Our ‘Grand Design’. A self built eco home among the trees

It was 2017 when me and my mum teamed up to purchase our farm. My husband Ben, myself and our two children planned to live in the main farmhouse while mum was to design a modern, architecturally beautiful annexe for herself to live in.

Mum’s always loved the idea of living among the trees in a home that feels immersed in the natural environment. Like most farms, we are blessed with having a number of outbuildings. The old milking parlor, built in the 1950s using local beach pebble concrete blocks was perhaps the most unattractive. However, its location was perfect for mum’s house.

Discussions with local planning took place and with the support of our neighbors, it was agreed we could demolish the ugly barn and replace it with a larch clad, super energy efficient eco home.

We started work at the start of June 2018 and hoped to be completed by Easter 2019. In the end the build will have taken us 12 months instead of the anticipated 10 months. Ben, who just so happens to be a carpenter and builder by trade, has amazingly managed to build the annexe solo, with the occasional help from our lovely family and friends.

The old milking parlor
Ben taking the old milking parlor down
Demolition day!
We’re lucky to have family with some serious tools!
A big empty space where the milking parlor once stood
Foundations begin
The first wall
Scaffold goes up. Roof begins
Metal roof goes on and larch cladding begins
Bales of sheep wool arrive for the insulation. Our local farmer lends a hand unloading
Solar panels are installed
Scaffold comes down at last
View from the rear
Tripple glazed windows are installed
Cornish china clay stove being built on site
The stove complete, except flue
Interior walls, pipes and electrical cables start to go in now the house is water tight
To do lists on the timber frames soon to be covered over with boards and insulation
The exterior before the paving and rain water drains go in
The board that will be the wall finish starts to go up in the kitchen area
Paving and rain water drains completed
Work starts in the kitchen
Kitchen completed with green acrylic splash backs
Helping dad tile the bathroom
Bathroom complete
LED strips in the ceiling recess
Painting, painting and more painting!
May 2019 and a few weeks away from completion, putting us only 6 weeks past our estimated completion date

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