- we do something more photogenic
- Andrew makes more progress and the photographs become obsolete
Anyway when I last left you we had drawn the electrical plans, had approval from our electrician and had a September deadline. This may not sound too onerous but it meant that all walls had to be built and plasterboarded, and cables pulled. Fine if that's all we did but Andrew does have paid employment as well.
The electrician delivered 100's of metres of cables and conduit (all French electrics have to be in conduit a.k.a ganne). Some is pre-filled with wire whereas others you fill yourself, depending on what your need is, we for example have an extraction system for the two bathrooms and kitchen so we have to 'bespoke' some conduit. At times it meant two people trying to thread wires through, often stretched from the house to the end of the garden. Everything has to be labelled and at times the barn looked like Dr. Who's Tardis. Actually it still does.
Another deadline was for the construction of a new external wall, the window company couldn't finalise the measurements until this was done. Regular readers will remember that we were removing the four glazed doors and replacing them with two large windows. The wall had to blend in with the existing building, both in colour, stone and style. Fortunately we have a large supply of granite in site but it was hard work. The stones had to brought up from the end of the garden and carefully selected, a little like a jigsaw puzzle. We started at 6 a.m each morning and had to stop and 11a.m. as the sun came round, it wasn't fun in 30 degrees. We still need to grout it but this will be done the same time as the other walls. Yet again I'm so impressed with Andrew's abilities. He has built brick walls before but never worked with stone, even local tradesmen have said he's done a good job.
Last week the stairs went in, a real milestone. We took advantage of a friend before they went back to the U.K as it was a three person job. We had purchased the stairs from Lapeyre and they had been sitting in the garage for a few months. They came in four parts (plus the hand rails) and the two Andrews even resorted to reading the instructions. It was a little nerve wracking as the stairwell hadn't been built when we ordered the stairs and we only had a few millimetres tolerance either side. But it fitted! There were a few tricky moments, they both had the staircase on their backs several times, I was queen of the Jenga blocks and at one point our car jack was brought into play.
Now Andrew is building the internal walls, we're using the French system of metal rails. It's quite fast although it takes a lot of planning. We are putting insulation on the external walls and then plaster boarding. The hope is that downstairs walls will be finished in about 10 - 14 days and then we can move upstairs, which will have it's own challenges. There are no internal walls but all the externals have to be framed out, insulated and plasterboarded. This includes one at about 5 metres plus the ceiling.
Progress has been so good that I am revisiting my concept board for the project as I'm starting to need to source finishes.
I promise more updates soon.