We were supposed to opened our doors on the 1st of March 2012. That could be delayed by a few months, but we have already started working.
Things that have been completed so far:
– Roofing has been re-enforced with hurricane screws, so now we have removed most of the bricks that were holding the roof down.
– Most of the broken windows have been replaced.
– Window sills have been cleaned and rust taken off.
– The stone stoep in the front has been broken down, and stones salvaged to rebuild a bigger stoep.
– We have also cleaned up the mess of rubbish, overgrown Lantana and cut down three trees on the paddock next to the cottage.
– We have managed to get water to the cottage from rain tanks from the main farm-house.
– The front door has been replaced with a decent door, and the frame reinforced with concrete.
– A fresh coat of paint has been applied to the bathroom, sitting room and main bedroom.
Much thought has gone into the design of this cottage. The main focus points are the view over the hills looking over other farms and the game park next door, and the spectacular afternoon sunsets. I also love the building as it has been built out of stone, and looks really old, even though it’s not. It has huge potential, but can also be financially draining and not cover its costs for decades. So I have taken my time, thought, rambled and after consulting a fiery designer over many cups of coffee, walks around. She put our vision into a design, with a colourful concept to exactly what the interior will look like, making it easier for me to focus on what is required with building it.
The design above uses the existing space as best as possible without building on, aswell as opens up the cottage for open plan living, and focuses on the amazing view north-westerly.
Further to the design above. I will be extending the concrete and stone stoep outside, extending around the north part of the cottage, with a hip level stone wall. A zinc and wooden roof will be built covering the stoep, adding to the charm and creating more surface area for rain water.
I would like the cottage to be 100% self-sustainable:
– Rain water for main supply
– bio-filter watering filter system
– solar power for most of the electrical consumption
– vegetable and herb garden outside with grey water from the cottage.
This is our first real building project, and may you send positive thoughts our way. Building and renovations have started, but its small steps first. This is one of the most important building excercises to start as it can help me gauge if its possible to do the rest of the work myself, or hire an expensive, slow builder that could give me more grey hairs and a faster receding hairline.