Our Grand Design in Montemboeuf, Charente, France

Our first site visit – notre première visite au chantier

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Molly checking the sign is in its proper form!

Molly checking the sign is in its proper form!

Nous sommes en France!

Today, Tom, Molly and I paid our first visit to the site since the ‘ouverture du chantier‘.  Even though it doesn’t look like much at the moment, this was a very exciting step in the whole process.  We were also able to meet our builder, Stuart, on site to discuss the setting out of the house to make sure the foundations are put in the correct place.  Although we do have a rough idea, these can not be finalised until we have the drawings from Marandat – our timber frame company.  After having had a meeting with Claude today, we hope that Stuart will have this drawing by the end of the week and then Stuart can start the works!

After visiting the site, we took a trip to see our timber frame company to go through their quote and to get an idea as to when they can start on site.  It all looks possible for them to start in November, as long as Tom and I can be decisive about the designs and the type of windows we want.  There is far more to choice of windows than just their alignment, we have to decide colour, opening style, finishes as well as deciding the sort of shutters we want – I never imagined I would take so much interest in a window.  If the choice of windows is difficult, I dread to think how we will be on kitchens and bathrooms!  Luckily, Tom and I seem to like the same windows so the choice is not as bad as it might be!

A few other design decisions were made today and I am happy to say that we have (and this is very important), agreed to raise the roof by 10cm!  Wow, you might think, but this is a very significant design decision that I (no, seriously I did) pushed for.  It means that we don’t have to trim the bedroom door frame in one corner.  It would have been one of those things that niggled at me in my old age. Oh no, I am turning in to Tom…..!


New French words I have learnt  (I will expand on this as the weeks go by);

La poute – beam
Poussez les dents – teeth coming through!

Baies coulissantes – Siding doors
Casque de chantier – Hard hat.
Sous-sol – basement
La Renouée du Japon – Japanese knotweed


Author: lespetitesgarennes

Cycling, cricket, clean sheets and crime novels - just not necessarily in that order! Bit of a Francophile. Likes baths. Baths with bubbles, wine and a good audiobook to get lost in

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