Before our “Big Build” begins, there is another story, some may say amusing, others reckless!!!
Once our minds had been made up that we would have another gite Tony spent much of his time on the internet searching for a wooden house in kit form, brand new, delivered and erected. You can imagine my surprise when, one evening, he announced that he had pushed the “buy now” button on E bay! Not only was it not new, delivered and erected, but it was still occupied in Hertfordshire, and we had no land to put it on !!!!! The saga begins.
Tony and a friend flew over to the UK and spent a week dismantling it, a painstaking job, marking each piece as it came down so we would know how to put it up again! A month later they were back in the UK to supervise the loading for transport to France. Even that was a disaster as the driver fell off the load and landed up in intensive care with a punctured lung, no delivery that day! Meanwhile in France, the tractors, trailers and helpers organised to help unload had to be disbanded. The load eventually arrived 3 weeks later and our lovely garden became a builders yard!! All this happened in April & May 2012.By September we had purchased the land but meanwhile the French planning authority would not allow us to keep the same roof. This involved completely re-designing the structure and submitting plans again. After lots more paperwork and meetings, permission was given in October, too late to start building. We were concerned as to how the house would fare under plastic covers for the winter but we had no choice but to wait and see. As it happens, it was probably the wettest winter we had ever had in France and it didn’t stop raining until the end of May. We know the real meaning of frustration!!!
In June we started leveling the land for the foundations and the site took on the appearance of a quarry!