Renovating an old stone house on the Dalmation Coast in Croatia

Bill Swain
18 May, 2019

200-300 year old house in the center of Orebic. Structurally sound and with a new(ish) red tile roof.

It needs new doors and windows, plumbing, electricals, and possibly new concrete floors.

We'd like to open a new entrance on the south side of the house and a balcony overlooking the Adriatic on the top floor. This may prove difficult with stone walls one half metre thick.

We would also like to make the house energy independent with solar heat and electricity. Ideas and recommendations welcome.

Comments (7)

  • Ben Uerorf

    Lovely area Bill, best wishes for your project.

  • Monica

    Oh my goodness, what an old beauty and THOSE VIEWS !!!. I simply adore that part of the world and will look on with interest. Please keep us updated as you progress I love projects like these :)

  • Patrina
    Wow Croatia how exciting congratulations on your new project. Love the pics and the scenery excited to see how this project progresses.
  • Sonia

    Love Croatia. Would like to see the house once it has been refurbished please! Good luck.

  • PRO
    Brandler London

    With regards to opening a new entrance on the south side of the house for a balcony, this should not be a problem although of course you will need a lintel above the opening. As for the balcony it really depends on what type you are looking for, but again this should not be an issue with regards to fixing it to the structural wall.

    There is a system called chemical anchoring and for me the best ones available are Hilti, which are bound to be available in Croatia. Basically you have steel pins, or threaded rods, which are inserted into a drilled hole and the chemical anchor is then injected. The result is something that will never move as the chemical bonds to the stone, concrete, etc. Care obviously has to be taken as to the structure to support the balcony, however a structural engineer can do this very easily for you.

    As to your energy situation this depends upon your budget. Solar is the obvious one and dependent upon your roof type and the direction that the house is standing, then these can be mounted on the roof. You could also consider a small wind turbine but of course this depends upon the wind availability and any local regulations.

    The other option is geothermal; this is a great option as it can be used to provide your heating and cooling needs however the initial capital cost can be high. There are however major advances in this technology and the costs are a lot less these days than they were. Have a look at google for some sites which may help you with budgeting.

    Other options to consider are solar panels which are for your heated water.

    Also consider whether or not you can drill a well for your water supply and also have water catching butts on you downwater pipes from the gutters. This water supply will be especially useful in the summer for watering your garden.

    I envy you your project as this looks like a very exciting one. Let me know if you need an independent project manager... lol :-)

  • PRO
    Hampstead Design Hub

    Dear Bill! What you are planning to do with this old but excellent and with great potential house deserves a lot of respect. This house deserves a second chance and I hope that soon you will enjoy this superb view in your dream home. Please share the news about progress with Houzz community. Very best of luck!

  • E D

    That is quite a project in an idyllic spot.

    Yes, keep us posted!

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