Blimey we are mad for it aren't we?
Renovating French Wrecks!
I mean seriously why? I do wonder!
After a lot of negotiation with Him in Doors, ours is finally getting going after nearly 5 years of procrastination. We don't live in it, I'm not that daft frankly! I know many of your are more intrepid and will happily live amongst the debris, but I have have a super sensitive immune system, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
Yesterday, he drove his little red lorry to the building merchants with a list of building supplies needed, not the big stuff, just the stuff that will eventually be hidden behind paint and tile! On his way he gave me a call and discussed the budget for this latest loot. 600 euros he felt.......the final bill was in fact 50% more at a whopping 1200 euros!
Building materials are certainly at a premium post Covid (won't bother mentioning the B word as no one else does) and worst still, this haul is only the materials for the kitchen walls through to the laundry! Eeeeeeeee! Anyway, we sat down last night and looked at the Reno budget and pretty much doubled it! Ouch!
''Buy a wreck in France he said........'repent at leisure' I replied!
That said, I stick by my want 'to do it properly' and not cover up problems as often seems to be the way here. Yes, we've lost period features in the process, but then not everyone wants to live in a draughty museum!
Things you shouldn't say to anyone knee deep in a bankrupting renovation:
"Oh you should save those period features, how could you?'
Oh buzz off!
Today, just a few days delayed because of the wind and rain, the first of the two very large feature windows are being taken away for restoration, exciting and expensive all at the same time. Over the next 4 months the carpenters will be very busy at our house, windows, doors, floors, the kitchen and an orangery. Lots to do. We figure the carpenters, electrician and of course general on going building and labour will scoff most of the new budget quite easily! The main house is currently 8 bedrooms but we are bringing it down to a manageable 5 beds by adding dressing rooms and bathrooms. Our planning permission also allows for an extension, pool and 2 bed barn renovation, but we have decided not to do any of that, still the potential is there for a buyer if needs be.
He works his normal job at the wreck whilst overseeing the project and sends me regular updates which rarely make sense. Also, he films like he's on a ship at sea and I often feel sick watching them! He's absolutely loving it, even though we aren't of 'the retired variety'§ and we can't really get too involved! I can absolutely see our next wreck being his domain and god help us all! Yes. I'm sure that there will be another off the cuff, regrettable purchase after this one. No we haven't learnt any lessons sadly and anyway as much as I'd love to buy something ready to go, I generally hate them! Also, not being funny, but agents in France describe home updates 20 years old as recent! No thanks. I'm definitely a kitchen person and so I'm putting my money where my mouth is with this one! Wish me luck!
A lot of our money has already disappeared into the floor beams, which you will never see, but that's the pain of renovating properly! Come spring more money will disappear in insulation and re pointing! There are a lot of unseen costs but these jobs need doing to ensure the house thrives for another 100 years. We are also turning the stone steps to the cellar around, which is a big job and also means the old cobbled patio has to go. I'm really okay with this and totally understand some renovators, think I'm a psychopath, because I have no issues replacing old with new! I happily accept the title and will raise you more horror stories soon!
Someone asked me yesterday, what my favourite part of the Reno will be and other than the for sale sign going up, I really couldn't think! Later, I realised making her all pretty again at the front, giving her 'kerb appeal' is what I'm most looking forward to! She has a grand old grey granite facade and it needs a bit of a clean. The window and door restorations will help and the Fugly garage will get its own little makeover. Some new down pipes and a nice name plate and the job is a good un, then I will ring the estate agent!
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