House update – 18 months in…

Well, we’re 18 months into ex-pat life here in France so, how’s it gone, Monsieur-dame?

Here’s a rough (very rough) timeline:

  • March 1st 2010 – we arrived in France to look for a house whilst renting. We were after a small house without any major work needing to be done
  • April – we found the house we wanted, (a large house with lots and lots of renovation needed!) put a silly offer in which was accepted and then signed the compromis (a legally binding contract of our intention to buy and the vendors to sell) with a view to completion on 31st July
  • July 31st – completion wasn’t happening due to one of the vendors being a total arsehole
  • November – we eventually completed and the house was ours. We set about clearing the house as lots of ‘stuff’ was left. Work on renovation started
  • February 28th 2011 – we moved into the house whilst work continued. We existed mainly in one room with a bed, a sofa and lots of boxes of our possessions
  • August 30th – today! – the inside is finished apart from a few odd bits (snagging as a builder would term it) and the outside is virtually done, with the drainage being sorted as I type this

So, what have we ended up with?

We now have a fully-renovated longere with two reception rooms, downstairs bathroom, massive kitchen diner, a studio/office and a utility room, two huge bedrooms upstairs and a large shower room leading off a large landing. The house stands in about a quarter of an acre of garden with orchard, and there’s a separate parcel of land of about the same area, with a barn, directly across from the house.

Here’s what the front of the house looked like in April 2010. It’s not the same camera angle and view and in the following ‘after’ picture, but it should serve to give some idea of what it was like. The roof wasn’t too clever, the render was crumbling and vines and creepers were all over the place.

 

P1010036

 

Here’s the house today:

 

P1020200

 

The exterior painting needs finishing and the large shutters still have to be put on, but the new roof is in place and it’s all looking much, much better.

The builders are away next week, but work won’t stop. We have the exterior woodwork – door and window frames – to buzz down and then lasure so that they’re all a uniform light oak colour.

Anyway, it’s been a very busy and sometimes strange 18 months, but we’ve ended up with a house that we absolutely love, in a setting that couldn’t be more perfect. It’s quiet, rural and private.

To come – some before and after photos of the interior…

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5 Responses

  1. Wow, you’ve done a nice job there Steve.

  2. Indeed – wot he said ^^^

  3. Wow, looks fantastic. I’m not jealous at all. Honest.

  4. Can’t imagine why you left England!

  5. It’s difficult to appreciate. I’m seeing the photographs through a green mist . . .

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