At the beginning: the blank canvas

The good bits:

It is a beautiful period farmhouse retaining many original features such as stone mullioned windows, period sash windows and an outside water pump. Dating back to circa 1740 it is one of the oldest houses in this beautiful Lincolnshire village.

The bad bits:

We like a challenge, the great thing about this house is that anything we do will be an energy improvement. Essentially the house has not been touched, other than decoratively, for about 30 years although it has never been vacant. It does not benefit from any energy efficiency measures whatsoever. This is not at all uncommon for this type of building.


Predominantly of solid stone rubble construction having been built in three main stages in 1740, 1869 and 1910. The latest addition is a single skin brick porch thought to have been added in the 1910's. There are no wall cavities in the building and no insulation installed. Many walls consist of modern plaster internally.

Window Insulation:

NONE. The house has 32 windows, none of which are double glazed. Some of the period sashes are painted in a part-open position giving a permanent draft. The original period sashes are beautiful so we really want to keep them. The 1970-80's windows are not sympathetic to the house and will be replaced where appropriate.

Draft proofing:

NONE. None of the 5 external doors or 32 windows have been draft proofed.

Loft insulation:

NONE. Although access is possible through some of the attic rooms no insulation has been installed.

Floor insulation:

NONE. Some of the ground-floors are constructed of tile on bare earth giving rise to damp. Some of the floors consist of poorly laid concrete on membrane thought to date to about 1960.


This is supplied by a 10 year old 50kW gas boiler situated in an un-heated outhouse. There is very little or no insulation on the flow and return pipes. Secondary heating is provided by both an oil fired double Aga in the kitchen and open fires throughout the house.

Fixtures & Fittings:

There are no low energy light-bulbs in the house. All lamps are filament bulbs or halogen lamp type.

Fire places:

There are 9 fire places in the house. None of them have draft excluders installed.

Roof lights:

In the family bathroom and the attic rooms there are glass pantiles used as roof lights. Essentially the rooms are open to the elements due to the loose fitting nature of the tiles ,like having a window permanently open!