Upper Floor – Support Work – Stage 1 – February 2008

The delivery of all the beams, blocks and steel for the upper floor support was unloaded into the courtyard in early 2008. In France, this type of floor — poured ready-mix concrete on top of a beam and block support with steel trellis reinforcement — is refereed to a an "hourdis" (pron. 'oardee' ). The... Continue Reading →


Passageway Arch—Gardenside

We continued working along the back (north-facing) side of the property, building the walls back up to first floor level, so that we could set the "poutrelles" in position to prepare the first floor for the concrete slab.  The passageway between the courtyard and the garden had some ugly concrete blocks supporting a decrepit bit... Continue Reading →

Old Broken Roof Tiles make great Garden Pathways

Two weeks of subzero weather has finally given way to warmer sunnier weather. Back to clearing some of the mess at the back of the house, including piles of leftover old broken roof tiles. We'd already decided to use them up as ground cover around and between the raised beds in the vegetable garden. In... Continue Reading →

Stone Cladding then Demolition — October 2007

Once we'd got the gîte blockwork up to door lintel height we started the stone cladding on the exterior, using the standard lime mortar.The pale whitish coloured faced stones are new—bought from one of the local stone merchants, sized, cut and dressed to order. Usually need to count on paying around €80 per running metre,... Continue Reading →

Rebuilding the Gîte—First Steps—2007

Once all the drainage pipework was in place and buried in the gravel, we had a delivery of ready-mix and poured the reinforced concrete slab. Then scaffolded up the walls to remove much of the unstable stone to make working in the area safer, and then started laying down the first brick-block courses. Used a... Continue Reading →

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