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Buy a farmhouse, a house full of authenticity

Witness of an era and a region, the farmhouse is authentic and never resembles its neighbor. Even if it is difficult to attribute a precise decade to it, this rural building originally intended for farmers and craftsmen, generally dates from the 1800s. It is updated and often renovated with materials of the time and in respect of tradition. Zoom on this house which makes so much dream.

What are the characteristics of a farmhouse?

A house with volume

The farmhouse is generally a long and low house of rural origin, built "en enfilade" and on one level. The depth is often equal because it is defined by the span of a wooden master beam. Contrary to other agricultural structures, this one does not have outbuildings because it was used as both a farm and a dwelling place for its owners. The presence of the animals served to heat the room, and the fireplace was used to cook food. 

This morphology gives interesting volumes, the stables for example have long since become living rooms in their own right. In the same way, the attics which were formerly used for storage have become a real asset and have been enhanced by giving them a function.  

A house with a strong character

Sometimes centuries old and steeped in history, the longères are part of the heritage of the region in which they are established and bear witness to the life of yesteryear. Modest but imposing, they are today very sought after for their authenticity and charm. Old-fashioned tiled floors, exposed beams, large fireplaces, stone walls, are all assets that form the identity of these houses and give them all their character. It is this strong link with the past that gives them their character. 

Where to buy a farmhouse in France ?

The longère today symbolizes the identity of a region and a strong local particularism. They are mainly found in the northern half of France: in Brittany, Touraine, Picardy and Normandy. However, there is a strong concentration in the West of France, and more precisely in the regions of Normandy and Brittany.

There are regional particularities, the materials of the walls varying according to the soil. Thus, the Breton farmhouse is generally built from granite, a grey stone specific to the region. While the Norman farmhouse, for example, is generally built with half-timbering. The floor is also made of stone paving stones from nearby quarries. As for the roof of the longères, it also varies according to its place of construction. Thatched roofs can be found in Normandy, and slate roofs in Brittany.

How to renovate a farmhouse?

Longères all have a personality, a cachet, a unique character, which should be preserved when considering renovation or extension work. Renovating a recently purchased farmhouse is an opportunity to consider the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the house. The different diagnoses carried out will allow you to target precisely the points of improvement of your house and to undertake the work necessary to obtain a modern and comfortable farmhouse. We give you some ideas. 

Decompartmentalize for better circulation

If you want to have more space, you will have to remove partitions. To do this, you will need to carry out a structural study to determine whether it is a load-bearing wall or not, in which case reinforcements would be necessary. Breaking the volume can thus allow you to create a vast living room gathering living room and dining room or even kitchen. Then, you are free to delimit each space without breaking the volume: architect's glass roof, bar furniture, platform, library... When it comes to space planning, the options are endless. 

Taking advantage of the attic

Originally, only the first floor of the longères was occupied by the inhabitants. The first floor was not used or was used as a storage place for grain for example. The openings were minimal, simple skylights were made to bring in a little natural light. Today, to gain precious square meters, the attic is often converted. Before carrying out this type of renovation, an inventory of fixtures by a professional is recommended. By checking the condition of your roof structure and floor, the latter will guide you towards the roof insulation technique best suited to your farmhouse. On this type of old house, it is rather advised to insulate from the inside to preserve the charm of the existing roof.

Bringing in the light 

In order to conserve heat, the farmhouse was designed with low ceilings and small openings. Changing the size of these openings can allow for more natural light and more enjoyment of the exterior. Upstairs, if the attic space increases the living space of your house, it requires the creation of openings to bring more light into this new living space. Roof windows, dormers: you choose the solution that best suits your light needs and the configuration of your roof. 

How much does it cost to renovate this type of home?

The cost of renovating a longhouse varies depending on the condition of the house before the work is done, and the level of comfort expected.

When the farmhouse has been left in its original state, the uninsulated interior is often dark and damp. A large main room with an open fireplace leads to one or more adjoining rooms. The plumbing, heating and electrical installations are basic and need to be replaced by systems that comply with standards and are efficient. The floor, when there is one, is served by a miller's staircase. For this type of property, a heavy renovation is necessary. The cost of this type of renovation varies between 1 500 and 3 200 € per m². 

When the house has already been renovated, some of the previous work will lower the cost. However, there may still be some renovation or refurbishment work to be done such as modernizing the kitchen and bathrooms, repainting, etc. The cost in this type of renovation will vary between 800 and 1 500 € per m².

How to find the farmhouse of your dreams?

Longères are nowadays very popular with lovers of old stones. If you like the charm of the old and the authentic houses, the longère seems ideal when you want to acquire a house. Very often, because of their location and their past, the longères have a vast ground, sometimes with trees: the dream of a house nestled in the middle of nature!

However, be careful not to rush into buying one. If you choose to renovate a farmhouse, it is advisable to get advice for a smooth work. 

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