new electrics, plumbing and heating were laid for the entire house. New windows, doors and external shutters were added. Finally, bathrooms were fitted out, new flooring was laid and the kitchen took shape.
The garden became a whole new project once the building work was finished, with several days digging out, levelling and moving earth into better positions. An irrigation system was installed during this phase. The pool was dug and then built (a pool takes about 4 weeks to finish) and a lot of grass seeding and planting was done. With such a lovely climate, it does not take long for a garden to flourish and this garden has matured beautifully around the pre-existing olive, cherry and fig trees.
The english owner of this house decided to demolish their house and to rebuild something new, using their reclaimed materials. This was a cheaper option for them. It also meant they could design a house to precisely fit their requirements, ie they were not in any way constrained by the old house structure and room sizes. They have also been able to put in modern insulation, underfloor heating driven by solar panels, and a damp-proof course. All of these would have been very difficult and expensive to achieve working with the old structure. A truly excellent building team was commissioned to do this project and they have demolished the house and rebuilt the new one in just 7 months. An incredible achievement.