James Probert


A young family living in a house on the verge of collapse. 

OakenStone’s mission – to give them back their home.

Listed buildings can be beautiful, rewarding homes but owning one is a huge social and financial commitment which can be both time-consuming and expensive.

Our clients (expecting the birth of their second child the week we started work!) desperately needed OakenStone to make their home safe again, as quickly and economically as possible.  But sometimes it seems as though listed buildings have a will of their own, and only allow their owners to progress at an entirely different pace… slowly…

We were originally contracted to repair the front wall of this Grade 2 listed home, which had developed a significant outward bulge between the ground and first floor.  After surveying the building, specialist Structural Engineers proposed that the wall be ‘stitched’ together using a state-of-the-art pinning system, so we made a successful application for Listed Building Consent for the work.  

Unfortunately, once we had removed the ancient lime plaster from the wall’s internal face, its true condition was revealed for the first time.  It was literally falling apart and obviously beyond repair.

The only realistic option was to demolish the entire wall and rebuild it. 

OakenStone applied for a new Listed Building Consent, satisfying the conservation officer that we would faithfully use essentially the same build methods and materials as were used when the house was built, some 300 years ago.  A condition of the new consent was that we commission an archaeological survey and report recording the history and archaeology of the house.  

When every significant architectural feature must be rebuilt into its exact original position in the rebuilt wall, progress is… slower than normal.  Honouring the history of this building has certainly been a home improvement ‘odyssey’ for our clients, and at times a frustrating one.  However, as the project nears completion and they are on the verge of getting their home back in safe condition once again, OakenStone is proud to have played our part in rescuing this precious home. 

We expect to be taking the scaffold down in the next fortnight so be sure to check back as we reveal the new wall in all its glory!

If your home needs rescuing, or if you simply wish to enlarge or improve your home, get in touch to see how we can help.  OakenStone are expert in finding innovative design solutions to suit all budgets, and we offer a complete design, build and project management package for projects of every scale, with a quality of finish second-to-none.

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