House update

The past week has flown by in a rather dusty haze as we began to clear the house prior to the real work of renovation.

Two tipper trucks of crap went to the dechetterie (rubbish tip) at Pouance and we’re beginning to see the rooms more clearly as parts of a blank canvas. The loft in particular seems certain to be converted to two large bedrooms (possibly one with an en suite), a good sized bathroom and a large landing with a nice view of the fields through the Velux that’s already there.

Getting the piles of rubbish down from the loft was a problem until Mrs Shark hit the idea of using a couple of lengths of board on the stairs and sliding the stuff down. She even had another brainwave when she put an old stool at the bottom to protect the wall by the stairs. However, a particularly heavy box of junk slid down and drove the stool through the plasterboard wall…ah well…

The wiring is a fucking nightmare with a dangerous mixture of French and English sockets and switches all linked together with English cable which is a definite no-no in France. Luckily we found lots of brand new French cable with flexible conduit in the barn.

We’re very lucky in that we already have a lot of materials on site. The previous owners started to renovate the place and then didn’t touch it for about 5 years but the boiler is new, all the radiators are there with pipe work and a lot of plasterboarding has been done. OK, so much of what’s been done by them will have to be ripped out and checked, but the materials can all be reused. We should save several thousand euros that way – enough for a brand new kitchen with change. There’s also masses of floor and wall tiles and lots of reusable oak beams and other timber in the barn.

The barn…

We’ve only just scratched the surface in there but already 4 mountain bikes, a petrol mower, a cement mixer, a table saw, a log saw, a windsurfing board, French doors, old shutters, brass fire furniture, a Belfast sink, a stable door, a pressure washer and garden furniture have come to light. In an old trunk amongst some old tools we found an iron statuette of the Virgin Mary. I’m not at all religious but I might construct a niche for this somewhere in the house. It may have been part of the history of the house and it would be nice to have the continuity.

In the course of tracing a leak in the plumbing we found an abandoned ‘lair’ in the roof space above the cave. It looks as if foiunes (stone martens) have been there and left lots of egg shells amongst the chewed up insulation so they’d been bothering the neighbours’ chickens. There was also a rather rank smell of fouine piss…

We’ve been planning out the kitchen this afternoon as it’ll be one of the first things to be done so we can can move in as soon as possible.

As soon as possible?

That’s probably about the end of January when we should have all the messy inside work done and will have most of the downstairs sorted.

It’s all very exciting!

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2 Responses

  1. Gosh, I’m so envious. Eben at my ripe old age it’s something I’d throw myself into.

    I’m sure you’re aware though re the electrics that you are not allowed to D.I.Y.

    Whatever….enjoy!!!!

  2. Seems like yesterday you were blogging out of Milton Keynes and we were fighting the good fight online!

    You seem a changed man, Steve. Much more at ease and happy, I can tell just from reading your articles these days.

    More power to you!

    All the very best
    JD

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