House Renovation – Floor, windows and wall

2018-07-15 house renovation wall window floor

I know, I know. I just posted an update about our house renovation progress (all about getting new beams and what to do with the original ones). But as I have been in the south of France for longer than usual, there is more that has happened in the house that I’d like to document and share.

It is not an awful lot. After all, it’s only been a week and it is hot and the beach calls us from time to time. If you watched last week’s video or read the post, we (a.k.a not me, I don’t have that kind of upper body strength) inserted new beams (in French they’re called bastaing). After inserting new beams where the future second bedroom will be, Hagen was then able to add rafters (in French chevrons, if that helps) on which he then screwed wooden planks, which serve as the basis for the floor. In case anyone is interested, the sizes used for the chevron (rafter) is 63mm x 75mm, for the wooden planks is 25mm x 150mm and the wood is spruce.

Bedroom 2 floor

Bedroom 2 floor

Since the house and our neighbour’s used to be one house and the separation wall is too thin, we built a wall from the ground up for a proper separation and also structural support. The wall has not yet been built all the way to the top, as we have floors missing and it is simply easier, if you can stand on something whilst mixing mortar and piling bricks on top of one another.

Bedroom 2 wall

In order to continue building the wall on the second floor, my mum and I built a concrete foundation first made from a gravel, cement and sand mixture enforced with iron rods. Since my mum is much better at making a wall straight, I was tasked to mix the mortar in a bucket almost the size of a bathtub. I think I am getting better and better getting the mixture right quicker, not to thick and not too thin.

We’re also getting to a stage where we need to figure out what entrance door and windows we want. Unfortunately, none of the originals are in a good condition to keep, so everything has to be replaced. Experiencing the quality of doors and windows when renovating other houses, we realised that it would be better to get the windows in Germany or maybe from a Polish vendor conforming to German quality standards. It’s a bit annoying, but you can definitely tell that they last longer, need less maintenance and are just generally easier to handle in hot weather conditions. For the entrance door, we found a company in Perpignan called Verdié that make nice and new doors with good quality.

Windows collage

House Renovation – New Beams

2018-07-08 house renovation new beams

I spontaneously decided to fly to the south of France for a couple of weeks before our big travels. It wasn’t necessarily to work on our house and continue with the renovations, but more a mix of helping in my parents’ garden cause it still needs a lot of work, to go to the beach and get accustomed to scorching heat and sun (though London isn’t lacking in that department at the moment) and maybe, maybe, work a little on the house or do research to take some decisions.

As it turns out, we are working a bit on the house because my parents’ plan changed a little after their recent vacation to the UK. So, the last couple of days we’ve been adding new beams to help support the future floors, walls and staircase. Some of the original beams are a bit rotten, need cleaning and treating but we can’t take them out as they are shared across the neighbouring house.

So I didn’t actually do much with the beams that you can see in the video below. It was mostly my expert team of two who handled the heavy lifting and clusters of dusts. I was happily cleaning iron beams in the cellar. That entailed me filing off loose rust, handling a very heavy and large ladder back and forth (it’s all about that core!) and painting it with an anti-rust treatment. They all look very neat and shiny now.

House renovation – floors, walls and lots of planning

Last week we continued our adventure of renovating our house in the south of France. Not to worry, there hasn’t been a standstill since last time we were there – my parents have done A LOT!

As we’re going on another adventure in a few months, there was a lot of planning this time around. My husband and I already spent a couple of hours drawing up our ideas but it’s nothing like being in the space that’s being transformed to see if it actually makes sense.

We talked types of flooring, thickness of said flooring and how it could fit all together (pro tip: best is if the different materials reach the same thickness on the same floor, otherwise you get weird transitions and such. We’re still working on that!), sockets and light switches, types of light switches for the staircase, doors and windows and more flooring.

I also continued plastering the wall, but had to unfortunately leave it to the trained professional after one day cause my wrist wasn’t willing anymore. Instead I helped out here and there, did some weightlifting in the form of beams and floor boards and fixed an extension cord.

I have to say, once the floors are starting to be there, it all seems a bit more like a home. I can’t wait until all the walls are in and I can paint the bathroom.

Last Monday, there was a small flea market were everyone empties their attics and tries to circulate mostly strange things by selling them to other people in the village. It just so happened that we found the first frame for our living room wall. Maybe my mum is gonna paint me something. On that note, I think she needs to paint more than one painting for our house according to the video below. (Thanks ma!)

Side note, I did the video entirely on my iPad to test how I’d get on during travels. It took forever and I have still a few things to figure out.

Sunday musings on house prices in London

Wandering in Guggenheim

It’s become a little tradition that on Sundays, my husband and I go to our nearby park, get a cup of coffee and go for a walk. We talk about various things, do a bit of people and dog watching and generally just enjoy the fresh air.

One of today’s musings was about house prices in London. After our travels to south east Asia, we’re thinking of where to come back to and whether we’re going to buy a house in the UK, a.k.a. London or surroundings.

House renovation – more cement floor and plastering walls

house renovation filling a hole

It has been quite a while since I shared an update of our house renovations. The last time I wrote about what we got up to we started with the cement floor in the cellar. Since then, my parents have removed an asbestos pipe and put in a new waste water pipe, removed a concrete pillar and replaced it with a wooden pillar, added a water connection and continued with the concrete floor until the beginning of the staircase to the upper floor.