I can’t really talk about all the work we are having done without making mention of the man who is doing most of it.
Rik Verheyen is an established Belgian engineer who is, these days, specialising in loft conversions and roof insulations. Rik who, in his spare time, is a committed and accomplished cellist, has taken on board not only the full range of work we have asked for, but also the project management aspect of the thing, locating and co-ordinating all of the specialist trades.
Thanks, Rik – you are appreciated.
Having removed a lot of fences placed by the previous owner to keep his various animals enclosed, we placed fencing such that the dogs could have full run of the just short of an acre of land that came with the house. Unfortunately, if they wander out of the front door, there are two very easy ways out.
To combat this and to improve the look of the property we have planned in a fence with a pedestrian gate along the side, and a pair of vehicle gates in the main entrance.
The current situation is that the posts are in their concrete bases, which are hardening off to full strength. The side fence and gate should be placed in a couple of days, the main gates – much heavier – will be placed a bit later.
The sunsets that we enjoy to the west of the house are incredible. As luck would have it there is a piece of land to the west of the house that is effectively unusable, but that lends itself well to the placement of a decking area.
The final dimensions of the decking will be 4 metres along the wall and 6 metres out into the western world – a total of 240 square feet. The ideal place to watch the sun go down and, we hope, ready by next Easter.
Keep checking for more news.
Never mind admiring the cars or their snazzy French number plates, look at the dreadful exposed blocks behind. A major part of what we wanted to do and which is, at the time of writing this, over 80% complete, is improving some of the outside appearance.
The rendering has been done on this front part and on two similar parts on the side and rear of the house. Final colour coat will be applied tomorrow. The big sliding door has been re-treated and all the front-facing shutters have been repainted (thanks Miranda and Dave). A satellite dish has been fitted on the side of the house (thanks Andy and Anne) and replaced with a more advanced one (thanks Wendy and Phil).
When we moved into the house in June, we identified a number of things that we wanted to do (and could afford). Much has been done already, so I’ll try to go quickly through them.
1. Bathrooms. We started with one bathroom off the kitchen, and a toilet on the first floor. Our immediate plan was to split the converted loft into two rooms, a study and bedroom, and to build an extension for an ensuite facility – this to be above the existing extension into the barn, which gives part of the kitchen and bathroom on the ground floor and the master bedroom on the first floor. We ended up not doing that, as the size and shape on the top floor wasn’t really suitable – instead we had the bedroom, whose extension covered only about 70% of the first floor extension, further extended to give a bathroom and dressing room/wardrobe. This work is well under way. The building work is complete, we have laid flooring and painted the walls and ceilings. The between room is fitted out (see photo).
Electrics are due to be completed sometime in December, the plumbing work should be substantially completed within a few days, and the final step, door and steps from the bedroom, will happen either late in December or in January. At the same time, a shower cabinet is being fitted in the first floor toilet.