Finish emptying the house, NOW, before the builders come

[vc_row][vc_column][postgallery_grid id=”SS_G10_20170309″ data_source=”data-4″ null=”” slidesetid=”SS_G8_20170309″ content_type=”image” columns=”4″ columnpadding=”column_padding” height=”200px” align=”aligncenter” lightbox=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Part of what we want to do in the house is have a masonry stove to heat the place (here’s a link to the Wikipedia description). Liz was going to have one in London, which may sound a bit strange but since they burn very efficiently and the ‘smoke’ exiting the chimney is cold and has virtually no particulates it is very suitable. When researching this idea she met Martin, a stove mason who originally hails from the Czech republic but now lives in Scotland. He builds stove all over Europe and has now agreed to come to France to build one for us. It is quite a big undertaking as it will start on what we are calling the Garden Floor – currently the cellar – and rise through the centre of the house to finally exit at the top of the roof which is about 12 metres. It will weigh about 10 tonnes! Martin came to visit us last October to assess the project and we booked him to come and build in April this year. To do this a foundation has to be in place that can support the weight, right now we have an unlevel mud floor in the cellar.

So, we have spent the last few months designing the house detail and then discussing how to enable Martin’s work in April with our project manager Jean-Luc. It’s probably not quite right to say ‘project manager’ because he does do this but he also does all the engineering calculations, so he has designed the foundation for the stove. Suddenly last week everything was happening all at once, spring was upon us, the new entrance was going well and then Jean-Luc said ‘Ok they come to strip out the electrics and plumbing on Monday ready for ‘breaking’ the house later in the week’. We still had things in the house and the attic was full of goodness knows what. So we have been rushing around finishing packing up until we were left with just the very heavy items and the attic.

Thankfully our friends Rémy and Bernard agreed to help shift the heavy things for us. On Thursday they arrived with their small tractor and another useful body, Jerome, who had been volunteered. We don’t think they realised quite how much there was: six armoires, one large buffet, a range cooker, two large fridge freezers, a piano, some old heavy beds that needed chucking out; then things in the attic, more armoires, dining tables and much more; and that wasn’t all, there were things in the cellar – an oil tank, a stone trough, various heavy items of furniture that we couldn’t shift ourselves that we had brought over from the UK. They were here all day – we did feed them at lunchtime – and everyone was exhausted. Everything had somehow fitted into the barns. Then we had three days to finish off the attic and the last things in the cellar that we could manage by ourselves.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][postgallery_grid id=”SS_G8_20170309_01″ data_source=”data-4″ null=”” slidesetid=”SS_G8_20170309_01″ content_type=”image” columns=”4″ columnpadding=”column_padding” height=”200px” align=”aligncenter” lightbox=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It took every minute of those three days, well in truth four days since the guys didn’t arrive till Tuesday. We ended up with a huge pile of junk outside the house so we looked something like a gypsy encampment, you can’t move in the barns and there are still two ‘built in’ cupboards in the dining room that Liz wants to try and rescue so goodness knows where they will go. We were black every day and so tired it was all we could do to shut up the chickens, have a bath and collapse into bed. We did eat, sort of but were too tired to organise it properly so it was jacket potatoes or pasta and tomato sauce – a nice reminder of summer and all our yummy tomatoes –  one of the freezers is in the barn and switched on so all our lovely produce is available.

Then we had to deal with the rubbish, this took another three days. Margie managed to fill the seven industrial sized recycling bins in the village over the weekend and then we made six trips with the quad and trailer to the ‘dechetterie’ – a council run waste and recycling centre at Puy-l’Évêque. Now the front of the house looks respectable.

Meantime we have Jean-Jaques and his team in the house to strip out the electrics and plumbing in readiness for the big demolition work. More of that next….[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][postgallery_grid id=”SS_G4_20180309_02″ data_source=”data-4″ null=”” slidesetid=”SS_G4_20180309_02″ content_type=”image” columns=”4″ columnpadding=”column_padding” height=”200px” align=”aligncenter” lightbox=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#deead0″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Perhaps you would like to know…
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4 responses to “Finish emptying the house, NOW, before the builders come”

  1. How exciting plans are really on the move I do admire the pair of you quite an undertaking, good luck for the next step !!!!!!!! Xx

  2. Yes, what would we do without Rémy and Bernard…. the hedge, the initial ploughing of the potager, the hay for the horses, the logs and so much more. they have been very generous, and like all the locals we encounter here very friendly.

  3. incredible! Thank goodness for Remy & Co with their nifty wee tractor. Had to laugh at M Lafon and the bath.