“We found the place in November 2013. It took us 5 months for the sale to go through with typical paperwork complications. Then another year to renovate it. At the time the 5 months felt like it was just going to be a dead time, in the end it turned out to be invaluable. It gave us the time we needed to gain knowledge and the expertise to be able to do things properly and build the place the way we wanted it. We wanted to be as efficient as possible. So, we learned a lot about heating systems and energy saving. At the time solar panels were semi-illegal so we went for a ground source heat pump, a much more efficient option. This would provide four fifths of the energy needed for hot water and heating.
Self-build can be a daunting experience, 4 years later we found ourselves doing it all over again. When we bought the property it consisted of a row of buildings: the main house, a barn, another small house, a barn in ruins and a garage in ruins. Initially, we had planned that the whole line of buildings would become the hotel. Six months into the renovation we had to take down the majority of the ruins for safety reasons and it was clear the budget would not stretch so far as to renovate them all in one go. The initial renovation, which is now the hotel, was the house and the first barn. Project 2 (4 years later) was the re-build of the ruins. These are now self-catering suites. By offering two types of accommodation we hope to widen our customer base.”
Dave and Javier
Hosts since 2013, 8 units
el gran sueño, Asturias, Spain