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Wilhelminian period house given a new lease of life

The year 2019 turned out to be a very lucky one for the Krawietz family from Hersbruck in Middle Franconia. The family of four had only recently fulfilled a long-held dream of owning their own home.  Now, as brand new homeowners, they began looking into the renovation work that needed to be carried out on the 130-year old property. When they leafed through a copy of the 3-4/19 issue of the building conversion and refurbishment magazine “umbauen + modernisieren”, they had no idea that this would prove to be a stroke of luck.

It was in this particular issue that the magazine, together with the online portal and top-class partners from the building industry, launched a prize draw competition for a wooden joist ceiling renovation. This was precisely what the Krawietz family were looking for in their new house. And luck was on their side – since they ended up winning the competition.

The prize draw was made possible through the support of strong partners. Among others, “umbauen + modernisieren” magazine teamed up with STAUF Klebstoffwerk GmbH. This company supported the prize draw by providing materials and installation work

Their expertise was urgently needed since the property acquired by the family at the edge of Hersbruck town centre was in serious need of renovation when they purchased it. The greatest wish of the Krawietz family, though, was at all costs to preserve and restore the character of the Wilhelminian period house dating from 1891. To achieve this, the property needed to be completely overhauled.

As well as gutting the property from the cellar to the upper floor, the plan was to optimise the layout of the original 136 square-metre living space and increase the original floor area by adding an extension.

A square footage of 165 m² was envisaged to give the family the living space they needed for the future. But there was a great deal of work to be done at the building site before the family would be able to move in at the beginning of 2021. It was a good thing the family was supported with premium quality materials, installation services and expertise thanks to their win in “umbauen + modernisieren” magazine.

It was imperative to install breathable interior insulation in order to preserve the historic red clinker bricks on the exterior walls. Another special building measure was designed to compensate for the vertical inclination of the building caused by subsidence of the loamy soil. In the Krawietz property, this was done by adjusting the ceiling joists during the project of installing a new floor construction. Here, too, the existing building fabric was to be preserved as far as possible. Bennert, who are proven specialists in the field of listed building restoration and building preservation, advised the clients accordingly and undertook the necessary installation work. The joists were structurally reinforced and brought to a suitable compensation level.  Thanks to the use of Knauf Integra gypsum fibreboards, it was possible to maintain a low installation height despite incorporating underfloor heating. Valuable headroom was saved as a result.

The chosen wooden floor from S. Fischbacher Living to could be laid right on top of the gypsum fibreboards.

The chosen floor had to be designed with the family’s wishes in mind: "It should be parquet laid in a herringbone pattern, which was always our wish. And it should be made of timeless, warm solid oak. In keeping with the age of the property, an antique finish should round off the look. Robustness and easy maintenance – in view of two children living in the household – were also important factors in our choice.” The owners are more than satisfied: “We love our new floor! Even laying it was a great plus factor – the strips were very quick and easy to lay and required no great effort.

The parquet is every bit as beautiful and hard-wearing as we wanted it to be. This floor is simply a dream.”

Even though you do not see it after installation, the STAUF SPU 570 parquet adhesive that was used ideally complements the chosen floor. Being free of any migratory components or solvents and EC1 plus certified, it is perfect for contributing to a healthy living environment and increasing the longevity of the floor for many decades to come.

STAUF provided this flooring and the associated installation work free of charge to the winners.

Every single item on the family’s wishlist for their new home – a large dining area separate from the kitchen and living area, two children's bedrooms with comparable space and light conditions, and a guest-cum-study room – were realised. The Krawietz family succeeded in restoring not just the interior but also the outside of the 130-year old Wilhelminian-era building to its former glory, while also incorporating contemporary elements. A cube-shaped extension in a more restrained colour than the existing building, but contemporary in form, lends the building a modern character. Additionally, the large window fronts create a bright, sunny atmosphere, while the ceiling height of 2.70 metres on the ground floor and the partially open gallery on the upper floor convey a generous sense of spaciousness.

In the meantime, work in and around the house has now reached completion – making it finally possible for the family of four to move into their long-awaited dream home in early 2021, following a more than two-year building period.

Only the design of the outdoor space still remains to be finalised over the coming months.

Mr Krawietz looks back with gratitude on the partnership that resulted from their competition win: “It was a thoroughly positive team effort.”

STAUF wishes the Krawietz family all the best for the future in their “new, old” house.

Wilhelminian period house given a new lease of life
Wilhelminian period house given a new lease of life
Wilhelminian period house given a new lease of life
Wilhelminian period house given a new lease of life
Wilhelminian period house given a new lease of life
Wilhelminian period house given a new lease of life
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