Saturday, 17 April 2010

First post and Monet

I decided to start a blog to show all the changes that we are making to our place over in France.

If anybody was wondering what the reason behind "maceration" in the title was, for some reason, the house and the gites are full of Saniflo toilets, most could have easily been normal toilets with 4" waste pipes. But no... instead a big, ugly, noisy macerator. (Yes, useful for an under the stairs toilet... but not a family bathroom toilet.)

We have 4 gites:
Renoir - 3 bedroom, family bathroom, seperate toilet, master en-suite, open plan livingroom and kitchen.

Monet - 2 bedroom, family bathroom, downstairs shower room and toilet, open plan livingroom and kitchen.

Matisse - 2 bedroom, downstairs bathroom, downstairs bathroom with toilet, master bedroom has a balcony, seperate livinroom and kitchen.

Degas - 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom with toilet, open plan livingroom and kitchen.

This season we are not doing any major work on Renoir, Matisse or Degas.

In addition to this, we have our house (4 bedroom with stairs to the loft which is the size of the house and could be converted easily into another floor), a 12m x 6m swimming pool (don't know how deep, but it's too deep in the deep end), a pool maintenance building, a tool storage building, a gardening tool storage building, a general storage building, a huge concrete room which used to be a water tank, a laundry, an electric building for Degas and Matisse, a studio with a shower and toilet but not much else at the minute, an empty building with double doors, a building the size of a double garage that will become Sarah's office and the place for guests to book in, a play barn with a pool table, table tennis table etc, a garage which is full of rubble from Monet, a building where we park our car, a pool side bar with barbeque and another room which is used for storage that I need to sort out at some point. That's it for buildings, however, we have the courtyard at the back of the house and the front of Renoir and Monet, which has the swimming pool and most of the buildings. We also have our (private) front garden, which is massive and overlooks our HUGE walnut orchard, not sure how big but you can't see it all stood from one point.

The first challenge was to remove the downstairs toilet in Monet, as it was pointless. By removing this, the livingroom area has been significantly increased.

We also removed the shower, bidet and sink in the downstairs shower room. The plan is to put the shower on the other side of the shower room (for easy access through the wall behind for maintenance), put the sink where the bidet was, and put the toilet where the shower was originally. At this moment in time (17/04/2010), the shower room is empty with cracked tiles, damp plasterboard and showing concrete.
After removing the toilet, we had to build a new stud wall, which would be covered in plasterboard, this took a lot of smashing up.

Before all of this happened, we removed the whole kitchen and bought a new one, which is still in the boxes. The reason we did this was because the old kitchen wasn't very nice...

After getting half way through building the stud walling, we figured out that the rendered wall which would join onto the new wall was crumbling rapidly, something had to be done about this. We either had to remove the render (not knowing what was under it), or somehow seal the render to stop it crumbling. After a snap decision, we decided to smash it off, luckily, it turned out to be a really nice stone wall, which we will point up. This was a great decision as you can see in the photos. (We haven't finished the pointing yet)

We also discovered that there was damp inside the wall in the second bedroom, from this damp grew mushrooms... Enough said, this has to be removed as soon as possible.

Things left to do:
Finish pointing the stone wall.
Regrout the floor tiles.
Fit the kitchen.
Fit the shower.
Fit the sink.
Fit the toilet.
Paint the new walls and ceiling.
Paint the upstairs bedrooms.
Dress the gite.