Renovating a Madeira house: past and present.

A lot of water went under the bridge. Renovating a Madeira house was not as straightforward as o ne would hope, and it took a long time and an uphill struggle before it was ready for use. Especially when the Big Destruction began we have often wondered if it would ever be right again. A lot has been written about this elsewhere, but we have preserved the images of those days on this page. The series on the left of the page show how we found the house in 2007. The middle series shows the ‘great destruction’: floors gone, some walls pulled down, roof gone; and the right hand series shows the slow process of the house being rebuilt and extended. You can find the images of what the house looks today in the page ‘picture book‘.

the old house
12 photos
  • the house as we found it
  • The side terrace
  • side terrace
  • the side terrace on the first floor
  • the hamlet
  • the hamlet and surroundings
  • the orange tree
  • celebrations on the side terrace
  • just for the picture
  • the old bread oven
  • stained glass
  • farewelll drink
The way up!
19 photos
  • a car entrance has been made
  • materials have arrived
  • future kitchen.
  • 026
  • kitchen taking shape
  • bedroom being built
  • new first floor. the construction is ready.
  • muh fantasy is needed
  • an empty first floor
  • retaining garden wall
  • terrace laid out
  • annex has reached the highest point
  • futere kitchen and future master bedroom
  • it starts to look like a house again
  • the window frames restored
  • steel roof support is built
  • roof support ready for the roof tiles
  • the roof is back on the old house
  • roof on the annex as well
Some things are forever lost. Renovating our house ment loosing the beautiful 'Teresinhas'
The old façade and the balcony were preserved, maintaining the house's character after it was renovated.
We still mourn the loss of our beautiful orange tree.

Past and present: renovating a house in Madeira means a lot of studying, a lot of talking to a lot of people. And it means that you need to know necessities caused by the island’s geography and geology. Building, or buying, on the edge of a mountain seems very tempting with a spectacular view as the main incentive. However, we have seen houses that were advertised as ‘living on the edge’ actually going over the edge as this island is eroding fast, like any volcanic island in the last stage of it’s life. We did not know all that, but we were lucky to find a house we really loved which was situated in a safe spot, and restoring our house meant we could build the new part containing the kitchen, the guest bathroom and new bedroom on old ground which was dug out instead of raised with new earth. Apart from all the drama and disasters during the renovation of the house, which we have written about elsewhere, the basic construction was really well done and we feel very connfident we won’t find any structural problems on the long run. Madeira houserenovating a house in Madeira means a lot of studying, a lot of talking to a lot of people. And it means that you need to know necessities caused by the island’s geography and geology. Building, or buying, on the edge of a mountain seems very tempting with a spectacular view as the main incentive. However, we have seen houses that were advertised as ‘living on the edge’ actually going over the edge as this island is eroding fast, like any volcanic island in the last stage of it’s life. We did not know all that, but we were lucky to find a house we really loved which was situated in a safe spot, and restoring our house meant we could build the new part containing the kitchen, the guest bathroom and new bedroom on old ground which was dug out instead of raised with new earth. Apart from all the drama and disasters during the renovation of the house, which we have written about elsewhere, the basic construction was really well done and we feel very connfident we won’t find any structural problems on the long run.

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