Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Max Headroom

Well after a small break I'm back in the saddle and the last remaining room is under construction. This will be what you might call the "Master" bedroom, which basically means the room above the salon. The room itself is about 5m x 6m so should make a pretty decent bedroom. This room has been hanging around now for a while waiting to be started, mainly due to reasons I wont go into here, but also because I wasn't sure how to do the ceiling structure. Originally on the architects plans the room was to be open to the roof, and the bedroom was a trendy box hanging in mid air. This looked great on paper but in practice would have been difficult to live with and ended up wasting a load of space. Accordingly there was not really any thought given over to the plans for a ceiling structure. Anyway to cut a very long story short I went into the local builders with a drawing of what I wanted to do. Normally this would have resulted in a few shrugs from the guys at the builders and little else. This time however as if by divine intervention it resulted in the chef himself popping round to my house, measuring up and specifying all the materials ET VIOLA! a plan in place.

The main ceiling joists were specified as 38mm x 228mm x 4.5m times 15 off. 13 of these to be cut as joists and the remaining 2 cut into two rows of noggins for lateral stability. The joists to be installed 400mm on centre and supported on the oversize perlins. From a technical point of view the installation was quite straight forward, however joists of that size are a bit of a bugger if you're trying to install then on your own. It can be done.....but very very carefully and you will be shagged by the end.

Now the main structure is in place there are a few jobs to finish it; there are a couple of metal straps to install between the ceiling and the second purlin about above to help take some of the load. This is only belt and braces but cheap and easy to do so why not! There is an inspection hatch to build and then metal rails to mount under the ceiling timbers. That last step it not strictly required, you could mount the plasterboard directly to the joists but the metal rails mean that getting everything dead flat is a lot easier. In England we wouldn't bother because the ceiling would be skimmed with plaster. Here in France its normal to just tape and joint the plasterboard and then sand down the joints. After doing both, I now go with the French method. 

Well I think I did OK to get this done, particularly when I'd been ill the day before with a absolute stinker of a cold/flue.

Next time plasterboard.

To end here are a few pretty pictures of the bits that are finished to remind me what its all for.

 Happy Birthday Libby!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

A little re-organisation

I've been replacing a few things lost.

All in all not a bad weeks work, thank to the help of my lovely daughters.

The end of an era

Well after nearly 20 years of marriage (May 1996 to be exact) my wife has decided that the grass is definitely greener on the other side of the fence and gone native. I wish her all the best, bon chance et bon courage!. Meanwhile I will of course carry on.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Just a reminder

Of what we started with. These are scanned in from photos taken 11 years ago. These are taken on film, before digital cameras became mainstream.

The house as we first viewed it in 2004

Inside: damp, smelly rotting dump
So ripe for restoration then!

The roof exposed part way through the first stage of works circa 2005

Not a small job then.

The first floor, filled with rotting hay

The roof in the process for being replaced

The old roof, awaiting cutting up for fire wood

My little girls as they were

so cute!


My wife asked me the other day, if I knew what I know now would I do it again?

That's a really difficult question: On the one hand its been a much longer road than I anticipated. Sometimes that's a good thing. So long as your not a quitter then ignorance can work for you in your favor in that at least you get started! On the other hand is it worth 11 years of my life: 

The best I can say is: What else would I have done; watched the television?

I nearly forgot

I finished the staircase in the salon. Just looking back through my blog I realized i'd not taken a photo of the stairs with the banister rail fitted. The banister rail is modeled on staircases of the period. So here it is:

The rail is hand made with an old wooden molding plane Julia bought me from a brocante. The spindles are cut from some wood I got for friends about 3 years ago. They never used the wood and then gave it me back when they moved house. I then stored the wood in the roof of the barn for a further 2 years. I was scratching round the barn looking for something to make spindles out of.....then I looked up..et voila!

Mums sideboard in its new home.

It's later than you think

Both Mum and Uncle Jeff died this year. I miss them both.