Over the next few months ShoptobeGreen will feature family friend and contributor Erin D. Erin will share with us her experience in going from a 200 year old farmhouse in the rural North East to a more eco-friendly and energy efficient 3 season cabin. We have all dreamed about living off the grid but Erin and her husband are trying to make that dream a reality. ShoptobeGreen has talked Erin into sharing their experience with our readers. We have even talked her into sharing their videos and hand draw design concepts. Please leave your comments and any advise you might have and we will be happy to share it with Erin. I’m sure we all learn a lot! Enjoy:
Out with the old, in with the new…Or should I say, out with a 200 year old house and in with a raw piece of wooded land. Why? Because old farm houses are beautiful, but were built without any concern for energy efficiency. Let me start from the beginning.. In 2000 my husband and I were living in The Big City and decided to start looking for a house in a rural area, an area he knew well from his youth. Surprisingly, the perfect house found us within two weeks of looking. So we purchased, without really thinking what it meant to live full time in the country. Don’t get me wrong, we love the country and all it’s bucolic charms! But coming from the city. Well, let’s say the theme music from the early 1960’s show Green Acres was banging around in our heads for a while. We bought the house and it’s 6 acres, as well as an adjacent but separate wooded lot of 40 acres. Nice and private, no noise from the neighbor in the apartment next door- a city dwellers paradise! But, here it is- the but…Old houses need a lot of attention. Roof repair, pointing the brick, flooding in the cellar, vacuuming up flies in the spring (yes, in the country this is a huge problem), heating a drafty paradise, etc. The upkeep goes on and on, but we happily lived the country life- for 5 years. Then, we decided that while we loved our home, we love the city more… So we moved back to the bright lights and constant noise of city dwelling, but kept the house and land. It was wonderful! The best of both worlds! Right? Well…
The drive from NYC to the house takes 6 hours, which we knew, but had to go more often than we really wanted because:
1. We constantly worried about the house in winter with power outages.
2. Worried about the basement flooding in Spring and Autumn..
3.Worried in the summer when the lawn would get too high and it would take two days to cut…
4. Just worried about the house in general….
In the end it took us 5 years to figure out that it wasn’t realistic to have an old house and not live in it. Old houses are meant to be lived in, it was time to cut the cord. We decided to sell.
And as quickly as we found and bought the house in 2000, within weeks our house didn’t disappoint in attracting a very nice couple. As of last month; Michael and Scott have made our home, theirs. It’s important that we like the couple who bought our home, since we kept the 40 acres next door to build a three season cabin/cottage. Despite what some may think of city folk, we actually like to know and get along with our neighbors :-D.. Just not hear them through the walls.