Posted by: debrakolkka | May 2, 2011

The stone walls are growing at Vergemoli

The house is moving along quickly. At the beginning of April the first floor stone walls were almost complete.

new stone wall

I think it looks great

a hive of activity

bringing more cement

starting to look like a house

a great site for a house

2  weeks later and the progress is amazing. The weather has been great and the site is turning green.

spring has hit the road to the house

The house is growing.

watching the house grow

it’s all happening at the back

work is finished for the day

the stone door waiting to go back in the house

A week later and it has grown again.

getting bigger

looking good

Lukas and Alkira inspect the building

At the end of April the second floor is almost complete. The builders are doing a great job. We have only a couple of weeks left in Italy before we have to go back to Australia. I am going to miss my visits to the site. When I come back later in the year the outside of the house will be finished. I will have to rely on Rosi to take photos to show me what is happening.

Click here to see the last report on the house, or go to the ” new house in Vergemoli” to see all the posts on the house.


  1. Oh congratulations! It’s beautiful…it looks primitive! and the location is stunning. Just stunning.

  2. How will the construction carry on when you’re gone? Will you have someone supervise it for you? Or will you go back and forth? (Seems like an awful big back and forth!)

    • Our good friend, and partner in the project, Adriano, lives here, and he is the one doing all the supervising. We are delighted with the progress. Everyone is doing a great job.

  3. They say things move slowly in Italy but the progress is AMAZING! So excited for you! Will you keep your apartment in town or will this be your permanent home while in B di L?

    • The house will be for sale when it is finished. It is a little remote for me. I am hoping it doesn’t sell to quickly as I would like to spend some time up there. The village of Vergemoli is beautiful, I will post some photos of the village soon. I am really looking forward to decorating the inside of the house. We will be choosing the kitchen and the floor tiles soon.

      • I would LOVE to be able to decorate a house in Italy picking out all the hard surfaces and decorations. Can’t wait to see the final product!

      • I am very excited about the house. I want to make white linen curtains for all the windows and perhaps paint some decorations on the walls like I have here.

      • White linen curtains sound perfect! I can see them fluttering in the breeze. I used to have a business where I would come into people’s homes, rearrange furniture, suggest new pieces and paint color and make custom drapes. I want all the details so I can live thru you!!

      • I’ll certainly keep you up to date.

  4. It is amazing to see how quickly this house has taken off and having seen it in the flesh just now, I am truly amazed. It is going to be gorgeous!

    • I think it is going to be fabulous. Sitting on 10,000 square metres of land in a National Park helps.

  5. Complimenti e i migliori auguri per la nuova casa.

    La prossima volta però quando deciderai di costruirne una in riva al mare e non tra i boschi e i funghi voglio partecipare anche io.

    Saluti a tutta la ” Australian Community ”
    e anche agli “Orange” Rosy & Adriano

    Ciao, Paolo

  6. Debra how wonderful it’s looking! That must be really exciting watching it come to life.
    If by chance it didn’t sell and you needed a caretaker, (ahem) things could be arranged… (ahem)

    • Aahhheemmm…. that’s a ditto from me too Debra 🙂

      • It’s looking great and the site is just gorgeous.

    • If we don’t sell it quickly we will be renting it. I can’t wait to stay in it myself.

  7. That looks so gorgeous – I love the stone work and it’s in a stunning location. I’m guessing it’s got deep windowsills – they’ve always appealed to me. I have a love affair with windows and doorways! I happened to mention to Peter over breakfast at the weekend that I’d love to be able to build a straw bale house – (cos they have very deep window sills – and other benefits): I don’t know the Italian for it but it didn’t take long to express his emotions in English.

    • It has very deep windows, the walls are very thick. First there is the brick layer, then insulation and then the stones. I’m quite shocked that Peter didn’t jump at the chance to build a straw house, he is very handy.

  8. I am amased at the speed at which your house is going up. Mkaes me wonder if building a house rather than buying existing in Italy might be a good option to look at. By the way I still have not seen the female builders in bikini yet on your photoos…. Is that Ariano where I am staying that is partners in this house? I hope to go and have a look at it when I am there soon. Love that doorway ready to go in!

    • It took quite a while before we got to the actual building stage, but I am also surprised at the speed of the building. I think it is a bit quiet just now and there are plenty of builders available. That is not always the case. I have asked for female builders, but none have appeared yet. I’m still waiting for a shirtless day. The builders are getting browner by the day. It is the Adriano you are staying with. I’m sure he would be delighted to take you up to the site.

  9. How very exciting-it looks wonderful. I’m sure it will be hard for you to be away from the progress.

    • It wil be very difficult for me not to be here to watch it unfold.

  10. Wow, I can’t wait to see it when it’s all completed. It’s fascinating to see it come together too!

    • I’m hoping that is will be all finished by early next year.

  11. I was intrigued to see that the outside walls are not made only of large stones, but of larger stones stuck onto the brick walls… it’s a very nice effect! I guess the insulation is important in this area? Does it get very cold in winter?

    And what is Paul’s obsession with bikini-clad builders, hey? 😉 Do they even HAVE those in Italy?

    • At this stage it would be very unusual to have female builders in Italy. I asked the head builder about it and he thought it would cause too much trouble. They do exist in Australia. I think Paul was just joking. There is a layer of brick, then insulation and then the stone layer goes up last. The winter can be quite cold in the mountains, which is why we are going to so much trouble with the building. We will have solar panels on the roof to help with water and house heating. The windows will be triple glazed. It is going to be a fabulous house for sombody to buy.

      • LOL – I also think that bikini-clad female builders on a site would be inviting trouble!!! 😀

        Gosh, you really are building a solid house! I love the fact that you have your own spring, and that you are putting up solar panels, etc….

        As for triple glazing – wow… Builders here don’t seem much clued-up with insulating houses against either heat or cold. In our houses in South Africa, we count ourselves lucky if we have approx 4mm thick glass separating us from the elements – sometimes it is even thinner than that.

        Mind you, in Cape Town, we don’t get snow or sub-zero temperatures, and almost no one has central heating or airconditioning at home. Which is why I am now sitting at my computer wearing three layers of clothes plus a fleecy anorak, and huddling close to an oil heater (we’re heading for winter down here).

        As far as keeping out the heat in summer is concerned, we have pink fluffy stuff called Aerolite in our ceilings; it’s made of glass fibre, so it’s horrid to touch and work with, but it’s fairly effective as insulation.

      • We are now in Brisbane in autumn. We have airconditioning and a heater which we never use. I love our winter here – which is why I come back to Australia at this time.

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