According to Green Home Building, building with stone is something that has been done for thousands of years. As the site points out, "many cultures have left durable evidence of their fine craftsmanship with stone masonry." Stone has its benefits, among them durability and the ability to hold in heat during winter as well as staying cooler in the summer. Remodelling old stone outbuildings is a worthwhile project in that you will be left with a sturdy and durable building that may last for years to come.
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Inspect the walls to make sure that they are structurally sound. You may be able to restore the walls by replacing the mortar, which holds the stones together. If not, you will have to demolish the sections that are beyond restoration. Make a careful record of the wall's appearance beforehand, so as to rebuild it in the same manner as the original; reuse as many of the stones as possible. If it is a matter of just repairing some stones and mortar, chip out the mortar and remove the damaged stones.
Inspect the foundation. You may find that reinforcing what's existing is enough. However, rebuilding the foundation may be necessary.
Inspect the windows and roof. The plaster around them may be beyond restoration. If they are, remove the plaster. The roof needs special attention because it is often framed with wood. If this is the case, inspect the lumber and, if necessary, remove any rotten or compromised boards.
Rebuild the walls. If the walls are structurally sound but need fresh mortar and stone replacement, replace the stones and inject new mortar into the cracks.This will restore the integrity and strength of the walls.
Rebuild the roof with fresh timbers and replace the outer sheathing in the same material as the original roof. If the roof was beyond saving, add an exterior sheathing that matches the style of the house's period (slate or a slate alternative, wood shingles or a wood shingle alternative, tile or other materials).
Restore the windows by installing stone frames securely anchored with mortar and cement.
Restore or replace the flooring with a material you choose, be it bare dirt, wood or concrete.
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