Wonderful book: Sustainable Legacy by Cliff Blundell.

Sustainable Legacy by Cliff Blundell: a Home Conservation Guide – Review

Cliff Blunbdell Sustainable LegacyThere are endless places to find inspiration for your conservation project. However, finding a truly knowledgeable source is a rare bit of luck. Sustainable Legacy, Cliff Blundell’s latest restoration guide for old homes across Wales and the UK, is our new favourite and highly reliable source of information for all active restorers and budding enthusiasts. Cliff is a director of The Lime Company of West Wales (TLC), based here in Cardigan. Through personal and professional experience he has built stores of knowledge about the conservation and maintenance of traditional Welsh vernacular buildings, and he lays out the basic principles of his knowledge in this latest publication from TLC Press.

Around one third of the current housing stock in Wales has existed since at least 1919, before which time all buildings were constructed with solid walls. Cliff explains how over the past century of cavity wall construction we have lost the knowledge necessary to properly maintaining our old housing stock and how we have in fact caused serious damage to scores of the half a million buildings which could, if properly looked after, last many centuries more.

Following Precious Inheritance, his previous book, Sustainable Legacy covers all of the basic points the beginner needs to know when restoring a traditional solid-walled home to its former glory. Cliff explains in detail what to use, what to avoid, and what a true restoration will look like when finished. He describes how avoiding the use of inauthentic modern materials and damaging building methods will allow our old homes to perform better today and last well into the future. With beautiful illustrations of his own home and other old houses around Wales, Cliff provides an insight into the methods he teaches with TLC and the measures he has taken to restore his own pre-1919 home in the rugged Welsh countryside.

The book covers the basic principles of solid-wall construction and how buildings of this kind are designed to perform the duties of insulation and moisture control without interference from modern materials. Serving as a design guide, Sustainable Legacy offers advice on what fixtures and fittings are truly in keeping with old homes, with illustrations of what to do and what not to do. Suggestions of which windows and doors are most suitable segue into colour recommendations, explanations of proper door furniture, and what furnishing will best compliment a pre-1919 home of any stature.

The book closes with a series of inspirational case studies, including homes that Cliff and TLC have worked on, and leaves a feeling of eagerness and excitement to get on with whatever project the reader has ahead. Sustainable Legacy is an inspiration; a reminder to the expert and a helpful manual to the beginner learner of traditional home conservation. This is a book both exciting to read through and useful to return to for reference.

Sustainable Legacy is available from the Celtic Sustainables shop at Unit 9, Parc Teifi, Cardigan, SA43 1EW. To have a copy included with your online order, get in touch via email  at info@celticsustainables.co.uk or by telephone on 01239 623506.

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