Thursday, November 05, 2009
The hidden costs of renovation in Fez
From time to time The View from Fez receives emails from readers wondering why we say that renovation of a riad can cost up to three times the purchase price. One of the reasons is that the actual amount of work required is often hidden - that is until you remove the plaster.
In many cases it is wise to strip the old plaster off so that you can inspect the state of the walls. You may find that they may well be solid and require nothing but a fresh coat of plaster. However the appearance of cracks, crumbling stone or brick work must be repaired. Other experts advise against stripping the plaster and say a good engineer can judge the condition of the wall in situ.
Here is a recent example of a wall that needed some extra work. In the photograph below, can be seen an old window which has been filled with stones. You can click on the image to enlarge it.
A simple re-plaster turned into a major re-bricking when it was discovered that an ancient window had been not bricked up but filled with a mixture of sand and lime mortar and stones. Over the years the mortar had crumbled and when the plaster was removed large sections of the wall began to collapse. In the worst case scenario such events can lead to injuries. So approach the removal of plaster with some caution! Directly above the old window is a section of wall where the stones also tumbled out the moment the plaster was removed.
By contrast the wall to the left is extremely solid and ready to accept new plaster.
Another thing to remember is that you should provide safe working conditions for your employees. In the case of plaster and stone work a safety mask is essential.