I've been researching and learning a lot about the construction of old Irish stone cottages and how to properly restore them. It's quite interesting how a lot of the modern best practices don't apply or are actually counterproductive in the process. I'm really starting to appreciate the simple but resilient design of stone houses

A good example is how a lot of these stone cottages had their lime render replace by a shell of concrete in the 70's, effectively preventing the walls to breathe, trapping moisture in and making the whole place damp, cold and rotting.

@ritualdust I've been eagerly following Sam's updates on the construction on the house. It's a fascinating topic

@ritualdust "Window tax was a property tax based on the number of windows in a house. It was a significant social, cultural, and architectural force in England, France, and Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries."

what the heck

@neauoire yeah that blew my mind too, also called the typhus tax because the reduced airflow increase the risks of disease, gotta love some good old class warfare :')

@ritualdust @neauoire there’s loads of houses here where windows have been bricked up because of it.

It’s kinda funny that some of the newer houses that were built in the area have a kind of false bricked up window somewhere on them to try and fit in with the aesthetic.

@ritualdust @neauoire like, in the 70s I think, they built some houses next to an old farmhouse and some out buildings and they just put a fake concrete lintel and cill in to make it look like it was there when the window tax was in.

@ritualdust @neauoire

It was a "revolutionary" tax:

Here in Italy we have a city tax (but not in every city) on the opening of driveways on the public road.

@neauoire i truly is, the more I'm looking into the more I'm realizing that the modern way of building is not the smartest in any sense, it mostly came out of a focus on mass-production and convenience

@ritualdust if you get around to reading A Pattern Language, it will make you really angry, when you see that every rule to building a convivial town are incessantly broken.

@neauoire I started reading but had to return it to the library, it was crazy to read like, it all makes so much sense. I'll have to find myself a copy for reference because i'm definitely gonna use it a lot

@neauoire @ritualdust @kensanata I'm doing a slow binge of the Not Just Bikes YouTube channel at the moment. He's Canadian (from London, Ontario) now living in Amsterdam, after having lived in quite a few other cities, and has some things to say about the contrast.

E.g., one I watched today:

@ritualdust @neauoire in my village in the Lebanese mountains there are still some traditionally constructed stone houses. the most astonishing thing about them is their climate control. without any electricity they are relatively cool on a hot day and comfortably warm in the cold due to the building material and the orientation of the house relative to the environment.

@nasser @neauoire amazing, yeah that's definitely something that is not mentioned enough about old stone construction, the sheer size of the stone walls acts as a thermal mass

@ritualdust You're getting awfully close to your future witchy ghibli life

@dualhammers I'm pushing as hard as i can in that direction, capitalism is not helping but I'm keeping hope :P

@ritualdust There are many stone houses out there waiting for your restorative care

@dualhammers indeed! We've started looking at derelict cottages in Ireland and making plans 😬

@dualhammers my partner just applied for it, we'll have an answer in two years, their grandfather was born in Ireland :)

@ritualdust Old building techniques were usually well adapted to both the local climate and the resources available nearby, be that rocks, earth, straw, wood or a combination thereof.

And since they were mostly self built or with the help of a village, they were simple and easy to build and maintain.

Often they still are, but the biggest issues are regulations and lost techniques.

@yngmar yes! I can really appreciate how well integrated these house are with their locations, and how they differ from county to county based on the available materials and the climate :) I'm really glad some people are preserving the skills needed to maintain and build like that and I'm gonna try to learn a couple of them along the way ~

@ritualdust @yngmar local vernacular buildings often incorporate centuries of knowledge passed along generations of builders ... our "modern" things are just "new ideas with mechanised and very complex techniques" including capitalistic economics applied to already solved problems to conquer "markets" ... doing the same damages home than in the colonies with "popular knowledge" ...
how much do we have lost, no-one knows :/

@ritualdust @yngmar what's interesting is that with IT networks knowledge, we can help salvage and share and de-multiply this kind of vernacular knowledge and come to some reason ... so thanks a lot for this sharing ;D

@ritualdust I've heard that tatching roofs has become quite expensive, anywhere between 20-40,000 euro for a full roof. There is a grant of around 4,000 though for tatching.

@dook yeah I've seen that too, this is really one of the skills that's disappearing, the climate crisis is not helping with the supply of reed either :(

@ritualdust Definitely is, I feel like cottages are as well (at least in the remaining ones) Something I'd love to learn how to do, but I imagine it isn't the easiest

@ritualdust lots of these in Scotland too, I would love to move into one someday

@Nonverbalpoetry Yes I remember seeing some when I travelled there, I'm sure you would be right at home in one of them :)

@ritualdust I'm guessing they don't have a damp-proof course.

@ritualdust This is quite interesting, cool project. There are some modern materials that could be good practical matches like steel roofing (very durable) and mineral wool insulation (breathable and moisture tolerant). New stoves are quite efficient so you should be able to keep it quite comfortable without much fuel.

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