The new fosse passed its inspection and the final certificate has arrived to say we can use it. Hoorah !!!!
The remaining outside groundwork has been held up by the wet weather. Fréderic the contractor has not yet been able to dig the trench we asked for to put in the electricity supply to serve electric gates and some lighting by the entrance. (Both of which will make life much easier than fumbling in the dark with a torch to open the padlock that currently keeps the gate closed.) Nor has he been able to scrape up what’s left of the scrappy gravel on the drive in order to renew it and make us a new drive. All of this work requires a dry spell long enough to get it started and finished in one go. The forecast looks promising for the next few days so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
The unfriendly weather that has worked against us for the outside work has done us a favour in terms of the inside work, meaning that Alex has has to abandon gardening and been able to get on with the job of levelling the sloping floor in the “room that has no name”.
He measured the slope and noted a fall of 14.5cm across the room. That’s nearly six inches! No wonder we found it difficult to sit up straight on a chair!
Basically he is putting a new floor on top of the old one, building slats for it to sit on. The slats taper from the high end to the low end in order to produce the correct level. This will produce a step out of the room onto the landing, but as there is already a matching step into the room at the other end of the landing this is hardly a problem. Not as much of a problem as not being able to put any furniture in the room without huge chocks under it anyway!
Thanks to Nicole’s persuasive efforts the boiler man finally turned up and fitted the new boiler, which is up and running, keeping the temperature in the house above freezing while we’re still here in the UK. He turned off the radiators that leak, which is probably about half of them, but there’s enough of them working for now and we’ll sort the rest when we get back chez nous. We intend to replace all the older radiators but not until the weather is warm enough for us not to need them!
Other news is that the tree surgeon, having already removed the walnut tree, is coming back this week to reduce the massive lime tree and remove some other self-setting trees along the boundary.
Last but not least, Alex and Nicole have managed to persuade a reliable local builder to dig up and replace the kitchen floor as well as clean and redo the stonework in the kitchen walls and raise the lintel and height of the door into the utility room – the buanderie – the one that Nick bangs his head on every other time he goes through it! The devis for the work arrived today, which is really good news, as the new kitchen can’t be installed until the floor is done (nor the new staircase).
It’s so frustrating that all this is happening while we sit here in Derbyshire waiting for news and photos of the work, but realistically it would have been no fun at all being in residence while it was all going on. We are so lucky to have Alex and Nicole to take care of the project management for us, to chase up and meet with the contractors and tradesmen and make sure everything is going to plan.
So, it’s all coming together at last. We won’t return to the house until the drive is finished as it’s all just too muddy and unmanageable at the moment. We will therefore be two or three weeks later than we hoped/expected, but it will be worth the wait. And by then, spring will surely be just around the corner. Hoorah for that too !!!