France seems a long way away right now, both in distance and time. But we did have a very productive week managing to organize quotes on various jobs which it would be great if we could get underway before we return, hopefully in late March. So the beams were done, the guy turned up right on time just as we were trying to seal up all the doors etc to avoid as much mess as possible. We could have saved ourselves the time and effort, believe me the mess and dust goes everywhere, was on every surface.
These are the beams in their original condition when we first saw the house, covered in a thick nasty varnish, but they are a beautiful shape, curved in the shape of the tree from which they were cut.
This is the mess you are left with once the sand blasting guy leaves. This stuff is copper slag, they don't actually use sand as it contains silica, which is believed to be a carcinogen. It was 2 to 3 inches deep across the entire room.
We didn't bother to cover up stuff in the kitchen believing the door and the taping would contain the dust. But no, if you click on the picture for a closer view you can see every item has had a dusting. No amount of wiping or mopping quite did the trick. We went out the next day and bought a vacuum cleaner and another industrial mop and things finally started to feel clean.
However we are very pleased with the result. We were worried that there had been some woodworm in the past but everyone we mention that to says its solid oak, try hammering a nail in! So I guess we don't have to worry. We are getting a devis to put insulation in, and board and plaster between the beams. They are about 7-8 inches deep at the moment and that will leave about 4+ inches exposed once the work is done. We have a definite feeling that things are moving on. We also spoke to a carpenter about making and installing a staircase again in oak. It is planned that the staircase will go from the door in the left hand picture above towards the left wall and then turn for three more steps and through to upstairs. The devis arrived this week and it is not far off what we expected considering he also has to open up the ceiling and do some work to cut and support the present beams.
Meanwhile back here in the real world, I am doing a real estate course designed to help me get business by referral rather than prospecting around to find clients. It is interesting but it is taking me outside my comfort zone.
Oh by the way........ if you are thinking of buying or selling a home, or you know of a friend or family member who is, just give me a call with their name and number and I will be happy to follow up. :)
Till next time....