In the summer of 2004 during a camping holiday in Brittany we ended up buying a wreck of a property set in an acre and a third of woodland situated by the Nante Brest Canal on the fringes of Gouarec, a beautifull village set on the banks of the river Blavet and the Nante Brest Canal in central Brittany.
We had to fight through the undergrowth to get to the property and it had none of the basics you'd expect to find in a modern house apart from a cold water tap situated in the barn underneath a large hole in the roof. The amount of work was going to be huge but somehow we could see the potential through all the weeds, junk, dust and cobwebs!
After much talking and disucssion, we put in an offer which was accepted so it was time to start planning! Our aim is to renovate and develop the land and property so that we can move over and live full time in Brittany to follow our dreams of escaping the rat race and to live within our means and become as self-sufficient as possible in veg, electricity, heat etc. This will include renovating the house to a certain standard which will allow us to rent it out to guests looking to stay in quiet and peaceful eco-friendly accommodation.
We literally started from a blank canvas and the list of jobs was endless! We wanted to renovate the house in an eco-friendly way using natural materials like lime mortars, stone floors and installing an off-grid renewable electric system and a gravity-fed hot water system heated by wood and solar. The acre and a third of woodlands which came with the house would contain a vegetable garden, a few chickens and the occasional animal.
Over the last 5 years a long list of tasks have been completed and has included the installation of a new septic tank, re-roofing the barn, laying new floors in the house, designing and installing a PVsolar renewable electic system, completeing extensive structural work to the barn, installing new french doors and veluxes in the house, installation of a log burner with a back boiler which is a part of a gravity fed water heating system amongst others but a long list still exists!
We hope that this website will chart our progress until our dream becomes a reality. We will soon add further information about individual aspects of the revonation.
Further information about our adventures in Gouarec can be found on bretonblog