Friday, 30 March 2018


We've just come out of a meeting with 'L'Architecte des Batiments de France' in Tulle to discuss our new windows and doors. The Mairie is happy with them, we have to use wood replacements and they have to be in the same style but as were going to do this anyway it wasn't a problem.

But there was an issue which we just weren't expecting - the colour. On the existing house and barn all woodwork is white, and we were expecting to keep it. But oh no! Even though that is how it has always been it now has to be either cream or a grey-cream. Not only that but we even have a specific RAL number to use (RAL9001), all because we live within 500 metres of an historic building (actually three of them). And woe betide us if our window sills are more than three centimetres wide.

Easter feasting
She then mentioned the mortar that we were using, the Mairie had specified beige, yep another set colour. We said that was fine, but she said it did not appear in our 'dossier' or planning application. When I said that surely this was just maintenance not new work I got a slow, shaking of the head.  Apparently not, another dossier is needed. The good news is that she is quite happy with all that we are doing and that the signing off will be a formality, we can start getting quotes in.

Any wonder we headed straight to the patisserie for restorative cake!


  1. We had similar issues. Our neighbours all just did their own thing, irresoeirres of the rules.

  2. It can be frustrating can't it? We stopped mowing the lawn at noon today as it's a holiday and we can only use machinery outside between 10 & 12. walked Mortimer at 5 and someone in the middle of the village is mowing away!

  3. The controls of the Architecte de France are usually much less onerous than say Historic England or local authority conservation officers in UK councils. I spent decades making listed building and conservation applications in the UK and found that officers very often have their own specific agenda. The view is that the building owner is only a life tenant of a national treasure.

    1. Completely agree, I would never buy a listed building in England. I think the surprise for us was the original windows are white, as are most in the village, and we expected to remain the same. Also a large proportion of the much older buildings have metal or UPVC windows, whereas our 1920's can't. But we're happy with what it will look like, we can do what we like inside and it didn't cost anything to apply!. And done and dusted in a month.


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