Renovating an external wall - correcting an error of our previous renovation

Renovation reloaded (November 2014)

We are renovating again an external wall, that was beautiful restored during our previous main renovation six years ago in November 2008. See my post about how to renovate the side facade here. It included a voting by readers, and the result is presented here.

It turned out, the decision we made back then was an error, as the bare stone wall was deteriorating over time and soaked in all rain water in some particular areas. With the result of having humidity spots on the inside which dried out during summer, but let the plaster and paint on the inside constantly come off the walls. That was not a problem in the guest residence as the residence has a different surface on the outside walls, but in our living room on the ground floor, and in the master bath and guest room upstairs.

deteriorating stone wall (July 2014)

The picture (above) was taken during the procession of La Madonna del Carmine in July 2014 and shows at least one of the crucial areas.

Why did we wait so long for the correction?

First it was not clear where the water infiltrated. It looked more like a leak on the roof terrace and on one balcony. But then it became more and more visible from the outside.

Second, we lost many months and weeks thanks to our reluctant neighbor who had to give access to our wall.

after applying impregnation paint, foam is added for further insulation

fixing the foam to the wall with these blue pins
foam fixed

The new method of renovating this external wall: applying an impregnation paint on the stone wall. After that a 4 cm thick insulating foam was fixed on the wall (with blue pins, see above). And at the end, a finishing of colored plaster comes on top.

a glimpse of the new look (December 2014)

A large portion of our first year's vacation rental earnings will go into that wall.... But that is the purpose of renting out our guest residence. The income should help to maintain and improve the residence and to pay the running cost of the house. Hopefully, we won't have this kind of major spending on renovation again any time soon, and will be able to build up some reserve funds. Our project remains a project ... but a wonderful one.

See below the side façade over the years. And now, just in time before some rainy days, we finished the insolation and plaster work.

house in 2006 before renovation project started

after renovation in November / December 2008

after 2nd renovation December 2014

Top 10 Impressions from the Renovation Work

In the last five days I have taken many pictures from the house and the work progress. Every day, I am on site measuring, looking into details, unpacking, helping whatever I can do. Yesterday, while showing friends around, I realized that I have some new favorite spots that I want to show you too:

My first favorite spot is the small sunny piazza infront of the house.
Here, at the main entrance three generations of (future) inhabitants are posing happily.

Angelo's art work at entrance #37

more stucco and paint art work on ceilings

my favorite bathroom in the vaulted cellar

good news: we found enough original floral tiles for the main entrance

measuring and calculating the floor space in the vaulted cellar (seminterrato),
we will have natural oak wook parquet since Angelo had insolated the floor perfectly.
It is difficult to say which is my favorite floor, but I really like this unique basement!

father and son at work in the living room
we bought stucco deco borders for the walls and sample colours to try out the effect (soon). Can't wait to see the trial paint on the walls....

my favorite room for the moment is our guest room with view into orange trees, the yellow of the ceiling is so warm and friendly - even the chandelier, that is not really my taste, can stay.

interesting perspective on the primo piano - the door frames turned out nice!

My favorite spot for the view is our balcony on the piano terra

Of course there are many more beautiful spots in the house, but these are the top 10 of the last five days. More is coming. 

Facade: before & after picture update

It is February, the sun is shining and the oranges are growing in neighbour's garden. Below it is our palazzo that stands together with this picturesque church at a small piazza with no name in the historic center of Pizzo.

view of Palazzo Pizzo, chiesa del Carmine and the bay with beaches of Pizzo

Now, below, this is an old picture of February 2008, when we just started the renovation and restoration. The old windows have been taken out already, the old doors are still in and we had some sample of coloured plaster painted on the facade. The roof is not tiled yet. The walls of the facade show cracks and damages. However, I love this picture. It shows a charming old house and a calm sea with sunshine. Oranges are growing in the neighbours garden and the church makes it even more peaceful. This picture is my screen saver since three years.

BEFORE: our house in February 2008

But Angelo complaint. After all the work he had supervised and done, I could update my screen saver, he said. So, I asked him to send me an update, same perspective please - and that's what I got:

AFTER: our house in February 2011

New plaster, new colour, new roof tiles, walls for window frames repaired and new windows mounted, new window sills, new entrance doors, new  zoccolatura (skirting board), new iron grids for ground floor windows, new roof rail and rain gutter,  restoration of "fake" stucco windows, re-painted balcony rails, new bell and name plate, installation of a second street lamp from the commune, dismounting of a flood lamp (for the church), rewiring for the lamps  .... - I think, this is it. For the exterior. But one old thing we reuse: the former green metal letter box plate.
You might also like these Before & After posts:
See all renovation posts BEFORE and AFTER.

Photo source:  photo nr. 2 was taken from a window of an apartment in a neighbouring house that was under renovation three years ago. But since this apartment now belongs to a foreigner who was not in Pizzo, Angelo had to climb on top of the roof to get a similar perspective. Mille Grazie ! 

The tiny overhanging bath or former outhouse needs the perfect sink

Can anyone tell me how they called these overhanging shithouses people used to have in the medieval times in European cities ? (and elsewhere ?) I do not even know the Italian expression for these tiny outhouse loos.

Anyway, we have one! And it is going to be our son's bathroom.
In my previous post I gave a sneak peek into the ongoing renovation. It is another green bathroom. We have ordered all appliances, except the sink. Advise is welcome!

But look and read from the start:

front facade of the house with the overhanging former outhouse on the right

a closer look at a BEFORE photo (we came a long way!)

above drawing by the architect shows the former privy on the right

the layout says the WC is 1,90 m x 1,40 m

above and below is the BEFORE bath,
there were a WC (left corner), a bidet and a sink

we took out everything (please note the "big" window)

with the help of an AFTER pic (note the former big and now shrinked window!)
I made some tiles planning

And finally, see and enjoy what Angelo made out of my amateurish drawings :

Shower tray, shower faucets and tiles are installed. Walls are painted. But what about the rest?

You may have noticed that the before bathroom had no shower, but a bidet. Now, we have decided that a shower is more important than a bidet. But we have another solution for "butt hygiene". We opted for one of the smallest WC, the Starck 3 compact model (360 cm x 474 cm), and will have a hose on the side of the toilet (like you often can find in Asia). This is simple, clean and space saving!

After all this, we still have not decided on a sink !
I have some tiny space saving sinks in mind and Angelo wants the largest sink possible.
Okay, I used to have a tiny Happy D sink (see pic below, no. 1) in my guest toilet in Germany where you almost only could have washed one hand after the other.

But the above Happy D (no 2) could do. It is 345 cm deep and 460 cm long - and it has soft round corners - ideal for a tiny kid's bathroom. But of course I can't decide just like this, quickly. There are other options by Duravit (and other manufactures for sure, that I have not checked), especially I thought of using the sink from the same series as the WC since we are in such a small room, it might be best to stick to the same design:

This sink comes in many sizes, but ours could be 450 cm wide x 320 cm deep (2 cm less wide and 2,5 cm less deep than the Happy D) or 550 cm wide x 370 deep, a compact version.

My sister has in her kid's bath room the above Starck 3 sink with metal console (480 cm x465 cm). Now, she lives far away from me and I cannot check if I would like it for our son. Not sure, the almost square sink and the metal console seems a funny match. But maybe a funny match is ideal for a funny bathroom?

I would rather prefer the little pricier sink Vero. This metal console allows to hang towels on both sides. The smallest size however is 500 cm x 470 cm.

once more the site : which sink matches best ???

Since we use no longer the service of an architect or interior designer, just Angelo and me are thinking of sinks. Actually, it is only me. Angelo would buy a big sink. So, it was me who asked for detailed measurements and Angelo came up with a rough excel sheet. He added the shower tray, which is 80 cm x 80 cm. And a WC (not delivered yet), that I corrected to the given size. Then I added different sizes of different sinks. It all seems quiet tide to me. Since Angelo hates tiny dwarf or smurf sinks, we agreed on the following: we wait until the toilet is delivered and he is mounting it. Then he would do some test sitting on the toilet and check possible sink shapes. From this test he would send pictures to me which would help me to make a good decision.

If anyone of you has a recommendation, has a similar bathroom situation and knows a solution, knows the perfect sink, please email me at "writing (dot) suzie (at) yahoo (dot) com" or leave a comment below.
Mille Grazie !

blue mission

Blue ringhiere look good everywhere.
On the seaside from top to semiinterrato.

(for details click on pic to enlarge)

blue balustrade of the balcony on the ground floor

Only the balustrade around our tiny garden is not yet blue.
But then, after that: blue mission completed.

I forgot to post these pictures:

Angelo sent me this one, with no comment, and at first sight I did not really understood what this line near the ceiling that looks like a shadow would be... is it a blue stipe ??!

In the next picture I saw it clearly :
Angelo must have got crazy about blue !
I think he had some left over blue paint and obviously thought a bit of blue will add an interesting note to our bedroom. So funny.