Dog-sitting in our historic Swiss farmhouse in Hirzel, Switzerland



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Update 20. Feb. 19

    We need skilled people such as engineers, carpenters or builders from now until ca. end of June 19 to finish with the renovation of our farmhouse. You must have EU Citizenship. We can pay you. Please get in contact.


    Hello dear Workawayers

    Here is what you'll find here with us:

    A beautifully located, big house in the countryside and nature, with lots of barns and the capacity to host up to 20 people, on a hill between Lake Zurich and Lake Zug. 20km from Zurich City, 30km from the famous historic town of Lucerne. This year 2018 we'll have ca. 10-15 volunteers (from all over Europe, aged 18 - 55) for June - November/December

    The Project

    From June 2018 onwards, we are landscaping (moving earth, building stone walls, floors, paths, waterways), installing a new kitchen and bathroom, sanding & sandblasting beams, and finishing many little job in and around the house.

    We work together with an experienced builder and try to be as efficient and professional as possible. We plan to operate in a team of us and ca. 4-5 volunteers from February until ca. end of June 2019 . We mostly work together, though sometimes on different project. We always find a good match between your talents and the jobs we have.

    We tend to work four days per week of each 6h (8.30 - 16.30, with two coffee and a lunch break). The rest of your time is at your free disposition

    Help in the household (shopping, cooking, cleaning) is expected on a daily base, however.
    We enjoy the social aspect of how working on the project makes us grow together as a group. We can all learn many things here. We enjoy the beautiful location on this great old farmhouse. Living up here makes you feel free and at peace.

    Everyone with a hands-on and can-do attitude is of good use here and should bring in their talents: we all love you for being a passionate cook, a skilled carpenter, a good entertainer, a diligent helper with a smile.

    Explore Magic Switzerland

    As said above, we try to involve you in all projects for four work days, so you have three full days off. We all work & cook & eat together, sit together around the bonfire in the evening, and do excursions now and then. As I am quite busy and work 5-6 days/week on the project, I won't have much time to lead the excursions myself, but I will help you organise them with pleasure (and we currently have a Swiss Volunteer here who will assist you as well) .

    If you like it active and social, there's other volunteers to hang out with and explore the area with; if you like it quiet, you can always find a place to withdraw in the house or in the many garden areas or find your peace on walks and in the forest.

    Even though we're out in the pure nature, we are located in the Heart of Switzerland. We provide you with 6 mountain bikes, great public transport (10min walk to Bus, 10min Bus to HORGEN Station, 20min by train to Zurich City) and if you prove to be responsible, we encourage you to take out the car and explore Switzerland on the weekends - its a paradise for sightseeing (Zurich, Lucerne, Berne, Geneva), trekking, climbing, biking. Its a great life here in Summer!

    Your Host

    Markus, 44, (with dog and cats), born and raised in Switzerland, Currently divorcing from Australian wife Natalie, father of 10yr old son Matthias (who currently lives in Sydney), studied Economics and Law, quit my job as a lawyer in 2010 and live in and renovate this farmhouse since 2015.

    I've been a host since 2015, my first volunteer was lovely old Joe from South Africa, and since i've had over 200 workawayers here over these four years, and I have become inseparable from my renovation project since. I share many unforgettable moments with all my volunteers, and at its best, it feels like having a big family to share the summer with.

    Come and join us?!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    - Live with a Swiss host who speaks german, french and english
    - Get to see Zurich, Lucerne, the mountains, swimming in the rivers and lakes
    - Be part of a community of workawayers
    - Learn new skills regarding renovating an old house, landscaping, decorating etc.

  • Help


    Important Info for Non EU volunteers:

    In Switzerland, "volunteering" is legally qualified as "work", meaning that volunteers from Non EU28 states need a work permission, wheres volunteers from EU28 states just need to be registered by the host. So if you are from a EU28 state, you can come and stay in Switzerland for up to 90 days without work permit, we just have to register you, it's a simple online registration. No problem at all.

    IF YOU ARE A NON EU-28 CITIZEN, I AM NOT LEGALLY ALLOWED TO HAVE YOU AS A VOLUNTEER THIS YEAR. Its a shame, its a joke, but I can not change it and im really sorry to miss out on all the great experiences I had with volunteers from Morocco, Iran, NZ, Australia, the US, India etc....

    HOWEVER, if you are from a Non EU28 state but have dual citizenship (EU Passport) or EU work visa, please let me know, then I can have you with us.

    The PROJECT we are working on this year:

    - Finishing the renovation of the house: installing a new kitchen and bathroom, sanding timber beams, installing insulation, rendering walls, finishing a lot of details on timber floors and stone walls.

    - Landscaping the garden, plant grass, build some stone walls

    - Organising materials, clean up the workshop and all the storage areas in and around the house

    - Managing the household and daily life for us (June-Sept. ca. 4-10 people): shopping, cooking, entertaining, organising your own excursions.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, German, Swiss German, French, very basic Spanish and very basic Russian

  • Accommodation


    Simple but nice accommodation, 2 shared bedroom for max. 3, a trailer with two separate bedrooms, 2 cosy caravans for each max. 2, beds in the barn (with good mattresses and duvets). We try to accommodate to your requirements of privacy as good as we can. This year we can accommodate up to 15 people - there's plenty of space!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Our house is located in the pure countryside, but still within 20min of Zurich City.

    We have bycicles to use and there's great public transport for you to explore the area.

    We cook and eat everything. If you're vegetarian, thats not much of a problem, we can accommodate to that. If you are vegan or lactose- or gluten-free, please enquire, that would be difficult to accommodate to or you'd have to organise your own special ingredients.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 25h/week, usually 4 work days of 6h each

That's our farmhouse. Sun all day. Rolling hills. Endless views.
During Renovations, Spring 2017
The golden evening sun
The view and sunset from our house - a near daily sight
Great people mover (takes 10 for excursions), great view, great crew, great place
Happy Days, autumn 17
Never a dull moment.
One of our July 18 excursions - to Altdorf (in the picture the Wilhelm Tell memorial - our Swiss Robin Hood) and over a Mountain Pass. The guy on the roof (left) is me, Markus, your host
Climbing one of the highest peaks in Switzerland (3700m) in Crocs shoes? Ask them, they've been there and done it! (End of August 18)
The Residents (August 18). The guy on the very right side in the blue shirt, thats me, Markus, your Swiss host.
Outing in Zurich City
June 18 - building a stone wall

Host ref number: 578884136739