Renovating a House of Stone

Derick and Renette Opperman realised a dream when they purchased and renovated a derelict stone building and transformed it into their home.




What was an empty shell becomes a comfortable family home.



Who doesn't dream of packing up and moving away from the rat race to settle down in the quiet countryside while living in the home of your dreams? Derick and Renette Opperman did exactly that, and we asked them to share their renovation journey to inspire anyone who wants to follow their dreams.





While the integrity of the stone walls was sound, there was plenty of restoration and renovation needed to turn this empty shell into a dream home.




For Derick en Renette Opperman, their vision of purchasing and restoring a property started years ago. Standing on a dark veranda of an empty stone shell of a building, Derick and Renette instantly fell in love with the overall structure and appearance of the stone building. They transformed the empty shell into a warm, comfortable home that honours the original style of the building and retains many of the original features.



The restoration and renovation were done by Derick and Renette and took a total of 18 months, with a few finishing touches still needed here and there.



This empty shell surrounded by stone walls and with double-volume living space is slowly but surely transformed step by step. The stone building consisted of a single bathroom, storage area and a spacious double volume room that would eventually be converted into the great room. Derick and Renette used the main room as a temporary living space while the restoration and renovation took 18 months to - almost - completion.


The spacious, open-plan living area got a massive “upstairs library” that would provide endless hours of comfort for the homeowners




Some hard work was required to restore the stone house and add fixtures and fittings that would blend in with the structure and its history. Wood fittings are found throughout the restored building.




Putting in as many hours as possible, the empty shell started to resemble a home that became liveable while continuing to work on the remaining restoration and renovation.











The kitchen area is not yet finished, but Derick and Renette are working hard to renovate what consisted of a single rusty sink. With plenty of enthusiasm the couple went to town on the kitchen, sourcing and purchasing wood fittings and accents to complete the kitchen.



An oversized kitchen island was constructed using a pair of vintage wooden cabinets purchased online several years ago and put in storage for this exact occasion. Even the new pantry / larder was fitted with a custom frame and glass panel door to blend in with the rest of the design elements.






The pantry / larder was designed to make use of an old kiaat door and frame. The surrounding glass frames were salvaged from broken door frames.











 A wall of windows was constructed to divide the bedroom and bathroom. A total of 5 windows were purchased second-hand and restored for the wall.





A wall of windows lets in lots of light and air circulation through the bathroom and bedroom.




What was originally a storeroom slash workshop ended up as a bedroom slash bathroom. Rather than completely close off the bedroom from the rest of the space, a window wall was installed between the bedroom and bathroom. This also allows airflow through the rooms via a door in the bathroom.





As with all the other rooms in the stone house, the bathroom was restored to its original condition, with the bathtub being recoated and cabinets and fittings adding detail in the room.





While most of the renovation and restoration work was done by Derick and Renette, contractors were employed to undertake installation of ceilings and a shade canopy over the outside seating area / porch.

The homeowners also extended the living area by adding a workshop, guest bedroom and store / office for Renette's online business.





After all is said and done, the renovation and restoration were well worth the effort and came in at a total cost of R50,800. I'm sure that has many of you thinking about moving to quieter climes to get out of the city!









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