Back in November we decided to start the demolition of the mudbrick house next to our barn and to “harvest” everything useful (mainly the beams and floor boards). Because the house is quite large (4 good size rooms upstairs and 3 downstairs) quite a few people asked why we didn’t try to renovate it. The simple answer is cost, time and need – the mudbrick is in a pretty bad way with a lot of water damage, and the ground floor is almost 50cm below ground level so with our high water table it floods after heavy rain. To find someone knowledgeable to renovate it well (sympathetically, using the right original type materials, etc.) would take a long time even before work could start. I could try and learn the skills to do it myself (!!) or use volunteers, etc. But we don’t really need the house itself – if we are going to invest time, effort and of course cash then we’d rather renovate the barn that is attached to the house, which already houses our hay, straw and lucerne for the winter.
So, by the week before Christmas the house had been demolished, the roof tidied up a bit, many of the tree stumps had been pulled out a we used a few thousand “turkish tiles” from the roof to lay the beginnings of a path. Hopefully the tiles will break up over the winter and will reduce the amount of mud we have to wade through to get to the barn! If/when we fix the barn roof, we will use the tiles from it to build up the path a bit more… we will see!
Once the snow has thawed it will be time to get all the bales of feed reorganised and finish making the poultry room intruder proof, ready to get some chickens and ducks in the spring.