What makes a house charming

Old house on the edge of the forest charmingly renovated

Melanie and Jörg Moschner found their dream house: on the edge of the forest by Georgsmarienhütte, from the 19th century, with a lot of garden and charm. They rebuilt, then came a storm - almost total loss. But they did not give up and are proud of the result.

Old house on the edge of the forest charmingly renovated
Old house on the edge of the forest charmingly renovated

Sometimes you just know straight away whether something fits. This was also the case for Melanie and Jörg Moschner when they visited the old building with the mansard hipped roof from 1880. “My first thought was: This could be our dream house,” remembers the client. The green property is on the edge of the forest in a small town in Lower Saxony.

The renovation of the old building

“We wanted to renovate carefully and preserve the charm of the old building,” says Jörg Moschner. Work should be done from top to bottom, starting with the roof. The existing rafters were too thin, so they were doubled up and insulated. The two spent weeks cleaning and re-sealing the old roof tiles. The first new wooden lattice windows were delivered. Everything went according to plan. Then there was a storm warning. A storm. And an overturned tree. The forty-ton beech tree destroyed the roof and first floor, and came to rest on the garage and the foundation walls of the first floor. A shock! - because it was not clear for a long time whether the house could still be saved. “Those were anxious days,” remembers Melanie Moschner.

Doing work on your own

Moschners faced many unanswered questions. They couldn't imagine a new building, because it was the old building with the beautiful roof that made the property so attractive for both of them. So after a construction freeze of several months, they made the decision: Even if everything has not yet been clarified with the insurance company and the city, we will continue to build! In small project sections that shouldn't burden you financially too much. They wanted to do as many tasks as possible themselves, with the help of family and friends.

A successful conversion

Instead of getting angry, they wanted to look ahead. So they put a new upper floor in timber frame construction on the rescued massive ground floor walls. They had the bat dormer built; instead of roof tiles, it is covered with a tin cladding. A uniform floor made of solid oak planks was laid, clay plaster was applied, the kitchen was enlarged and opened to the garden with a folding glass wall. Except for the plumbing and electrical work, they did the interior work themselves - they also developed all the ideas for the renovation on their own. Despite the longer conversion time (and higher costs than expected), they are convinced: Yes, it still fits!

facts and figures

Property1,110 square meters
Living space200 square meters


Materials and products

Kitchenette, island, worktop: Häcker kitchens. Sink: Systemceram. Fittings: Dornbracht. Stove & Extractor: Smeg. Light rail: KS light. Floor: Börger Holzhandel. Wall color: Knöschke, mixed yourself. Front door, window & stairs: Tischlerei Schwarberg. Folding system: Solarlux. Chairs, dining table & lamp: Vintage. Metro tiles bathroom & kitchen: El Baco Adobe. Bathroom floor and wall tiles: Leonardo Waterfront. Bathtub: ideal standard. Shower tray: beds. Standing faucet: Steinberg. Toilet and shower fittings: Sanitary trade Schweer. Washbasin: Villeroy & Boch. Wall fitting: Hansa. Tiled stove: Siegbert Nowatze fireplace and tiled stove construction. Blackboard color: Jansen. Roof: Holzbau Berdelmann. Facade: painter Bolte.