When we first viewed the house in July last year, we loved the size of the living room, the height of the ceiling and the exposed beams. We noticed straight away that there were some dodgy taped joints in the ceiling that needed re-taping. In France it is common to have the joints in sheets of plasterboard taped over and lightly skimmed with plaster as a finish on walls and between beams on the ceiling before painting.
This picture shows the joins in the ceiling and also the poor state of the fireplace. Click to see in more detail.
After we moved in, more of the taping gradually started coming loose and looking a mess but we decided to ignore it until we were ready to decorate the room. When we actually arrived at that point we had so many projects already on the go that we decided to get a quote from a professional plasterer as it can be a fiddly and time consuming job. Not to mention our lack of skill in doing it properly and we wanted it to look right.
The plasterer came and looked and said yes, he could re-tape the joints but there wasn’t really much point because the ceiling wasn’t a ceiling, it was the floor of the bedroom above. The wooden floor panels, probably chipboard, had simply been painted underneath and the joints taped over to give the appearance of a ceiling. Walking on the floor above produced some flexing of the wood that would continue to cause any tape to come loose.
We were both amazed that this hadn’t dawned on us before, although it shouldn’t have been a surprise as in the other end of the house the “ceiling” is also just the underside of the floorboards of the upstairs rooms, painted.
So we decided to have a proper ceiling in the living room end of the house. It took a team of three (including a young woman) two long days to fix rails to the beams, attach plasterboard to the rails, tape the joints and skim over. We’re very pleased with the result. It feels right, no longer half a job, but proper.
All we have to do now is paint it!
It was this date, eight years ago, that we bought our house in the village. Today has been mild and sunny, yesterday was very warm, reaching 23°C in the afternoon. In 2007 it was perishing cold, barely getting above 10°C during the day and freezing at night. We had a miserable time trying to keep warm, although our excitement helped us to survive it.
It’s nice to have warm weather in November, although it doesn’t quite seem right somehow – but long may it last!