Monday, April 6, 2009

What a difference

Yesterday here in southern Ontario it was a truly gorgeous spring day, sunny all day long.  GWE is home for the weekend and we spent the entire afternoon sitting on the deck soaking up, if we're truthful, a bit too much sun, but it was hard to resist as it has been many months since we have been able to do so.  He was happy reading and I was crocheting and resisting the temptation to get my hands dirty.  Then in the evening it was over to daughter and son-in-law's for dinner, a lovely Sunday.  This morning we have woken up to the wild winds and rain (monsoon-like) that we experienced on Friday. What crazy spring weather.

I am glad to report that son and girlfriend are now the happy owners of heat AND hot water, what is the world coming to :)  They also picked up the van which meant they could return the rental car.  They had some friends drive over from Austria for a couple of days, (they had given them fair warning of the amenities) and they were sleeping in sleeping bags on cardboard....I guess you have to be young.  They were having a bonfire and cooking steaks when I spoke to them so I guess everyone was having a pretty good time.  The only hiccup in the new facilities is that they cannot have the hot water tank plugged in during the day when they want to use other electrical appliances so have to remember to turn everything else off before they go to bed and plug in the water heater.  The electrics in their current state just aren't up to it!  

The builder who installed the new hot water tank brought over some "junk" he was throwing away; some plastic lawn chairs, a barbeque and an "ugly" but much appreciated brass bed frame for which they will purchase a mattress, so that was very good of him.  A nice bit of recycling.

Also they have had a couple of devis in, one for re-wiring which seemed quite high considering the current size of the property (3700+ euros), one for plumbing in the bathroom, which includes taking up the floor relaying the waste pipes in order to connect to mains drainage and all other first fix plumbing to make it a shower room and re-connect the toilet (approx 2000 euros), this one has son doing a lot of the digging labour and doesn't see that unreasonable and a third one for just relaying the waste and connecting to mains drainage (500 euros).  Son is going to get a couple more so no decisions are being made yet.

While GWE was home this weekend, we took another look at our original plans for the house, and we have decided we won't draw up anything definitive for the barn end of the renovation, apart from installing the floor, until we are on site and can actually stand in the space. For now we will concentrate on making the house truly habitable and start on the attic of the house, which will eventually be our bedroom with en suite and walk in closet.  There are lots of things son can be doing in the meantime; sandblasting the varnish off all the beams, taking down the kitchen ceiling to expose the rafters, insulating under the kitchen floor, getting estimates for building and installing a staircase to the attic, repairing and sanding the oak floor boards in the kitchen, stripping walls and painting and of course, when the bathroom is plumbed, decorating that room.  I think that list should keep them out of mischief, depending on how long they continue to enjoy the quiet life in Limousin.  If they just stayed until the bathroom was complete and we had the phone line installed they would have done us a big favour, so anything on top of that is gravy.


dND said...


Not sure on relative sizes of property etc but to give you an idea I had my place surface rewired (cheaper) last year and that cost over €10,000. Switches etc here are more expensive than in the UK along with lots of the other bits and pieces.

I had a kitchen, lounge/diner, bedroom, study, 2 store rooms and the barn wired plus a couple of outside lights (PIR type). This also included a new consumer unit and was all to French standards. There are a few pictures in the blog around March 2008

So the quote is probably OK but I would get another two just to be sure and put your mind at rest.

Thanks again for you comments on my blog - I'm really quite lazy, I could get loads more done but somehow I just seem to get distracted by everything going on round here. Do come and visit when you have some free time over here.

All the best,

Elizabethd said...

Your devis doesnt sound too bad. You should be getting TVA at 5.5% if it is an old property.

Maggie May said...

You will have to watch out or else the property will be taken over! LOL
Sounds like they are doing a good job looking after things.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Wow what a list of tasks to do! Like you say though, anything he can do has got to be a bonus and what a great experience for him living there for a while. How great to see all of that investment into the kids coming back at you at last eh?!

aims said...

You're going to owe him big time when he's done. Or is he staying once you move in?

What a difference it will be SITH to move from Canadian luxuries to a life in France. How different it all is!

What an adventure! I say follow your dreams - you only live once.

softinthehead said...

Deborah and Elizabeth, that's really helpful - thanks

Maggie - I know what you mean!

MOB - yes payback is good :)

softinthehead said...

aims - like I told him, the ruin is vacant !! Yes it is great they are having a good time but that is MY dream they are living :) It will be a very different lifestyle, that is what is so appealing.

The Gossamer Woman said...

Son is doing a fantastic job so far. I think he is being a great help to you. He has accomplished a lot in a short time. I think anything he can do for you is a bonus, lets hope you get many of them before he looses courage.

dND said...

Something else passed my mind this afternoon. Make sure you get a tow-bar on the van. Living here you very quickly realise why all the French have a trailer. I was at the local brico and saw their delivery prices. For 15km or less, ie minimum charge, it was 39€!!

I bought a small trailer when I was first here - I'd never towed before so was nervous. Now I wish I'd bought a much bigger one, one with the bar at the front that allows you to transport long pieces of wood.

Mean Mom said...

It all sounds very exciting! How great that your son and his girlfriend are getting such a lot of stuff sorted out. Less of a headache for you!