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In 1989 after much research and travelling in Normandy and Brittany I acquired two stone properties in south west Normandy near Villedieu Les Poeles. One of the stone barn/house’s, was a huge building with a footprint of 750 sqft, but only 250 sqft of living space, no water or electricity. After detailed planning and many photographs later I created 2,000 sqft by constructing a solid ground floor and two timber suspended floors. I employed a local artisan to manufacture and install oak windows and doors to match what was left of the original patterns some 200 years old. 

By inserting new tiled dormer windows into the roof I was able to maximise the cavernous roof space for bedrooms and bathrooms and also take advantage of the spectacular views of the surrounding valleys. I used local oak supply for the floor to the open plan kitchen dining area and where practical retained some of the original stone wall construction. 

With the aid of a local friend I split the properties and managed the landscape works to provide separate septic tanks and entrances.

I particularly enjoyed producing the detail drawings of traditional timber doors and windows for obtaining quotations from local artisans. I am also able to utilise my past site project management skills for French and UK plasterers, plumbers and general contractors. 

Since the time of my first two conversion projects I have carried out a number of commissions within the Manche and Calvados regions for similar types of property.

Original habitable area 20 sq m plus 55 sq m barn storage space.
Construction: Granite walls 800mm thick, oak framed roof.
Services: Water & electricity.
Living accommodation: living room with granite fire surrounds.
No kitchen or bathroom.
New created floor area of 225 sq m on three floor levels
Ground floor:
First floor:
Second floor:
3 x bedrooms shower toilet, hall and walk in storage cupboard.
Kitchen dining, living room.
3 x bedrooms, hall landing and bathroom.

2011 Space Design