I’ve been keeping deliberately quiet about the work we’ve been doing over the last month or so as it was a surprise for daughter number 2 who’s been in the UK for college interviews (and yes, she was accepted). Now she’s back in Portugal and has been duly surprised, I can at last post about our progress.
This time last year, we built a roof on the back of the main building as part of a strategy to keep the building dry. The dry-stone schist buildings on the quinta, as with most buildings of this kind in this area, are built straight onto bedrock with the ground-floor rooms cut out of the rock itself. As a result, preventing or otherwise dealing with rainwater runoff following the bedrock into the buildings is necessary before these buildings can become habitable.
This year, it was time to give the second building on the quinta a similar treatment.
Unlike the larger building with its schist slab roof, this building has flat terracotta roof tiles (Marseilles-style tiles – telhas marselhas) with only the wall heads covered with schist. This is also a common style used on buildings in these mountains and evidently favoured since the advent of roads allowed terracotta roof tiles to be brought here easily. So the plan was to extend the roof straight out from the building to meet the slope behind the house, keeping with this roof style (which we did when it was re-roofed two years ago) to make a seamless join between the two roofs.
We also extended the reach of the roof at the front of the building to create a porch over the upper doorway, allowing access from the building interior to the covered area in a downpour without getting wet as well as giving more protection to the door and entrance. The schist slabs covering the gable end wall head at the back of the building were used on the other side of the roof to create an unbroken roof line in the same style as the building’s roof.
Drainage here is much simpler than the larger building, largely because the bedding planes of the schist bedrock tilt back into the slope and run parallel to the back of the building rather than perpendicular to it. I’m hoping that with this roof addition and some guttering on the roof, we’ll be able to prevent most of the water presently getting into the lower room from doing so.
The roof extension will produce a sizeable space underneath, so it was clearly the perfect spot for an outside kitchen, with the proviso that access to the top main terrace from the track is preserved and anything up to a quad bike in size can still be driven straight through.
Details of the bread/pizza oven and wood-fired cookstove I’m building as part of the kitchen underneath will follow in separate posts.