March, 2012. The starting point.
The house had a good roof. Gravity works fine. And there's electricity, although badly in need of upgrading. There's a well (although personally I wouldn't drink the rust-red water unless it was boiled first) - and that's all.
We need to:
- Install a rainwater harvesting system together with guttering (there are no gutters on the house)
- Start a garden (to provide us with food, obviously)
- Obtain a drinking-water supply (also for domestic use, like washing!)*
- Sort out some central heating (there's an old wood-burning range in the kitchen but that's all)
- Improve the electricity supply (supplemented or hopefully replaced with solar panels)
- Install a domestic hot water supply (again solar thermal, preferably)
- Replaster and redecorate (the plaster is falling off the walls in places)
- Install a bathroom (there is no lavatory or washing facilities unless you count the kitchen sink)
And just to make things more interesting, we intend doing all of this not only to be as green as possible, but by spending as little money as possible. We will be implementing the three "R's" to their utmost:
Our budget for this entire list? £10,000. Or €12,000 in continental money. Can it be done? Bookmark this site and find out!
(* Actually this budget is not entirely accurate, because the aged FIL has offered to pay for the installation of the borehole itself. But getting the water from the borehole to the house is up to us).
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