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Hi. My name is Carolina, and my house is Solaria. I have purchased a traditional stone house and am in the process of restoring it. I am half American and half Spanish ( I like to think I have the best of each country;) ) I teach English from home and at a local university. I love to cook (went to culinary school years ago) and am curious about almost everything. I have traveled quite a bit for work and enjoy meeting new people and learning from them.
This house is my life project, probably because it will take me a lifetime to finish! The house is approximately 5000 square feet made of stone and clay. The latest additions are from the late 17th century while the earlier parts are thought to be from the 13th century.
My ambition is to restore everything I can while maintaining its history and understanding how it has needed to evolve over time and paying homage to those changes as well.
I am doing the work myself along with my extended family and friends (engineers, woodworkers, chi Kung instructors, lawyers, trainers, stay at home moms, biologists, scientists, etc). Everyone brings something different to the project and I love hearing suggestions and incorporating them, when possible, into the project.
DIY and building projects
The house is located in a beautiful village with 200 inhabitants, less than 20 min from the city of Santander and an hour from Bilbao.
There are several rivers, forests, and many locals who are keen to chat at any time of the day.
I am looking for people who are motivated, interested in learning about old historic buildings and working on them while getting to know the north of Spain with it’s beautiful beaches ( about 6km from the house) and mountains. You can ski and surf in the same day!
As to the work itself, there is so much to do I don’t know where to start! Painting walls and woodwork, pointing stones with clay mortar, woodworking, shou Sugi ban on the sheds, installing in-floor heating, and much more ... we have the expertise but need help doing the work.
I work there on weekends and a couple of mornings during the week, and the idea would be to have some help to get things done.
The house is currently uninhabitable but I live in a large house in the town next to it. I am offering two separate bedrooms and a bathroom in a large shared house. We affectionately call it “the commune”, as it is home to my brother and his polish wife with their three small children, my american mother in a separate granny flat-, and myself with my two dogs, oh.... and our chickens.
Meals are also provided. We eat lunch together on weekdays as a family and
weekends are a free for all ;) but there is always something in the fridge.
There are plenty of things to do in the area if you enjoy hiking, rock climbing, surfing, windsurf, visiting small villages, getting to know Spanish culture and traditions. Great food and many cities are a train ride away.
Having your own car would be a great asset but if not there are also trains and buses to the closest cities.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
The room offered has a desk, great natural light, a beautiful view and the house has a good internet connection. This is all located in the main house, not where we would be working. ;)
The working house has a large gated parking area where you can easily park with wonderful views to the mountain and the fields.
I have two dogs of my own. Any pets staying with us would have to get along well with free range chickens and other dogs. Although the house has a stone and cement wall around it, it is not very high.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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