As you probably know by now, I have always wanted to live in France and the desire just gets stronger. I came across this old farmhouse and several outbuildings and, after much thought and consideration, realised this could be my golden opportunity. It's situated in a small hamlet about 10 minutes drive from Rochechouart in the Limousin, Central France (about an hour from Limoges). For me, it is essential the region enjoys all four seasons and it has to be either rural or semi-rural as I aim to restore this property environmentally and as ecologically friendly as is practicable. In a village, the neighbours would not welcome the solar panels and wind turbine and I've been told that planning permission would be very difficult too in this type of locale.
I've spent the past week trying to decide how each of the buildings will be used; essential when having to replace the septic and plumbing systems. Finally, I am happy with the proposals and layout for each building. Of course, this could change overnight but for now, it's the way to go. Finally, I can focus my attention on the house/s...
The two houses will become one 4 bed home and the attached barn a workshop, office, art gallery and design studio. I want to salvage as much of the existing materials as I can and try to go for minimal structural change but there's clearly going to be some.
Starting with building A, I am hoping to be able to widen the stairs and install a cloakroom underneath. Next would be to knock through to building B just in front of the stairs (building A). I want to remove the stairs and replace the front door with windows in building B. At the back of the houses, I am planning an addition so that I can have a large eat in kitchen and a library. I want to open up the back of the house into the addition and install French windows on the back of the addition leading straight out onto the proposed patio and gardens.
As you can see there is much to do. The good news is that the structures are solid and the roofs are in great condition. The windows need some work but they are not too bad and have been doing a brilliant job of keeping the elements out. I've also been told that the beams are good, floorboards excellent condition albeit really dirty and the fireplaces/chimney's are in pretty good shape too.
Although, this project is somewhat daunting, I am actually looking forward to getting my hands dirty and enjoying life in semi rural France. Watch this space...
Your comments are always much appreciated.