the project

This charming C-listed 18th-century cottage was bought with a view to the owner relocating to the village to be nearer family. They were attracted by its obvious historic appeal.

The property needs a full sensitive refurbishment to bring its features back to life, while also ensuring it’s warm and energy efficient and fit for comfortable and pleasurable 21st-century living.

The house sits within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, and once renewed to its former glory will enhance the built heritage within the park.

While the house will continue to obviously look like a historic building, an extension will offer much-needed space to expand what is currently a one-bedroom property. The new section will provide a master bedroom, two guest bedrooms, and a bright welcoming kitchen and dining area.

The extension will utilise the sloping topography of the site to carve out contemporary living spaces without raising any existing roof lines or dominating the existing building. It will also mean a new level-access entrance without eradicating the existing cottage frontage. And to the rear, where two historic openings have been filled in, we hope to re-open them to create more light and ventilation.

How we worked

A key aspect of this project is to bring thermal improvements to the cottage, including internally insulating the walls, floors, and roof. New insulated concrete floors will be installed, and breathable woodfibre insulation and plaster applied to the stone walls. Wool fibre insulation will be used in the roof spaces, and an air-source heat pump will provide heating, giving the house good green credentials.

Careful attention and repair where possible of existing timber windows, with like-for-like replacement where needed, will ensure the character of the building is not affected. Likewise, the reinstatement of a working fireplace on the south-west gable will bring this lovely Victorian feature back to use.

There are several aspects of the property that have been noted by the planning authority as significant, including aspects that were used when this was a small village school. There is an unusual 19th-century box bed slotted beneath the stairs, and the plan is to remove, repair, and re-instate this feature, repurposing it as a reading bench, to ensure the link to the past is retained.

While the extension materials will reflect those already there – slate roofing and rendered white walls – there will be an area of glazing that will distinguish the new section. The design is rooted in well considered architectural principles that respect the long development history of the cottage, which has had several additions over the years.

Success of the project

This project is currently at planning stage. We envisage a successful new lease of life of this pretty cottage in need of attention to prevent disrepair. It should become a habitable and desirable home in the national park not just suitable for 21st century living, but also as a positive architectural feature within this attractive rural area.