We slept under our own roof a year ago and in that time: demolished the faux fireplace and had a working wood stove installed.
We had the garden cleared. Previously, it was completely over grown with shrubbery as high as the house with a leylandi hedge that overshadowed the street and our garden.
DB built and installed a kitchen.
He built and installed stairs to the third floor after cutting a hole between the floor boards. The gap wasn’t standard and the stair kit was so he had to cut down each stair and riser to fit.
I painted every shutter and window frame.
We painted almost every wall twice.
I learned that French hardwood windows are really heavy but they lift out easily to paint.
We furnished the downstairs of the house. It still only has just enough furniture to get by but it’s fine for us.
We had fun getting there. We spent lovely days in the sun.
For the first three visits, we camped in the top floor apartment which is now part of the house. We had two double glazed back doors supplied. We went fully glazed, as like most Breton houses, there’s no windows at the back of the house.
We had no kitchen for a while and used an old sideboard as a kitchen unit and we did just fine.
I think it was ok and great fun.
I shlepped four cubic metres of logs from one end of the garden to log shed behind the house.
I’ve eaten my body weight in radishes.
Everything gets cleaned with vinegar in France.
I spent a lot of time sanding and was filthy most days.
There were also wet days when the garden, without a path, we trampled over mud
It seems like yesterday when DB, myself and Sylvie the estate agent squelched our way through an overgrown garden, climbed through brambles, pushed open the rotten back door and used our imagination to think what it could be like if we brought it back to life.
The house had been uninhabited since the 1980s and no one had turned on a light or a tap for over thirty years. It was cheap, if you’re asking, €44k, £31884, including legal and estate agent fees and we exchanged when a £ would buy you €1.38, we also filled up our French bank account with the renovation funds at the same rate. If you’re here for the first time today, we’ve bought it to be our retirement home and we’ll rent out our Cornish home to supplement our pensions.
That’s all nine years away, until then we’ll enjoy holidays there.
Come back on Saturday and we’ll share the next stage of our thrifty DIY renovation, French home cooking, little villages and countryside.
Love Froogs xxxxxx