Monday, 28 April 2014

'The road to success is always under construction', as will be this house


Is it just me or is time seeming to fly with more and more speed? I swear we were in deep winter just a short while ago. As the world around us starts to spring to life we also feel the need to rush forth and continue with the renovations. We can't start our largest job which is the renovating of the barn roof until Dave has some extended time off which means we will probably get going in June or July. But until that point we are trying to bring together some of the loose ends that we have had hanging about work wise. One of these loose ends is a interior bathroom, now we have a microstation installed to handle all the waste.

Before we could put a new floor down in the bathroom that we have made upstairs we have had to put a new beam up to told the floor up! I kid you not, the upstairs floor had slipped by about 2 inches over the years due to the roof leaking in the past and the beams and supports rotting away. So we had to lift it again with acro's and then put a nice strong beam in to hold the floor. 





That job done meant we could start the fiddly process of putting a nice water resistant floor down, and painting the walls prior to the installation of this house's first ever flushing toilet!! No jokes about big jobs ;) I think we have thought up many suitable jokes for this one and I don't think I could write them on here :) So we have been and chosen a nice waterproof floor suitable for bathrooms and laid it down changing the look of the room totally. 

Two of the walls of the bathroom are new ones that we have put in and we used 2 of the old walls to make the room, the plaster on the walls was in very good condition and not blown anywhere. Therefore we could just fill any cracks using Crépi (a good local wall filler used outside) and paint over it. The paint we are using is a absolute miracle paint, calledClay Paint. Clay paint is a paint that has very low VOC's ( you can't smell it at all when you are using it - bonus) and is completely breathable, mould resistant, washable, hard wearing and has a ultra matt finish. It also covers really well, I was recommended it by Peter at the Eco Home Centre in Cardiff   http://www.ecohomecentre.co.uk/index.php/ anyone building new or renovating a old house could really learn some good tips from this place. Because our walls have lime plaster over granite stone walls we really needed something breathable so we don't have mould problems and we didn't want anything shiny ruining the character of the room, so this paint is perfect. For more information on the paint click here Clay paint info. So now we have walls that look like this 



We haven't been able to put skirting boards down yet as we will need to put the water and plumbing down for a sink and bath, as the ceiling has such a steep slope we probably won't be able to get a shower cubical in this room. However as you can see we have a loo! Woo ho, this is a really good step forward for this house, no more compost loo (Dave had to empty it - poor Dave and no more looks of horror as visitors go to the bathroom :) It was a really good loo, not just a bucket job, made by Biolet Biolet info here but most people hadn't seen one of these things before and took some getting used to it. I must admit a proper loo seems very low to the ground after using our throne like Biolet 

This is the first foray into plumbing that Dave and I have undertaken and it has been a learning curve, but when we are finished we will know this house literally inside out and know where all the pipes etc are. Its strange how we all take for granted something as simple as a working bathroom without thinking about all the little connections, huge pipes and head scratching thought that enable these rooms to come about.  Now our next thing is to try and save up for the bath and install it. We have a good idea for the sink, we wanted something unusual and are going to use a large old hammered copper bowl that we have. We (Dave) will need to cut a hole in the bowl for the waste pipe to be attached to and we will buy a free standing set of taps for it. Currently discussions are flowing between a waterfall style (which Dave doesn't like) or old fashioned looking taps to complement the age of the house. What do you think? taps 1 or taps 2 or indeed something completely different.


À bientôt.


Saturday, 19 April 2014

March Musings part 2.


In addition to raising the level of the garden so hopefully we don't get flooded this winter, we have also been catching up on a few things in the house. 

We recently bought a fire from some friends which is absolutely gorgeous. However it is so heavy it took 4 men to lift it out of their house and into our van. Back at this end there is only Dave and I to do the job. So we did the only thing we could, ask his boss to borrow a manitou to life it in the house. 





Its a beautiful fire and will look lovely in our lounge, we need get a new fire glass for it but hope to have it fitted before this winter. :)
We also had the local Mayoral elections here which were a first for us and we were a bit nervous about how we go about it. But when the day came it was really straight forward and we got our little piece of democracy registered, woo hoo :)
Around here the villages are so small that they have one mayor for the  4 small villages and he or she is the senior mayor. The other 3 villages have mayor delaguées which is basically a deputy mayor.  The senior mayor is based in the largest village and has veto over the junior mayors. Thierry our friend has been a deputy mayor for that blast 8 years and was the deputy mayor for our little village. However he now has got into the senior mayors job by a 68% majority totally trouncing the other guy!. I must admit I am really pleased that he got in as he is our friend, neighbour and Dave's boss. It does mean that we will get a new junior mayor for our village but he just happens to be our local farmer who we get on with really well.

So things are looking up and hopefully this year will go really well. The sun has started to finally come out and fingers crossed it stays that way :)