Eco house in manche
“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.