Foundations were a nightmare, as fast as we dug the trenches they filled with water from one of the many sources we discovered on the land. We resorted to constructing pillars deep in the ground and eventually the day arrived for the concrete to be poured. That was fun, the nozzle delivering the concrete had a mind of its own so it wasn’t only the pillars that had concrete on them!!!


Loads of concrete!

Loads of concrete!

We were on our way!

Yet another large lorry negotiated the narrow twisty road to deliver wood,  duly measured, cut and screwed to form the solid base for the house.

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Our next task was probably the most important, sorting out the pieces of the jig saw, in other words matching up the walls from the markings made when the house was taken down. Thank goodness Paul had been thorough and all the piles seemed to make sense. Once the base plates were in the walls starting growing,  layer by layer,  slotting in the internal walls at the same time. Some just fell into place with ease,  others had suffered from being stored and needed a little more persuasion!


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Like Pinocchio’s’ nose, it grew and grew and it wasn’t long before it became a house instead of a pile of wood

P1000915 (Small)and looked like this

It was at this stage the design of the house had to be changed as per the planning permission and our thoughts turned to supporting the weight of the new roof.

P1000929 (Small)This called for big beams!!!

P1000934 (Small)And strong shoulders!

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 To achieve this

An even bigger lorry arrived with the trusses. At this point I have to say, that in general, the French are not renowned for their quick efficient service, however Champeau of Eymoutier were brilliant and even went out of their way to make sure we had a delivery before their annual August break.

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 Now it was all hands on deck, venturing into the unknown!! By this time the weather had turned really hot and we started work at 6am so we could finish before the sun became unbearable. Now the favourite tool of all workmen came into its own, the” Paslode” Bang bang bang and the trusses were up!


And then the topping out.

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Paslode proudly standing where no man has stood before!!

We were now into September 2013 when we started the tedious task of plumbing, electrics and fitting out, lots of work but nothing much to show for it. Work continued throughout the winter with just a break at Christmas, it just seemed to go on and on. Work on the fosse septique couldn’t continue as the ground was so wet and the digger was in danger of sliding into the house.  Again frustration set in, we were so close and yet so far. By April we were finished and only just in time for our first guests, they were arriving Thursday pm and the electric was turned on Thursday am!!!