Hi Bill (BillN)

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
Bill
Progress report - 3 beds and shower rooms now 90% finished - just waiting for the shower glass to arrive and will leave the final "snaggings" until later
Water, drainage etc., tested and good. Electrics in that part of the house 80% finished, have new "control box" which will be fitted when all electrics throughout the house are completed. We have a good "young" electrician who is doing really good work. The main man, a mate, is very good and my role is to provide an extra "pair of hands" - two people do, however, work a lot faster than one in this type of work, so I try to get involved as much as I can - plus I (we) have to identify what stuff we need and decide the order that things need to be done in

Now onto another part of the upstairs - 2 rooms which we will change to a bedroom and dressing room plus a bathroom that needs a complete refurb - this stuff is over where we are "living" part of the time, so we have to be a little careful not to get muck on my "wife's best antiques". First job is to improve the insulation as there isn't any in this part of the house and last night it was minus 6 degrees and never really rose above freezing during the day. This part of the house is "open to the roof" in part, with a mezzanine type corridor and a kind of gallery looking down on a living and dining area; there is no roof cavity, just roof tiles, joists and tongue and groove boarding. The only practical insulation material to use is this foil stuff, (maybe in the summer when we can get on the roof we can re lay the tiles ontop of some insulated roof boarding to give extra insolation - but this 22 layer stuff will make a big difference as it will keep the heat in in the winter and reflect it back in the summer when it gets into the high 30's) - as I said this foil stuff is very effective consisting of 22 layers of foil and other materials. It will then be battened and covered with the normal type "plaster boarding" - electrics need a little tweaking but the plumbing is fine - new "wood" flooring will then be put down to match the rest of the upstairs - we are off back to the UK next week - so I don't reckon that this will be completed until near the end of the month as the bathroom will need re tiling, new loo, wash basins floor and shower sides

A few quick photos taken yesterday













My next (thinking), pre occupation is the heating system - current thoughts are a big wood burning stove with back boiler built into one of the walls in the hall - this will provide heat throughout one part, (the main), of the house together with (hot water) underfloor heating, in much of the house with a few "wet" radiators upstairs in the rooms that we use in winter - in the other bedrooms we will have background electric radiators and heated towel rails, (already fitted). There are a couple of good "underfloor heating kits" that you can buy and I will look at these next week when I am in the UK. Another wood burner in the (big) main living area should finish the job off. The underfloor heating pipes will be laid in polystyrene, after first putting a good sheet of reflective foil on what is there at the present time. The final covering in that part of the house will be wood flooring - at the present time all the ground floor is tiled - some really nice "old stuff" but some not too nice, (according to my wife!) more modern tiles - the old stuff, 50% of the floor, will be kept.

There is plenty of (burning) wood in this part of France, mainly oak, it is reasonably priced and a lot cheaper than oil or electricity. We also have plenty of wood on the land at the front of the house - the only problem is keeping the chain saw sharp and myself fit.

That's it for now, folks, must get down to Ikea, (units for the utility room - I've not mentioned that), and LeRoy Merlin for a couple of doors and other stuff
 

BBW

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
Bill, many thanks for your update. I am awfully tired just thinking about it all but very impressed!

We have a wood burning stove that vents through our fireplace and we also use a ceiling fan to help with moving the air. Due to its location in our house, it really works extremely well. They're great to have but they do create dust - even the most up-to-date ones. However, they are incredibly dependable and when the power goes out ,they're a saving grace!
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
Bill
Bill, many thanks for your update. I am awfully tired just thinking about it all but very impressed!

We have a wood burning stove that vents through our fireplace and we also use a ceiling fan to help with moving the air. Due to its location in our house, it really works extremely well. They're great to have but they do create dust - even the most up-to-date ones. However, they are incredibly dependable and when the power goes out ,they're a saving grace!
Thanks for your comments - it's a task but an interesting one - and I enjoy doing it

Hi BB - thanks - it's not too bad - very interesting and as we now live here permanently it just has to be done. The only real way that it is affordable is too do it this way, i.e. I get involved and do as much as I am able to. Materials are quite expensive in France, but it's a DIY country, especially in the countryside, so everything is available for the DIY enthusiast. Sales tax in Europe, (VAT/TVA), is around 20% so that adds to the cost.

Heating - We've considered all possibilities, oil,electric, wood pellet burner, etc., etc. We have a wood burning, (open), stove at the present time that heats part of the house.
The one that I am thinking off fits flush in the wall, backing into an existing small chimney. It is closed with a large glass front. It will have a water jacket and heat the water for the underfloor water pipes that we will put in a couple of the main rooms and the hallway. It will also drive a few traditional radiators upstairs and we will "zone' the system so that it can be turned off in maybe three places. The rear of the stove will be accessible in another room so that we can get to all the bits and pieces.
The existing stove is in a large chimney - we will replace this with a better one - but the chimney needs a good sweep and sort out - we put just one metal tube and outlet in this chimney when we fitted the stove but never bought a fan etc., so maybe when we get round to sort that part out we will give the warm air idea a go - thanks.

I'm hoping to get most of the work done in the next three months - the upstairs will be finished by the end of this month and hopefully the heating system/underfloor stuff will take another month max. The utility room is on it's way and then there will just be the "cave" to insulate and sort plus a few more "jobs". The outside is reasonably sound but I need to get a good "roofer" to take off and replace, as necessary, the roof tiles, hopefully in the summer.
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
Bill
We will have a BBQ party next May !?
I know that the "Dutch" take their holidays early so that they can get back to Holland to enjoy the good June/July/August weather, (!), there - but make it July or August when we can guarantee the "weather" and it's a deal - it fact in the past we always had a big summer party "Toni en fete" for our friends - drinking most of the day, roasting a pig, (i know that's it's not PC these days - cruel) and then "crashing" until the following morning.

We have plenty of space and the French summers are great

PS - my BBQ skills are second to none!!!!!

(PPS - Herman - but if you are near us in May - no problem - just give me some notice and I'll put the pils on ice - you are welcome)
 

Herman

The Image Stimulator
Jul 11, 2010
The Netherlands
Herman
Hi Bill, thanks for the invitation to get BBQ-ed.
We got good weather, tomorrow plus 10C, with sunshine, wow, yippee I'm happy !
How's weather in "down under Europe" ?
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
Bill
Hi Bill, thanks for the invitation to get BBQ-ed.
We got good weather, tomorrow plus 10C, with sunshine, wow, yippee I'm happy !
How's weather in "down under Europe" ?
Hi Herman - a lot warmer today - maybe beat your 10 as I saw 12 degrees on the car temp indicator whilst I was driving out to "the country" - slight rain but nothing really

- off to London tomorrow - it is forecast to rain "on and off" for 4 or 5 days - good old English weather
 

AzPete

Veteran
Dec 24, 2010
Bill old boy, if I pay for your airfare will you help me with my new addition?
You need to be enjoying life, not working so hard in your prime age. But some
consider this a joy to do, even at the twlight years.

Ha Ha...take care ole man,
Cheers,
Pete
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
Bill
Thanks Pete - I enjoy this sort of stuff - after the house I have a couple of Barns to have a go at plus another place that I want to convert into two "gites" - (holiday cottages) - to earn an "old man" some money in his retirement - BUT Spring will soon be here and my wife will then kick me out each morning to "do the garden" or at least she will try!!!!!

Herman - I always have access to keep an eye on you lot - plus I'm collecting a 35mm Leica lens that was delivered to my daughter, (I don't trust the french postal service), it is a 6 bit coded lens - a modern Summarit 35mm f2.5 - they are supposed to be good - I'll try anything to try to improve - well maybe it won't do me much good photo wise - but I will feel better

I think I hear a glass of white wine arriving ............
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Aug 25, 2010
S W France
Bill
Bill, a glass of beer has arrived with me...cheers mate !
Herman - I had a couple of "les pression" last night at the local pizza place - first time beer has "touched my lips" for a few weeks - the barman was "out of his mind" - not sure if it was beer or the other!!!
 

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