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Insulating stone walls....internally + a note on home insurance & second Notary

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We have now taken possession and moved in to our small fermette with most of our previous fears having melted away. Now we are studying some of the works that need attention, one of which is to find out if it is possible and practical to insulate the internal stone walls without losing too much space....it is a small building.

As was probably usual for this type of building, the walls are c. 50cm thick and built of the local sandstone with a soft (and a little damp) mortar, maybe a lime mix?. The stone is irregular with smaller pieces filling the inner part of the wall.

The outer and most of the inner walls that are visible have a hard cement render which in the main is in reasonable condition, internally some of the walls are behind a form of board or panel, and therefore don't know what lies behind that at the moment. There are a number of air vents built into the walls.

Does anyone have the experience of insulating such a setup and if so were the advantages worth the effort? Also did the insulation cause any problems with the stonework?  

We were living in the house during April when the night time temperatures were quite low, and even with only a basic wood burning range the evening temperature was almost acceptable. We do believe though in the benefits of insulation for all the usual reasons.

Any advice, views or info on this would be much appreciated......

ps: we are using the house as a holiday home at the moment 6/6 months UK/France and required a home insurance policy that would allow longer absences. Having asked and checked many leads we opted for a French insurer on the basis of the full coverage while in the UK plus cost. Yes the policy is in French and no we probably don't understand all the detail, but neither do I on some policies written in English. We have worked on the basis that we have understood the major components of the policy and that's the best we can do where ever we are.

We also used a second registered English speaking Notary. His was very meticulous and had all the time in the world to make sure we understood the detail and consequence of the sale proceedures, and we felt that as we had hired him he really was working for us. Plus the fees were very reasonable.

Hope these notes help any others about to purchase a property in France  




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