Hello and welcome to ‘The Willows’ and a big welcome to all our new Twitter followers.

Even though we have a very well insulated house with the floors, walls and roof all having 4 inches of insulation, there are always little problems with the wind through the side door especially when the wind blows from the east. All of the windows have insulation tape/draught excluder, so no draughts there, but the doors were difficult to sort out. Another problem was that all of our coats, boots, etc.  were hung up in the kitchen and when they got wet ( and knowing where we live, that’s often !), and were drying, it made the kitchen steam up and the floor wet meaning more heat was needed.

So, I solved this by building something so simple and easy, that has been used for exactly these reasons for hundreds of years, a porch.


It was built onto a raised floor to stop damp, and the window was recycled from an old property.


It was stained with a water based stain and then with linseed oil to waterproof it. The re cycled door and window are now ready for a lick of paint.

The difference it has made is amazing, no more draughts and all of our wet clothing hangs in there so no more dripping all over the kitchen floor, this has also given us more room in the kitchen and we’re not tripping up over boots !


I decided to put this old door in so that we can fetch fuel/wood for the range or start the generator from inside the porch without getting wet, especially once the tin roof has been extended!

Obviously the porch itself has a few draughts, but once the coats etc have stopped dripping, they can come in for a nice warm and a dry but they have to go back out there. There’s a place for everything and everything in it’s place, as my Grandma used to say . And I bet yours did too !


It would be virtually impossible to stop every draught but as long as they are only small I think they actually help with some ventilation.

So now the house needs less heating, less heating means less waste and so less of a carbon footprint, and so less money needed to be spent.

We would like to supply all of our own fuel here at ‘The Willows’, and we are trying as we have already planted lots of trees over the years,( too many to count,) and most of the willow has been woven into fedges ( I will post more about the fedges in a later blog). Each willow will produce hundreds of rods that can be mulched into briquettes for fuel. Some people say that willow isn’t good for the fire as it has a high water content, but we dried some out for a year and it burnt well, very well, but making a compact briquette makes it burn slower, but with a good heat.

So we’re off now to plant more trees that include Oak ,Beech, Birch, Alder and of course Willow for our Samhain celebration.




9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. greenbenchramblings
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 17:12:46

    Great work! We planted up a fedge of willow early this year and it has taken well. We used lots of different coloured withy stems so we are hoping for an interesting feature. Looking forward to your fedge blog.


  2. cathsveggies1
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 18:17:11

    I love it !!!


  3. bridget
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 19:59:19

    Looking great! Nice and cosy for the darker times of Winter.


  4. Robbie
    Nov 01, 2013 @ 14:31:04

    looks great….love the dark stain and how it all flows together to make your life easier…I try to keep everything in it’s place, but sometimes during busy days they just don’t get there-lol…I can see some food growing in those places between the porch and house that wraps around…..herbal teas. veggoes…….:-) your place is turning into a beautiful place to be….


  5. willowarchway
    Nov 02, 2013 @ 12:59:28

    Thankyou Robbie. Yes we grow quite a few herbs in that little patch, mostly for making our own herbal teas and of course for drying to cook with.


  6. wspines
    Nov 25, 2013 @ 13:18:04

    I like your idea and have been looking for wooden windowed doors to make a temporary porch on my big porch for the back door. Just using it for winter. Old house have many drafts and it would help. I love the way yours looks and the places for boots and coats.


  7. Willowarchway
    Nov 26, 2013 @ 21:54:45

    The porch has made such a difference to any drafts that we had and now we have a place for coats and boots…. bonus ! Also we put a cold box out there to keep all our goodies chilled.


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