Eco house in manche

Living France - - Lifestyle -

“It’s won­der­ful to con­trol ev­ery as­pect of your liv­ing space”

ago, so we treated our­selves to a hol­i­day in Mar­tinique once the house was hab­it­able!”

Jonathan em­ployed an “es­sen­tial” lo­cal roofer, and even­tu­ally had to call in lo­cal help with the plumb­ing and stair­case, sim­ply be­cause he ran out of time. But he and Jo did all the out­side work, fit­ted the win­dows and doors, the in­su­la­tion, and in­te­rior con­struc­tion and decor.

Nine months af­ter mov­ing in they still had bed­rooms to dec­o­rate, land­ing cup­boards to build and edges to tidy up, not to men­tion an acre of field to turn into a gar­den, but there’s not much they’d have done dif­fer­ently. Jonathan wishes he’d sep­a­rated the open stair­case from the day area with a glazed screen to stop heat es­cap­ing up­stairs. Jo would have swapped the po­si­tion of the French doors and pic­ture win­dows in the day area. But they’re small points.

“This is a hand-built house so of course there are things that aren’t per­fect,” says Jonathan. “But the house is per­fect for us. Our old home was snug and cosy, but all-en­clos­ing with thick stone walls. Here we are bathed in nat­u­ral light and have a great sense of well­be­ing. We have a cor­ner plot, so po­si­tioned the house to face south, but the eaves and long porch pro­tect the south­ern el­e­va­tion from the sun. There are lots of big win­dows, sourced from Fin­land, but they tilt to al­low air in at the top.

“Jo and I loved build­ing our own home and we love liv­ing in it, but we cer­tainly won’t at­tempt an­other one. Our son and his fam­ily now live on the other side of the vil­lage and we’re go­ing to help them with home im­prove­ments, but that’s enough. I’d like to start paint­ing on can­vas, rather than plaster; Jo wants to do more walk­ing and cy­cling; and we both want to ex­plore more of beau­ti­ful Nor­mandy and be­yond.”

Looks like house num­ber 13 is where Jo and Jonathan Turner have fi­nally come home to roost.

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