Working in the summer heat

It has been a long time since I wrote about our activities, we simply had a lot of work and no energy at the end of the day to write about what we did, just few minutes for some photographs we could spare.

Well, we did a lot:

  • all necessary beams had been replaced (24!), all new most of old one’s are sandpapered and treated
    Cleaning and painting timber beams
  • all floors had been made (rafters replaced, paved with our lime-hemp-plaster-sand mixture)
  • we built the structure for the upper apartment, a 76 sq.m place with an 24sq.m attic, including electricity and water supply
    tweeting ;-)Attic
  • built in the upper new staircase
    The last step
  • Finally, we started painting the ceilings and plastering the walls with lime & pigments in the upper apartment, the attic is nearly finished.

and we learned a lot:

  • about the successful lobbying of those involved in providing electricity and appropriate materials by setting up rules which partly makes no sense (e.g. a socket for fixed telephones and TV in the main bedroom or a 2.5 m² single line for a 400 W air dome), not to speak of the disallowance of IP-driven sockets and LED light bulbs because you need to install the old system too.
  • that, when we want to shift the main electrical meter just 30 cm we have to pay the renewal of the electrical infrastructure outside as the cable is too old and not safe enough anymore (but we could use it further if we wouldn’t change anything!)
  • that we need a permission when we want to re-plaster our facade (which was not the case when we did it on our office three years ago). This was lot of paperwork but at least, we got a permission, with very detailed descriptions of the materials to be used which is good to know but I got the feeling that there might apply different rules for Fitounaises 😉
  • about the cultural differences in living habits, which results in skipping our idea to build a utility room as French people don’t like to use a washing machine commonly

We got a lot of help and advice from friends and neighbors, who helped us to find through the jungle of rules and restrictions and encouraged us to go on with our work. And, despite of the widespread practice in renting flats with as many rooms as possible, we kept our idea not splitting the space of each apartment in several small 9 sq.m rooms but having one bedroom, a bathroom, an open kitchen and a spacious living room.
We are sure there are some people who like this concept.

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Christine Graf

 

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