February 2, 2015

FOSSE, FLOOR AND BOILER UPDATE

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.

new floor1

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!

new floor2

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!

new boiler

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 !!!

17 comments:

  1. Wow, so much going on! I'm glad for you to be getting things underway.

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    1. Judith, we are really pleased to get it all done early in the year. The sooner it's all finished the sooner we can get on with the rest of our lives.

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  2. Happy that your plan us beginning to come together. I might have said this to you before but three week may be frustrating but is nothing out of the rest of your lives.

    Tim said that the floor levelling that Alex is doing is tricky and time consuming. Great job!

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  3. P.S. The gates will be very useful!

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  4. Great news! I can understand your frustration (and/or relief) about not being there, but there will be plenty to occupy you once you are, I'm sure! Can't wait to see the improvements! And I agree, automatic gates will make your lives easier. :)

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  5. The work will have usefully filled a non-gardening gap for A&N. I do need to borrow them for a day sometime this month though :-)

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    1. Glad you want to borrow the other A&N for your gardening work ;-)

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  6. My congratulations to you for getting so much accomplished and for having such wonderful people to project manage for you until you can get back there yourselves. We have been looking into getting our fosse replaced -- which we must do before we could sell the property. Fortunately, we don't plan to do that for the foreseeable future! We have, however, had the local officials into the preliminary feasibility and now know what needs to be done. In the meantime, you sure do have your work cut out for you, but you've also got an excellent start.

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    1. Broad, it seems that the inspection of the fosse is the responsibility of the sellers and if it fails to pass the test the buyers have twelve months to get it sorted. Obviously there can be a negotiation in the price of the house as a result.

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  7. Snow this morning... noralotmeducks... but a layer.
    Our roofers are strugglin' on...
    but our driveway and garden are also in a reeet mess...
    tho' not as bad as your front garden was....
    but they have yet to go round the back with that destructive machine.

    However, the news for you is hopeful....
    the fivecast shows no rain and cold temperatures...
    a lot below freezing... for the next eight days...
    he might be able to get started!!
    And finish...?
    Keepin' digits crossed...

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    1. And thinking about Walt's remark on "plenty to keep you occupied"....
      when you gat to these dates next year, I fear...
      you will wonder where 2015 went to...
      it will have passed in a blur!

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    2. Tim, so many years have passed by in a blur that we feel like we'd like to get off the helter skelter and get our breath back!
      We're hoping that most of what we want to get done will be completed by mid summer, so that for the first time in as long as I can remember, we can sit back and just get on with our lives!

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  8. Forecast for the next 8 days is 0.0 millimetres of rain, so outdoor work should be possible fingers crossed - I have a lot of weeding to do. You'll bless that lime tree in the summer - ours is in virtually the same position and it keeps the house wonderfully cool. Plus it smells wonderful when it's in flower and it makes super honey. Don't let them cut too much off. [loud crowing outside, what is happening chickens? They just want their supper]. The other tree (near where the walnut was) looks very tidily done.

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    1. Pauline, (I guess this is you, not Tim!), we're hoping that the tree surgeon cuts enough off the top to make it less huge, enough off the bottom to let some light into the house, and leaves enough on to ieep the house cool when we need it. All of which may be a tall order but that was the brief and, not being present while it all happens, we have our fingers crossed!

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  9. I always enjoy hearing about your daily doings.

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  10. Good to hear that so many things are progressing well. Hope they get the lime tree cut back just the way you want it.

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  11. Glad to hear that so much progress is being made. Very encouraging for you.

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