lespetitesgarennes

Our Grand Design in Montemboeuf, Charente, France


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More concrete and some blockwork – Encore de béton et des parpaings

Blockwork looking east

Blockwork looking east

You lucky people, here is another picture of some concrete, but this time the picture also contains some blockwork walls! The foundations are coming on a pace and the shape of the house is beginning to show!  We are also beginning to get an idea of what our view will be like.  It is good to see that the builders have built the foundations in the right place! The blockwork walls are being built because they support the timber frame above.  They will eventually be covered up with decking, so will fortunately not be visible.

Over the next few days, the middle (where the chap is sitting) will be dug out and filled with gravel and then compacted, on top of that will be sand to make sure the damp proof membrane doesn’t puncture, then a damp proof membrane, then insulation and then the concrete slab.  We will write more on this once the builders get that far.

Cross-section showing foundations (ground floor build up)

Cross-section showing foundations (ground floor build up)

As you can see from the images below, the Charente is living up to its name as the second sunniest place in France after the Cote d’Azur.

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

Parpaings – Blockwork
Concrete – Béton
J’ai  une faim de loup – I’m a hungry Wolf.   I’m reading (or attempting to read) ‘Tintin au Tibet’, in the hope it will improve my French.  (From this you can read that I am just doing it as an excuse to read Tintin)

Hors d’eau – Water tight
Hors d’ait – Air tight
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

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Rock stops play? Roche arrête le jeu?

rock

Rock didn’t stop our trusty builders

Fortunately not as it turns out!  Our builders did come across some rock which I thought meant disaster when Tom first told me.  I had visions of vast costs involved to remove that rock in some very unenviromentally friendly way – and that roll top bath becoming ever further from my reach.  Apparently tough it would have been a good thing – rock being a good base for foundations.  This could have meant a saving in the cost of foundations – that bath was on its way back….In then end, the rock was just in a small area and was nothing to worry about or be thankful for.

Our builders continue to make good progress and as the sun still seems to be shining in Montemboeuf, hopefully there will not be any delays due to bad weather.  I just hope they don’t get the weather we’ve had in London any time soon, or that pool that we want will be built a little earlier than expected.

Trench footings

Trench footings

The photo above shows the start of our foundations and Tom tells me the metal caging has also gone in which reinforces the foundations.  I don’t have much more to say about that, apart from it is very exciting – more so than just your average hole in the ground with bits of wood in anyway.  Hopefully in the next post I’ll have some photos of something more concrete as it were…..