This is my first post here so please be gentle with me!
We have recently acquired a traditional, stone-build c1850 Northumberland farmhouse. The building is effectively empty, having been unoccupied for over 12 years, and in need of complete internal renovation. The good news, therefore, is that there are no practical restrictions as to how we can go about modernising the place, but the bad news is that we are very new to all of this and could do with some advice.
The external walls of the building are thick stone and in very good condition. None of them are cladded (externally) and there have been no previous attempts at damp-proofing. Some of the internal wall surfaces are really quite damp, but in most cases this can be traced back to something fairly obvious, such as earth piled against the exterior.
We had in mind insulating the place well with internal wall insulation and using low-energy heating. I.e. going down the lines of an ‘eco-home’, but the more I read, the more I worry that we could do more harm than good by adding internal insulation to the walls etc. and potentially causing a damp problem. With that in mind, is there a balance that can be struck between insulating the house well but at the same time allowing it to breath? Are there methods of insulating that ‘breath’ well enough for this to be feasible? Our surveyor recommended that the whole place be membrane-sealed, but this would not seem to be the best approach from what I have read?
Any advice welcomed!