Our visit to Cefnmachllys was unbelievably useful. We had been discussing the merits of different kinds of insulation, plaster and paint finishes. Seeing them in the flesh and talking about them with Sam resolved all our questions and helped us agree which products would be most appropriate for our project. All in all, a great combination of inspiration and practical advice.
Your house, and what you’ve done with it, is stunning, and the experience was tremendously inspiring and instructive and confidence-giving for us. It’s always a treat to meet like-minded souls who plainly share many of the same values, from limewash, to bread ovens, to Fergies (and, maybe one day, Ryeland sheep!). It’s also a privilege to see the particular nooks discovered by such people, as they always have that extra charm and magic that so many in the world seem oblivious to!
Seeing what Sam has achieved at Cefnmachllys has given us great hope and a feeling of support for our own enormous renovation! By chance we had seen Cefnmachllys while it was a render-clad dark damp project, so we were blown away and inspired at the historically sensitive, beautiful and pragmatic transformation into a stunning space full of simple elegance, charm and features.
We quickly saw why Sam was so well-placed to help us - his academic career, professional tenure as an Historic Buildings Conservation Advisor, and personal hands-on experience, combined with a formidable network. Sam generously shared his enormous professional knowledge, taking time to establish our vision before helping us to understand our buildings and their evolution and present needs. He provided the kind of guidance and advice you always wish to stumble across - a living treasure trove of ideas, experience, practical tips, resources, flexible thinking and encouragement. As well as conveying his own passion for buildings and the lives that played out within them, he gave us confidence around the planning process, building control, materials selection and application, finding trades, and the ever-challenging balance of cost time and quality!
We bought a small listed building and quite frankly got into a muddle using a local builder who claimed he had the skills (he didn't). We called in Sam, who, with his extensive knowledge, did a comprehensive survey and introduced us to genuine conservation builders. It was the turning point in our project and we are grateful.