Jo Blick's ECO-tourisme French River Cabin

no mail icon Please login to send this build project a message

Build Project Description

THE COMMENTS ON MY PROJECT HAVE BEEN OVERLOADED WITH SPAM SO i AM GOING TO BE TAKING THE PAGE DOWN SOON UNLESS THEY ARE REMOVED. I HAVE NO TIME TO REPEATEDLY CLEAN THE PAGE. It's a leisure cabin built about 25 years ago, on a tranquil piece of the river Vienne. It's 40m2 with 3 sections and a shed. It sits within an enclosed garden of about 400m on a strip of land about 3/4 acre. There's a water well with a solar pump, but no plumbing. Flush loo with rainwater supply and small septic tank. One main storage workshop room with woodstove & 12v lighting, one kitchen with solar power & stereo (but also used partly as workshop), loo/sink/shower with one rainwater cold tap. Shower is using your own camping/solar bag,or wash in the river, tho I do have some materials to re-build a solar shower...the old one was in a caravan, and the floor was not sound enough so we had to scrap it after 4 years of use - but it did only cost 50€ to build! There are no immediate neihbours and parking is within the gated garden for 2 vehicles. Parking outside garden for up to 4 other vehicles, but only in dry conditions. Water supply freezes in mid-winter. Volunteers can stay for free, in return for an hour each a day of cleaning/decorating or gardening. We don't expect much because the place is so basic. contact us for more details

Structure of My Build Project

Individual Builder (ie: Personal Home or Structure)

Building Styles Integrated

Recycled Materials
Local Materials
Round Wood
will consider any ideas
The cabin was built around 1980 mostly using prefab sections, with an asbestos corrugated sheet roof. The inside of the cabin main room and kitchen room are lined with plasterboard/poly sheeting, with a 3inch gap. It's not warm unless the stove is on in winter, and is too hot in summer, hence the need for insulation.Our budget is nil,until we get paid work for ourselves or a bank loan (so, never) so my ideas for the current plan are based on "found" materials. I think our project would suit people who are thinking of moving to France or want to come and see what the area is like and need a free homely base to settle into & explore from plus a willing source of friendly practical help & advice on how to integrate into the French system with no money. We are definitely cauht in the poverty trap. We came here with very little in 2006 in search of some land to own and to transfer out job skills over from the UK, But it hasn't worked out. The crash saw the end of our plans in 2008, when all our work dried up and the hospital I did agency for in the UK went bust. Ideally want people who either understand this situation from personal experience, or who appreciate what it is to have no resources and be a foreigner. They don't need to be totally able-bodied, I am partly disabled myself. We both have arthritis. We also need electrical advice, especially about solar PV and wind and how to integrate diverse inputs into one safe system. We have a windmill which is currently unused because we don't know how to put it up safely It's in Valdivienne 86300 France

Sustainable Systems Integrated

Solar Power
Rain Water Collection
Wind Power
Composting Toilets
Grey-water re-use system
Passive Solar Hot Water
Heating system
mosaics and tiling using reclaimed tiles and broken porcelain
The main projects are the solar water plumbing, the 12v PV electrics and the insulation, installing security grills on the doors and windows. I have 2 solar panels and a 240v converter, control panel & junction box. I earthed it and fused it myself, but I'm not an electrician, so it needs checking. I have a small windmill and most of what's needed to erect it. I want to collect some reclaimed glazing panels and construct a small passive solar wall as part of the insulation project. I have lots of ideas for this. I want to line the whole of the exterior of the structure with rough wood slatting from a timber yard. The top and bottom open edges will be sealed with wire mesh, and the gaps between the wood and the slabs will be filled with polystyrene packaging (85PERCENT) and glued using expanded polystyrene. The roof has been insulated as best as it can be without replacing it entirely. The grey water system was a buried bath tub/pond filled with sand and rubble. It may need moving from it's current site. I need to redesign and buy materials for a septic tank, but it is currently working and suitable for 3 people without needing emptying by hand. I'm open to self-building a compost loo in addition to the current loo. Long term plans are to approach the planning authority about permission to build a PV roof across the whole cabin area.100m2 If I get permission, I want to borrow the money and either rebuild the whole cabin or construct an open barn roof alongside the cabin. We also need a qualified tree surgeon to help chop the pines down that are too close to the cabin. There are 5 altogether.

View My Profile

Current Building Status


Type of Build Project


Projected Start and End Dates

1 Apr 2016

See Videos of the Build Project

See more Photos of the Build Project

The Number of POOSHers Desired

2 POOSHers


Mike Schofield's picture

Hi Jo,


My wife and I will be in France from mid July to mid August. If you would like some help around then please let us know! We are both able bodied and willing to get involved in whatever projects you have under way!


Mike (

Elena Mila's picture

Hi Jo,
I'll be driving through France in September after I finish my job in Ireland, and I go back to Spain. Let me know if you have any plans to be building during the 3rd week of september onwards.
I've been in a workshop in Wales building a reciprocal roof with Tony Wrench and a beautiful group of people, and I'm just looking for new places to improve my skills, and also learn how to make cob / straw bale walls.
If you need any help, let me know!
Yamina Nater's picture

Hello, I will be traveling though the EU starting mid Sept and staying indefinitely, I would love to be a part of your project, will you be needing volunteers. Take care, I look forward to hearing from you. 
Jo Blick's picture

didn't see your message sorry...we are still here if you need somewhere to stop over , Regards, Jo
Viviane Portman's picture

It looks like you have a lot of work to do on your cabin, so if you want to do everything you've planned on time, you should consider all the help you can get. Before you start, you should take a look on and see what are the latest trends in terms of kitchen design. Who knows, maybe you'll even consider one of those ideas!
Brent Medina's picture

This is a great idea. It could help to those people who find some volunteers. Thank you for sharing this. It could be nice if there are many volunteers for this project.

martha smith's picture

Renovating an old cabin is always a wise decision. Building one from the scratch would be a huge strain on the family budget, so it's always best to go for the Glass Replacement San Francisco and repair what you can. You can have a great cabin if the project is managed wisely.
John Mathews's picture

Jo Blick has shared a wonderful project and I liked it very much. I think it will be great idea and also there is a huge scope for this project. lake erie charter fishing I appreciate Jo for suggesting such an amazing idea. Thank you Jo! <a href=""></a>
metch malik's picture

I would love to be a part of your project, will you be needing volunteers. Take care and Godbless I look forward to hearing from you.
<a href="">increase soundcloud plays</a>
Mikey Cottle's picture

I have a week off work and would like to get involved with a sustainable building project. &nbsp;Do you need any volunteers? I am available from 1st - 8th August &nbsp;, looking forward to hearing from you. &nbsp;With thanks &nbsp;Mikey<div><br></div><div><br></div>

Jo Blick's picture

sorry  we missed your message nothing is forwarded. Thanks for getting in touch tho x
Ania Bigcas's picture

Thanks for sharing this great article.

Please see this : buy twitter retweets ->
herlin farnandis's picture

A great article for the travel and tourism. This one is certainly incredible & great post! It is an unbelievable victory to carry on the description activity with no complexity. Terrific link available here!

john watson's picture

Scholar's force collection, a try inside the way of tutor parents plus teach superintendent about the jeopardy of in order hire paper writers photograph album from side to side corporation provide information mechanism future intended for scholar create employ of.
mark hussy's picture

Tourism is a really very interesting hobby that gives us chance to learn something new and have special experience and we should give some time to it. I plan for tours sometime with friends even I always busy in writesmyessay because I know about the benefits and value of enjoy by tours.
kajal sharma's picture

This is place for that person who are wondering for playstation codes. From this place we will generate psn codes from psn card codes generator and then get it free of cost.
khiladi Kumar's picture

They customize and specialize their solutions and they will certainly take excellent appropriate excellent care of your plants.  Packers and movers India offer plants with highest appropriate care and protection.
Adam Luthor's picture

This was an interesting post. Thanks for sharing it. I really appreciate the time you found to post something amazing like this. Designer Jackets