Originally from Oxfordshire, Lorna and David Bickers fell in love with a farmhouse in Dordogne but soon realised it was difficult to live in during the winter. They decided to renovate a barn on the property and turn it into an eco home. “Before we moved here we lived in a small village outside Henley-on-thames in Oxfordshire. When we came to Dordogne, we thought it was very similar to the Chiltern Hills.
“We originally purchased a farm and a barn. We loved the Périgourdine farmhouse with its thick stone walls which needed complete renovation. Unfortunately, even after installing a new heating system it still remained very cold in the winter even, despite using €5,000 of fuel in one season. We completed the renovation and then decided to look at an alternative. The barn was the best option.
“The barn is now encased in 200mm thick insulation around the walls and beneath the roof, and has geothermal under-floor heating and double-glazed windows and doors. We weren’t thinking of being ecological, we just wanted to be comfortable and warm.
“Although geothermal heating is expensive to install, it pays for itself in the long run as it is very economical to run and the house is extremely warm.
“David did all the work except for plumbing and electrics as he is a bricklayer by trade. It took us about two to three years to complete but the renovation was smooth and we still find little projects to enhance the house. We would advise anyone wanting to take on an eco renovation to have geothermal under-floor heating, double-glazing and good insulation.”
After 14 years in France, the Bickers are returning to the UK to be closer to family and are putting their property on the market for €599,550 (allez-français.com)
550 599, €