Miner's Cottage - LABC Highly Commended - Dartmoor

 The challenge was to extend and restore this tall but narrow and ‘dimpsy’ middle of terrace old miners cottage on Dartmoor to create the light and spacious feel required for a family home. A conventional two-storey extension was constructed to the rear of the property above the original cellar which was transformed into a utility and cloakroom area with a glass block window borrowing light from the store room.

As well as creating a light, bright, family home we installed a new heating and hot water system and upgraded the thermal values of this stone built property.


  • Reducing the noise transfer from the neighbouring properties whose party walls were 100mm studwork with brick infill, you could hear speaking from next door!
  • The consideration of fire risk in this 4-storey building required a lot of thought and argument.
  • The cottage’s garden is situated across the road from the property so there was no external area for fuel bunkerage.
  • Being an older property, the rafters were only 50x50mm in sections so would not take the additional load of most types of insulation.


  • Regional Finalists in the ‘Best Domestic Extension or Alteration’ category at the LABC South West Building Excellence Awards 2013.


  • Large openings were created in the original building to allow light in from the new extension, additional window piercings were made and sun pipes used to transfer natural light to otherwise dark areas of the original stone house.
  • We decided to use the economy 10 electricity to power an all electric boiler for domestic hot water and an underfloor heating system which was augmented by the installation of two woodburning stoves.
  • The thermal efficiency of the roof and attic spaces was massively improved by the addition of lightweight thermal quilt insulation.
  • NBT’s Pavadentro and Pavatherm produced from recycled wood pulp were chosen to line the existing external walls for thermal insulation and compatibility with the original stone construction. They were also used to line the thin studwork party walls to improve the sound insulation. Traditional lime plasters and lime washes were used directly on the insulation throughout.


Site manager: Terry Bulley

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