La Petite Touche

The Renovations to the Residence

Renovations Phase 2 - January 2012

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Week 9, New Year 2012. This week the electrician and the masons have been onsite. The electrician has installed more electric wiring and the VMC (air extraction system for wet rooms). The masons have been working mostly outside on the front of the house and on the end wall. Also the charpente and couverte (carpentry and roofing) guys were here to install 2 new velux windows in the roof for the downstairs bathroom and utility room, along with the roof vents for the drainage decompression and air extraction.

New Velux Front of House
End Wall Enduit started VMC

Week 10. This week the masons have been onsite everyday. The main work this week was continuing (and completing) the first, or undercoat, of the rendering (enduit), which was started the previous Friday. This is the coat that provides a barrier to stop water getting through to the block wall (parpaings). Finishing touches also to the new stonework on the front of the house and replacing the downpipes. The drains have now been connected to the fosse and the base for the curved step in the great room has been concreted. On Friday some contractors from ERDF (electricity supply company) arrived to put in the boxes ready for the new supply cable - another digger and another trench! This one will be left open until the cables are installed.

Great Room Enduit End Wall Enduit
Great Room Steps Another Digger
Electricity Boxes Drains

Week 11. A slightly different week. Four different activities took place. The week commenced with the sablage (sand blasting) of the woodwork in the winter salon, resulting in dark volcanic sand everywhere! Apparently it is really good for keeping the weeds down around roses. Following this a digger arrived and the trench for the new electricity supply and telephone cables from the front gates to the end of the house was dug, the pipes laid and then filled in. Upstairs the work was done to raise the lintel of the doorway between the two halves of the house. Finally, outside around a dozen lorry loads of rubble, soil, and other "spoil" was removed from the back of the property. This will become a private garden for us, but it needs some imagination at the moment!

Sablage Great Room Steps
Another Digger Gardens

Week 12. On Monday, early, the plasterers arrived to start work on... yes ... you've guessed it - the plastering! They have started on the upstairs and in four days have essentially insulated and fitted plasterboard to make the ceiling and roof lining of the upstairs. There are some bits that they could not do, for example the window for the second bathrooom has not yet been waterproofed with silicone so the plasterboard cannot yet be fixed around it. The masons have been here too - doing some work on the fireplace - hearth - in the winter salon. The old tuffeau blocks which were "dead" (passed their sell by date) have been replaced and the base for the hearth laid. Also the guys from ERDF have been here fitting the cable from the top of the telegraph pole to the "coffre" by the gates.

Winter Salon New Tuffeau Winter Salon Hearth
Insulation Upstairs Plaster Upstairs

Week 13. The weather turned extremely cold this week (-11 at night and only just making it above freezing - in the sun - by day). It snowed all day on Monday, leaving several centimetres, most of which is still lying six days later. By Wednesday it was too cold for plaster or any other mix to set. Despite that the first three days of the week saw the upstairs bedrooms take shape as the internal doors had been delivered. Also the external doors and shutters were fitted - so we are almost weather tight; however the eagle eyed will be able to see that there is still a gap at the bottom of the doors. It may have been as a result of there being no heating in the house that there was no alternative for the plasterers but to go off to do another job (presumably in a heated environment); so we have not seen anybody since Wednesday. In lieu of work progressing on the main renovation we started work on the hangar - which has been in need of a reclad for some time (quite possibly in excess of 15 years). We started on the wall that faces the road and gets the morning sun. It looks much better - if a little bright and new at the moment - but it will mellow as time goes by.

External doors Winter Salon Hearth
Insulation Upstairs Plaster Upstairs