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We'll be posting visual updates of our progress, as well as photos of the beautiful scenery we come across as we explore our new home and the rest of Scotland.
We’ve had our property in Dunoon for a few months now, and I’m sure some of you are wondering what we’ve actually been doing. We’ve decided to start writing intermittent progress reports to update everyone on our developments.
Progress Report #1: Nov-Dec 2018
When Cal first visited Jameswood with our good friends Barry and Dexter, they had a difficult time reaching the front door of the building. The grounds were overgrown with a wide variety of bushes, trees and weeds and some ferns had even managed to take root inside the building. Nature had truly taken over.
We can now walk around the house!
On days where it was bucketing down, we had plenty to do inside the house – where our holey roof provided us with a little protection from the rain.
The apartments had been left fully furnished… with soggy, mouldy couches and mattresses, broken furniture and decades-old appliances. After more than five runs to the dump, with our Ford Transit filled to the brim, we are getting to know the friendly staff at Dunoon’s local tip and gradually clearing the trash that has been left on the property.
Click photos to view full size.
Before we can start fixing the house, we also have to clear out the crumbling wet plaster that lines Jameswood’s walls. Property development tv shows make this job look easy. Their montages of knocking down walls with sledge hammers and bringing a house back to its bones look fun and exciting!
I’ve now found out that plaster is dustier and heavier than I could ever have imagined! And getting rid of the mouldy, wet insulation sitting behind the walls and ceilings can be a very itchy endeavour!
Bucket by bucket, and with plenty of help from our friends, we’ve managed to bring our apartments back to the studs, and in the process, we’ve also collected a lifetime supply of kindling produced by the lath!
Clearing the land and the house has been A LOT of hard work, but we’ve managed to have a lot of fun in the process. Cal and I are really enjoying having nature right here on our doorstep, and have managed to take a few days off to explore and hike in the area.
Little by little, the property is starting to look less like a haunted house in a spooky, overgrown forest, and more like a proper building site. Now that we’ve prepped Jameswood Villa, we’re excited to start actual restoration work in the coming weeks!
Thank you for joining us, as we take on Jameswood Villa!
Cal and I have been OVERWHELMED by the friendly and warm welcome we have received from the Sandbank and Dunoon community.
We love the almost daily “hello’s” we get from neighbours passing by. Everyone is happy to stop for a chat and see how we are getting on.
We’ve had a number of people visit us at Jameswood Villa, post on our website and message us on Facebook to offer local knowledge and support that will help us with the project.
Despite the fact that most of you likely think we are crazy for trying to restore Jameswood, everyone has been really positive and supportive, and we have received countless well wishes for our journey ahead.
We’ve taken on a really big task, and sometimes, it’s a bit overwhelming. It is so helpful to know we’ve moved to such a friendly community and have so much local support. We can’t fully explain how much it means to us, but we can say thank you.
So, thank you Dunoon.
Claire and Cal.
What Have We Dunoon Blog
by Claire Segeren
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at