House history written in stone

Old buildings want to tell their building secrets. You just have to find new ways to look at them

Nick Inman charts the ups and downs of doing it himself in our regular column... here, he explains the trick to understanding how an old house was built

To restore an old house – to recapture its charm – it is vital to know the recipe used to build it, the materials used and why they were chosen.

You can research in a library but it is better to open your eyes and look: the secrets of its construction are written in its walls.

An old house is an assembly of simple materials put together in an ingenious way.

To understand the rationale behind it, you must slip out of our contemporary “ ...

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