February was a great month, we received our permis de construire and our gorgeous baby girl, Molly was born! In between changing nappies I took some time to research for timber frame contractors and draw up a set of tender drawings. This resulted in a two day trip at the beginning of April to meet them as well as two general builders, and a civil engineer. The civil engineer is going to do an étude de sol (soil survey) which will tell us what the ground is like, therefore what type of foundations we will need. The general builders will do the groundworks, the drainage and the foundations. Then the timber frame contractors will do the walls, roof, doors, windows and cladding. This should leave us with a watertight but rather empty shell to start the internals.
The étude de sol is due to take place at the end of April. It involves digging a 3m hole in to the ground with a potentially large and scary looking machine. Possibly something like the one below.
Anyway, fingers crossed that the soil isn’t too unstable so that we don’t require massive foundations! All being well we will have the results before we go out again in May so that we can (hopefully) finalise costs with the builders and the timber frame companies.