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The Lot is known for its beautiful stone houses. Arnaud Prochaska was inspired to enlarge his house without denaturing the ancestral character. A daring pro job.

See the plan of this realization (in pdf): An extension in all harmony: The plan

How to enlarge your home without altering its character

In 1998, when Arnaud Prochaska bought a small house in a village near Cahors (46), he was still single. But not for long, and he quickly founds a family. In 2003, the household feels cramped with the birth of the third child. So, he rolled up his sleeves: "This motivated us to enlarge the house. We needed an extra room, an office and storage space.The couple makes the decision to rebuild a semi-detached ruin: "This adjoining former building served as our base. But as its floor space was insufficient, we decided to extend it by three meters by creating an additional wall."Result: a large project on two floors whose plans are made entirely by Arnaud Prochaska with computer-aided design software (CAD). But he sets himself a goal: no question of breaking the harmony of the place, he wants to keep the appearance of the traditional homes stone lotoises. "I left the ruin and tried to create a coherent overall plan.This concern for balance led him, among other things, to make the decision to redo all the roofs to integrate those of the new construction into the existing building and to create two vaulted barn doors. Another particularity of the project is the use of materials and mounting systems such as monomur brick, sandwich panels generally used by building professionals: "I wanted to keep an old style, while using modern materials.»

Good foundations for big works

Despite some unforeseen circumstances, the building permit is issued without much difficulty and work can finally begin. After a huge cleaning, the main work begins with the leveling of the ground. The operation does not take place so simply in these rocky areas: "We quickly find the rock that is out there and I realize that the soil is far from flat!Jackhammer and shovel are used for unpacking. After the stage of the ground, the reassembly of the stone walls can start. It's about creating a good foundation for the floor: "As I had decided to climb the upper level of monomur brick, a solid base, perfectly leveled, was essential. So I went up the walls and then I made a reinforced concrete belting reinforced by iron chains. It is also at this moment that our reader builds the new gable and the stone arches surmounting the wide doors of the ground floor dedicated to his future workshop. Expert work: « I started by making a sketch with plywood 5 mm scale 1, to have a template for each of the claveaux. From there, I designed a wooden mold that allowed me to support the stones during the laying of the walls.»

The closed and the covered

Crowned by 5 cm wide block planelles, the walls of the first level are finished. For the floor, Arnaud Prochaska chooses a system of beams with an expanded polystyrene filling: "These interjoists allow you to save weight and time because they are easy to handle and cut. They allowed me to have a good start of insulation and offer a satisfactory ceiling aspect.Girders and interjoists in place, the slab is poured.
Then begins the construction of the monomur brick floor. For this delicate work, Arnaud is helped: «I made the first row on a bed of mortar, with a technician. Everything was controlled at the laser level. It is true that monomur brick does not support level offsets. Then it's a breeze: " 27 m² of walls mounted from the first day, we quickly see the end.»Remains a big piece, the frame and the roof:«We remain in the old spirit, with traditional Lotoise carpentry and small country tiles. An important design work: after a lot of cogitations on the computer for the sizing of the pieces, we stock up for 1,300 € of oak debited on order.Then it's the assembly and insulation step with self-supporting sandwich panels (with insulation and integrated finishing) and finally the cover. Closed and covered insured, Arnaud blows a little before attacking the coatings and interior design.

Leveling and ground cover, arch installation

Leveling and ground cover, arch installation

After leveling, the floor of the future workshop is covered by a sand screed for the laying of interlocking pavers. A professional's work: " To pull the screed, I level plastic rails, then I moistened and compacted the sand to the vibrating plate. Finally, I set up the pavers. I covered them with cardboard so as not to break them before passing the vibrating plate.As for the mounting of the vault of the porch, not so simple! After a scale of 1, the stones are sided to the grinder (diamond disc). Finishes are made with a pneumatic chipping hammer. And for the authentic side, the rough sawn surfaces considered too smooth are also engraved.

Reach the right height

Reach the right height

Reassembling a ruin requires constant adaptations: two rows of concrete blocks make it possible to reach the desired height for the floor of the floor. Concrete belt and chaining reinforce the whole. Tip: «I did not find enough planks, so I made a plywood formwork. He then helped me to assemble shelves!»

A very useful crane

A very useful crane

During the entire construction period, the crane is a great help. It saves the cost of a concrete pump.

Pour the concrete screed

Pour the concrete screed

When pouring the concrete screed, the planels that crown the top of the wall serve as a level. Only concern, avoid damaging polystyrene interjoists. Brace the beams and provide a wide board supported by a plank between the two during casting.

Walls, windows and siding

Walls, windows and siding

With 27 m2 built in one day, walls built in bricks monomur are quickly completed and even the windows are ready to accommodate the siding. For the coherence of the building, our reader chose them in imitation stone. One prepares the glue and the other deposits it to the gluing machine.

Old but not old

Old but not old

Appearance old agree, but without the disadvantages of lack of brightness: "The windows were multiplied because too large openings would have given a modern appearance. To reinforce the traditional side, we have cut stone mullions that we have lined with cellular concrete inwards to provide insulation. »

A half-rump roof

A half-rump roof

For the framework, the crane is still put to contribution: «We hoisted the upper part of the farm, positioned it and connected it to the lower part of the walls and the coping. The gable is cut to form a hipped roof, common in the region. Two small beams provide the connection between the top of the pinion and the punch of the farm.

Insulation and interior finish

Insulation and interior finish

On the lookout for practical and time-saving systems, our reader used sandwich panels: roof supports, they provide insulation and interior finishing at the same time. To keep cool in the summer and protect the walls from the rain, the eaves are important, with weatherproof oak battens.

Stone-blasted plaster and scratch-resistant coating

Stone-blasted plaster and scratch-resistant coating

With a stone ground floor and a monomur brick floor, it's not easy to get a uniform old look. To achieve this, the choice was made of a stone-blast for the ground floor and a coating to scratch on the bricks with the same product so as to limit the contrast.

Coat in three passes

Coat in three passes

On the monomur brick, the coating is done traditionally in three passes: thin layer of mortar (gobetis), plaster body; the finishing layer of the bricks was made at the same time as the ground floor coating with stone flower to obtain a homogeneous tone.


Video Instruction: Sensitive renovations of this large residence are sympathetic with the existing residence