Our Grand Design in Montemboeuf, Charente, France

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The building begins – la construction commence!

Perspective Image © Thomas kyle

Perspective Image © Thomas Kyle

So, here we are, nineteen months after our initial plot search, we are about to start building!  Please, don’t get me wrong, this hasn’t been a slow and laborious process, these things just take time.  We had to find the plot, buy it, work up designs, take them to the planners, work on the designs some more to get them right before submitting them planning permission.  Then, once planning permission was granted 2 months later, more detailed designs had to be drawn up to take to the builders and we then had to chose our builders – which is definitely something you need to take time over.  The time it has taken to get this far has nothing to do with French bureaucracy – which contrary to anything you may have heard was very quick and efficient – or us dragging our heals (although having a baby may have slowed things down a little), it is just that building a house takes a long time and we haven’t even had the metaphorical brick laid yet.  This is about to change though!

We have chosen our groundworks builder and have written to the Mairie notifying them of our Déclaration d’ouverture de chantier, basically informing them of our plan to start on site.  Tom had a long chat with our preferred groundswork builder and all being well we will start building on 16th/17th September!  We are both excited and nervous in equal measure, but really pleased to be finally starting on site.  We will try to post as many progress photos as we can to keep you updated, it just depends on when we can get to site. I just hope it doesn’t go all ‘Grand Designs’ on us with adverse weather and dodgy ground, but because we did our etude de sol the later shouldn’t be a problem, the former, well we just have to hope that the Charente doesn’t suddenly get some odd weather patterns……

See you soon, hard hats and hi-vis jackets on!

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

Casque de chantier – Hard hat.

Sous-sol – basement
La Renouée du Japon – Japanese knotweed