Friday, 6 November 2015

New start, new home

It's been an unconscionably long time since I blogged but despite best intentions, my focus has been anywhere but online . A lot of life changes some tough, some just hard work but at the end of it all, I'm settled in a new home in the North of Holland. And that's the reason for restarting to blog : I've developed a passion for renovating my lovely old house and want to share some of the trials, tribulations & victories along the way.

So : let's start with a major catch up on the world!

In July, I bought a house. Or rather, I saddled myself with a large amount of debt owed to a large Dutch financial institution in exchange for the right to spend even more money whilst living in an old Dutch farm house.

The brochure picture from the real estate agent above makes it look just idyllic - and it very nearly is! It's called a 'stolpboederij' in Dutch and has a special construction that uses 4 major beams in a pyramidal shape to support all the roof weight. As a result the majority of the interior is not loadbearing - until you decide to build upwards.  This construction of beams is a 'vierkant'. Historically, a portion of the building was the farmer's home and the rest was a combination of hay barn and cow shed - just like this.We know that the house dates back to at least the 19th century : the surveyor stated that the building style inside looks more like 18th century. As a result it has many years of living, repair and DIY from different eras all over it.

The inside is no different to the exterior - the ground floor looked in reasonably good condition in the main, with modern plumbing, 2.5 kitchens (it was divided into two flats at one point, the .5 seems to have been an easy storage route) and a beautiful spacious living room - but some very dodgy pipes, wiring and gas flows. Upstairs is much less appealing, with stained ancient wallpaper, falling out walls and damaged floors.

The garden is a disaster zone - the previous owners were very very horsy : the horse environment is spotlessly maintained and beautiful, but the garden was mowed occasionally and left to run riot for nearly 10 years.

Over the next two-five years, W & I are setting out to transform this from an already beautiful house to our dream home.

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