Mildred and Mark gave me a call to see their newly acquired small farm in a proclaimed development estate in the KZN Midlands.Specific development codes for the estate, in collaboration with wildlife authorities and NGOs were at the order of the day, being a proclaimed wattle crane sanctuary area
With the specific site having been identified, Mildred produced a thumbnail sketch of the new home she envisaged. “This will be our retirement home and it needs to be functional, spacious and easy to maintain,” she said. “We love the open-plan living area concept; it’s where the activity is for most of the day until we go to bed,” said Mildred. “We love thatch, but with all the upkeep, fire risk and insurance, we want the roofing to be thatch, but not-thatch,” said Mark.
So I’ve conceived a layout that lends itself to thatching, but uses a “mock-thatch” slate. This is a popular brand name product made out of fibre-cement, previously an asbestos product. The company’s been going since I can remember and its products are superb.
If thatching is required internally, it can be treated with a fire retardant and used as an aesthetic ceiling underlay in conjunction with the mock-thatch tiling externally, giving that regular thatched and open-beam look inside. With the high-pitched roof, synonymous with thatch, the area above bedroom 2 and its en-suite bathroom, makes it very suitable for a great attic room if required.