And Another Difficult Week, With Lots More Done.

The week started with the fitting of the 2 enormous windows both sides of the lounge, weighing over 450 kilograms each!!
Wonderful to watch but a bit frightening at the same time.
The first one had to pass through one window & be taken across the lounge to be fitted, a procedure which was time consuming & very hard work for the team. Coffee & croisants/chocos all round seemed to help before the 2nd one went in. This one was marginally easier as the delivery wagon had a fancy bit of kit (huge suckers) which could hold the window until the team lifted into place thus making life a lot easier.
Unfortunately delivery of all the white goods & the oven for the kitchen/utility room, plus the TV on the same day was to say the least unfortunate!
Here’s the photos. Wish that we could post the videos which really show how it was done.

There’s been lots of progress with the kitchen, the lights, the heat pump, the water softener, our wardrobes, bathrooms, the stove (to be revealed next week) & the lights.


And now the news.
There is one problem with the polished concrete floors to resolve & we’re working on it.
Otherwise we have insisted that the entire project be finished for the 21st December when it can then be handed over to us.
We need some days of no frost & no rain to allow the team to organise the external groundworks & levels + finish the terracing, paths & parking etc & last but not least to install the gates. It looks as though the temperature at night should be fine but they may have to work around the odd shower.
Assuming now that all goes well it will be Louise’s birthday present & our Christmas present.
We just can’t wait!! Our move will be next year but for once January will pass very quickly!

An Interesting Week!!

The playroom bar/kitchen after delivery & then after being installed. Looking good.

Here’s the main kitchen after delivery & then after partial fitting.
Measurements for the granite tops have been done & they will take another 15 days to arrive!!

All the internal doors have been painted & are ready to be fitted.

The woodburning stove arrived early in the week but there are missing parts & one part is scratched. When will the missing bits arrive?

The extraction unit for the kitchen didn’t even arrive on site . The fitter telephoned to say that when he unpacked it before setting out it was missing an important part. That has now been ordered from Italy & will arrive when? At least we’ve had a message to say that it is en-route.

All the external blinds need to be fitted. At least they are on site & fitting is due to happen this coming week.

The TV unit has been built & is on site. It now needs wiring, installing & painting before the TV can be fitted.

All the comms are ready to be installed. This will be the hub of the house. Unfortunately we have no telecoms into the site & awful mobile coverage. Orange are trying hard to help us (not). There’s ducting to put under the road from the pole (5 metres total) at an astonishing price. We’ve already got all the ducting on our land into the “control room”. If only we could find out when it will be done.

We’re in the middle of moving from a contract for building site electricity to a contract for domestic electricity. This has taken some doing but at least the upgrade of power is programmed for tomorrow (Mon) afternoon.
SDET, Enedis & EDF are trying their very best not to help. Our electricians are great, but even they can’t do very much about it. The following stage is when the main fuse board becomes home to the vital trip switches & our permanent meter. We await phone calls to tell us when this will be done.

The areas at the sides of the house are now being back filled so that all of the entry points into the house do not involve any changes of level.

Just about all the piles of spoil have been used to do this all around the house & we have the scenic views back to the north.

No doubt you can see that there’s a common theme emerging here. Lots of things still to do & not enough time for them to be done before the projected handover date of 8/12.
It has been very obvious to us for some time that moving in before Christmas would be very unlikely.
In addition to the foregoing, the heat pump won’t be fully installed & tested until the 12/12 + the shower doors are missing, & so it goes on.

It’s been a difficult week & amazingly we have achieved a lot but in the end we’ve decided that there are enough other things going on in our lives that we need to concentrate on without trying to manage this as well. Whilst the 3 architects are not entirely responsible as some contractors have let them down, it is difficult to understand how we’ve arrived at this point. We’ve asked them to get the whole project finished before we can even think of moving in.

We’ve got Louise’s entretien/interview for French nationality in a week’s time, her birthday the week after, Christmas follows on & her replacement knee operation programmed for early Feb.

At least we can start to plan our lives for the next few weeks whilst our architects sort this out. Thankfully our landlords are happy for us to stay a bit longer.

But the pressure stays on!!!

Nothing New To See

Basically all the internal lime finishes & water proofing have been finished by Abigail & her final bill is paid.
The painter has to finish off the internal walls & ceilings.
The tilers have started tiling the showers & our toilet area but all to finish this coming week. Good to see the tiles up & we are happy with our choice. You never know!!

Some more electrics are in & the garage is completely finished. It just needs the shelving/racking to be fitted plus, of course, the door!

All the internal floors are completely polished & finished & have to dry over the weekend. They must now be seriously protected by everyone who goes in.
The 2 terrace floors & the garage are both finished as well.
This started on Wednesday & since then no-one other than the floor team was allowed inside the building or on the 2 terraces.

Because of this there’s no photos of the interior this week.
We’ll be the first in on Monday to see how it looks.

We’ve now got 9 working days to get everything installed.
Kitchens, cloakrooms, cupboards, bathrooms, etc etc. The carpenters will be there on Mon. We have some deliveries organised for Tues & Wed & the kitchen/bar area drawers, cupboards & surfaces will be installed Thur.
All the comms are up in the air with Orange suddenly trying to sort them out. We need a trench under the road (quel surprise!!) but we could be moving without comms! We first gave Orange all the info in March 2023 & they finally decided to act last week after much pushing & prompting & swearing from us.
Will we won’t we?? Everything crossed.

We’ve had awful weather – fog, rain, freezing fog, heavy frosts & glorious days.
This what it looked like this morning.

What will it look like on Monday?

Progress, but little to see

The ducting for all the services from the road, water, drains, electrics & comms, to the house is all done. It was a deep trench but there is nothing to see now.

We’re trying to protect the interior now from muddy footprints etc.

The 2 outside terraces & the garage floor have now had the last layer of concrete poured + their first treatment. The flooring company is returning at the end of this week to give all the floors the polished effect—the final treatment! Both inside & outside will be completely closed to everyone until Monday of next week.

But then it will get really busy as the carpenters move in to install the kitchens, wardrobes, a TV unit, cupboards in the halls, bathroom units etc. The plumbers will then follow through with the fittings. Some have started but not too much at this stage.

And all the outside drainage, parking, drives & pathways etc should be starting this week.

Last Saturday we had the Tarn equivalent of the Beaujolais wine race, the Gaillac Primeur tasting tour.
20 of us left Vaour at 11.30am Saturday in 2 minibuses & returned at midnight. We visited 4 vineyards for tastings, with plenty of oysters, lots of singing & dancing, drum parades & general great humour. We finished at Larroque with a meal accompanied by “Vide Grenier” playing a great 3 hour session from a truly French playlist.
Both the guitarists/singers are from Vaour, which always helps.
Those of you at my 70th birthday may remember them opening the soirĂ©e. The difference from then to now is amazing. They really had the place jumping. We were so busy that we forgot to take pictures there. These are from earlier in the day. (This site won’t let us post videos, sorry)

What a Week

We were in Albi all day Monday & when we passed by the site on our way home it didn’t look as though much had changed. This was somewhat worrying since the handover date to us is Friday 8th December.
We had lots of questions for the architects & organised a meeting on site Weds. They were in agreement that there should be much more activity. By Friday’s site meeting everything had changed, all the artisans were on site & working. We’ve never had such a crowd before!

The floor is in & drying & everyone should be wearing clean footwear inside, the downside being that, as the photos show it’s mostly been followed, but not entirely. In this weather it’s not easy but…so we now have reminder notices at all points of entry & we’ve banned smoking inside the house as well.

When the floor company comes to apply the final polished finish it will be interesting to find out what they think. That is programmed for 23/24 Nov, when the house will be totally closed for those 2 days + the weekend to let it dry completely.

After that it will be all systems go to fit the kitchen, wardrobes, TV unit etc etc. There will be only 2 weeks after that before handover!

BUT there has been lots of progress this week after the slow start.

Firstly the leak has been fixed & tested.

The floor. It will look similar to this but will be sealed & polished.

The fuse board is coming on.

The heat pump & underfloor heating is coming on. (There’s a temporary fix testing all the pressures & slowly increasing the heat to aid the drying of the floor)

The plumbing of the bathrooms has started.

The internal wood finishes around all the windows are well underway.

The ceiling & wall painting is underway & the final finishes on the internal stucco walls will be started tomorrow.

The external render on the terraces is being done & the garage walls are done.

All the stone cladding is at long last finished.

The Friday site meeting was hectic, with all the workers on site, plus all the heads of the companies, plus 3 architects & us two.

The ducting from the road to the house for water, electricity, sewerage & telephony is started.

It also needs saying that we’re having really foul weather & working outside is no joke.
All the filling in around the house, the levelling for entry from the road to the garage, all the parking, all the drainage from the roof to the reservoir we’re putting in & the excess to the drains is all to do in these conditions!

And then there’s Louise’s “entretien”/interview for French nationality right in the middle of all of this!! It’s unlikely to be a quiet birthday for Louise, nor a quiet Christmas chez nous.
It seems that we’re really living up to something I said to Louise when we decided to get married.

“It’ll be many things, but it’ll never be boring”