Building the Prettiest Little Smokehouse in the West and its “Grand Design” Challenges!
Demolition of the old sawmill and workshop started in March 2014 with our son Rupert carefully reclaiming the original stone and Ballachulish slate for use in the construction of the new building.
By May we were ready to set out the foundations with a little help from our old friend Peter, the weather was so glorious that it became a race against time to pour the concrete before it set.
The roof trusses arrived in September and had to be unloaded at the bottom of the drive because the lorry couldn’t get through the castle gates. Our builder Simon Pledger did a marvellous job of getting the building wind and water tight before winter storms arrived.
Another challenge, because of connecting to a private water supply, the council were concerned about an adequate supply of water should there be a fire. They requested the construction of a 40,000 litre underground reservoir which would financially have killed the project. Fortunately a man called” Ironside” agreed that the fire hydrant we now have would be more than adequate. Great sighs of relief all round.
Work continued on the interior throughout the winter until we were greeted with a “stop notice” by the planning department on Friday the 13th of February ! This was an objection to our beautiful picture window and resulted in us having to submit a new planning application. The months that followed we would rather forget however in the end we were able to reach a reach an agreement to fit astragals to all the windows and thankfully work restarted at the beginning of August.
Tommy worked tirelessly, almost single handedly, at the stonemasons craft. Using the stone we had reclaimed from the original building and sandstone from Skipness House, following the fire of 1969 which destroyed all but one wing.
A completion certificate was finally granted in February 2016