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Romizi Sale and Restoration of villas in Umbria

Umbria and Tuscany country houses: which materials and what kind of restoration?


The country houses that lie in the Umbria and Tuscany hills often have been built from centuries with the simple materials got from the country.

Restored house in Umbria

Restored house in Umbria

 


If in Tuscany bricks are more used, in Umbria the walls are generally made by the stones excavated from the same place. These are "arenaria" stones in light brown and grey.

Wall in arenaria Umbria

 


The ceilings generally are built with thin bricks ("pianelle") on a structure of wood beams: few big logs (of about 25 by 30 centimetres of section) and many little beams (about 7 by 7 centimetres), positioned at a distance of 30 centimetres to sustain the "pianelle".
The same structure for the roof with in top terracotta, tegole and coppi.

Restoration wood floor Umbria

 

Another type is often used is the "volticine" ceiling:

Restoration Umbria volticine floor

 


To have an idea of the inside of a standard country house imagine at the ground floor stables and deposit rooms. Imagine an outside step that takes to a covered loggia at the first floor with the entrance door. The first room often is a large kitchen with a big fireplace. In the left and right wall of the kitchen is easy to find some door that are the entrance of the sleeping rooms. No bathroom inside, water inside only from the 50'ies if the owner has got the electricity and added a pump to have the water from the well.

In any condition of maintenance the standard quality repair of a country house is quite easy using the same materials that have been used from centuries.

 

Studio Romizi is used to works as shortly described as follows:

If, as probably occurs, there aren't any problems in the foundation, the works start with excavation of about 50 centimetres of the ground floor with a little mechanic digger, to have space to make a new floor in terracotta and concrete insulated from the land in order to make the ground floor rooms habitable.

Restoring foundations Umbria

Foundations restoring Umbria

 

 

 

Imagine to finish the new floor with terracotta tiles. In Italy there are many types of terracotta tiles, from the "pianelle" made exactly as in the past, to the Impruneta terracotta tiles of about 13 by 26 centimetres called "campigiane", to the modern terracotta tiles 15 by 30 or 30 by 30 centimetres. The skirting board "battiscopa" can be in terracotta or in wood.

Terracotta floor

Terracotta floor

 

Depending on the walls condition, usually the old plaster is demolished to make a new one or repaired with the same mixture of lime, cement and sand.

restructuring umbria plastering interior walls

restructuring umbria plastering exterior walls

 

 

The ceilings with the wood structure can be repaired or totally rebuilt. In both cases are used wood beams and rafters "vergoli". The old beams was generally made of oak or "olmo" or "castagno". We usually use oak not perfectly squared to maintain the old shape. In some cases to recreate an environment typical of the old houses we use the oldest beams that is possible to find on the market but at an higher price than the newer.

Once that the terracotta tiles "pianelle" had been positioned over the "vergoli", imagine to make a 4 centimetres thick plane of reinforced concrete connected to the outside walls to increase the structure strenght. Also the same kind of ceiling with a light slope for the roof, finished with insulation, water proof membrane and terracotta blow "tegole" and pantile "coppi".

To enforce the structure a reinforced concrete ring or iron tie-rods can be used.  In any case a structural project is needed, provided for the safety laws.

restructuring umbria insulation cover

restructuring umbria cover with jacket over insulation

 

Umbria carpentry coverage

Umbria paws wooden eaves

 

 

The outside walls are generally cleaned, deeply reinforced with cement among the stones, and finished with a new cement and lime plaster.

restructuring umbria external grouting stone

 

 

The inside: A restoration of a country house generally consists of transforming the ground floor into living area and services, and in restoring the sleeping areas at the 1st floor. This is of course just a possibility, being each project different to another, and is just useful to give an idea to people that doesn't know our country buildings at all. The restoration claim to make new bathrooms, new wood windows and doors, new sewers, new electrical installations, new water system, new heating installations using gas contained in big tanks positioned under the ground surface outside the house and provided by the gas company. Generally it is possible to get the water from the public line, or there is a well in the property. If not it is always possible to drill a well; of course this is a topic that has to be verified before any purchase.

Costs: Each project has its own cost, the Studio Romizi can make an accurate professional estimate valid to ask bids to different companies.

 

Revised in 2014 by Studio Romizi