A beautiful 150-year-old building on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond is being brought back from dereliction by West Renovations.
Work on the old gatehouse beside Cameron House Hotel has turned into a real labour of love for the team and is proof that they really can take on any building in any state of repair and restore it to a standard high enough to satisfy even the planners at the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park authority.
Initially they were asked by the new owner to carry out some interior refurbishment but when the team began, they were shocked to discover extensive dry rot, wet rot, shoddy patch-up jobs, dangerous masonry, rotted floors and lintols, a leaking roof and a chimney on the verge of collapse.
The listed building, it turned out, was falling down and would not have lasted another winter without the rescue work carried out by West Renovations.
Unfortunately, as the seller’s home report had given no indication of the serious state of the building, the new owner’s budget was blown out of the water so the team are now working in stages with the first stage –making it safe – now complete after months of painstaking work.
The house had to be pulled back to the bones and 10 skips were filled during the process with 80 cubic metres of waste pulled out.
Helical ties were inserted to form a steel band wrapping round the building to hold it together and the rotted lintels were pulled out and replaced. A quarter of the main roof was taken down to rebuild the chimney and the copes and quoins of the main gable rebuilt, while at the bottom of the building the ground is being dug out to lower the ground level and expose the vents.
The building was re-roofed with original slate (Scotch random) and the velux windows replaced with conservation rooflights in keeping with the building’s B listed status. The plastic guttering has been replaced with cast iron and the leaking lead flashing replaced with proper code 6 by Glasgow Lead Specialists.
Parts of the exterior walls are also being replaced as previous repairs used brick instead of stone.
All the plasterwork was pulled out from every ceiling and every wall so that the dry rot could be erased, then the building was rewired and replumbed.
Now the team are working on one of the bathrooms which has to be partly rebuilt after shoddy patch-up work.
The good news is that the owner has now been able to move in although work is still ongoing.
After a recent inspection the planners from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Parks authority said: “The works carried out to date are appropriate for the building and appeared to us to be of a high standard.”