Now don’t get the wrong idea – our little house will never be featured on “Grand Designs” – but to us it is a big project, both of us having only a smattering of DIY experience, and wanting to do most of the work ourselves to eke out our meagre budget.
Before we arrived in France we had spent a lot time dreaming of our renovations and how best to attack the place – with every single room requiring renovation. It was all very pie-in-the-sky however, with not even a floor plan to go on.
The attic had already been converted into two make-shift bedrooms and our initial idea was to add a full bathroom-come-laundry up there. But once we were actually in the house we started thinking that it would be great to have our own “apartment” upstairs and keep the main floor as a fully self-contained guest floor – maybe even generating us a bit of income in the future, but certainly useful in the meantime for friends and family staying.
And as it panned out, we were not able to retain any of the existing framework in the attic anyway, so, after a complete demolition by our Aussie builder friend…
and many trips to the tip we started with a clean slate upstairs, while making a start on the downstairs kitchen, toilet and shower room.
Since embarking on this project, it has at times felt like we are building a whole house! But it’s an amazing experience and we have learnt so much (some by trial and error, some thanks to Tony’s huge DIY book lugged across from Australia, and some by searching the internet – what would we do without google?)
We just wish we had the time (and money) to do everything that we’d like… I have calculated that everything costs twice as much and takes at least 3 times as long as we anticipate!
But all good fun and we can’t wait to get back.