La Petite Touche
The Renovations to the Residence
Renovations Phase 2 - December 2011
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Week 5 saw a little less activity than the previous week. The first fix of the electricity and plumbing was completed upstairs and down.
The masons confirmed that the stonework under the old render (enduit) is in fact of sufficient quality for them to recommend "pierre apparente" rather than re-rendering. This will mean that the three different parts of the house will each have different finishing touches. A small patch was done so we could see what it will be like. For the remainder of the week the masons were working on the renovation of the windows to the front of the house. This involved chopping out the old flaking stonework and replacing with brand new blocks of tuffeau.
Week 6, the second week in December, and still reasonably warm, was scheduled as "beton" week! Final preparations on Monday and Tuesday and then at 8am on Wednesday saw the arrival of the first of three loads of concrete - three separate lorries - all slightly different sizes (6cu.m,7cu.m and 8cu.m). By half past eleven it was all done and the concrete could be left to dry.
The remainder of the week saw preparations for the chape upstairs and completion of the external openings ready for fitment of windows and doors, which will either be next week or soon after Christmas.
Week 7, the third week in December, and last before Christmas! Monday saw light weight concrete (with polystyrene balls mixed in it) being poured upstairs to the areas which were slightly lower and Tuesday saw the chape being laid upstairs after the concrete had set. Watching the chape being poured from a pipe and then settling to its level is quite therapeutic! No one is allowed to walk on it until at least Monday, after Christmas!
Things have started to wind down for Christmas and New Year now, but there was some work done downstairs during the week. The windows were fitted in the Great room, including the very swish patio doors, the frame for which has rested upstairs since we bought the house. (You can see it in last week's picture of the upstairs!) The doors disappear into the wall, or at least they will when the walls are finished and plastered! The oeil de boeuf (bulls eye) was also fitted in the Great Room, having made a round trip, a while back, to England to have the glass especially cut.
Finally the windows in the kitchen and winter salon were fitted. All we need now are doors to fill in the rest of the openings!
Week 8, Christmas! This week saw just the electrician here only for a couple of days so he could get ahead with the wiring in advance of the plasterers arriving at the end of January. Whereas in Italy all roads lead to Rome, so in our house all wires lead to the corner of the kitchen (where the main distribution box will be)! And upstairs is now festooned with hanging wires - very festive.