Monday, 7 June 2010

The rennovation game

It's nearly three years since we bought our lovely place in Chalus in the Limousin region of France. Mel and I were married that year and I remember the excitement at our rennovation project and thinking we would have it completed within 9 months and that we would be renting out the barn conversion as a holiday home in 2008.

In that three years we have seen a global recession, the collapse of the pound versus the euro, the decline in the UK property market and a whole host of other issues which impacted those original timescales. Consequently, after an initial burst of activity (and expense) we stopped all work on the rennovation during 2008 and awaited calmer financial weather.

Thanks to some improvement in the economic climate, the sale of our house in Didsbury last year and an improvement in the value of Sterling we started again earlier this year. Mel's parents have encouraged us to push on with our project and a couple of weeks ago the major work on the outside of the property started in earnest.

I have attached two photographs, as you would expect before and after:-

It may not look like it but we are about 80% of the way there now and are confident we will be renting out the property on the left of the picture in 2011. There is still much to do of course and Marcus, Neil and the team have done a cracking job of demolishing and clearing the old house and the wall that previously divided the two properties. It's a shame they had to go but they were in a terrible state and we are now able to treat the suddenly huge garden as a blank canvas. The next job is to build a new dividing wall that will give our guests privacy when we are there and a pool will be installed in the coming months. Progress continues apace inside too and final fixes to the plumbing and electricity will be done in the next few weeks and we will be fitting it out and furnishing it before the year is out.

The holiday cottage will be a four bedroomed property (all ensuite) with a huge lounge and kitchen opening onto a large patio which will house the pool. We will be fitting it out to the highest standards even though that will deplete our remaining funds significantly, it will be worth it in the end. 

We go out there for two weeks at the beginning of July, which we are both ready for as we are working hard to earn the money to complete the project. When we return, Mel will start her training to become an Aesthetic Practitioner which allow her to administer Botox and fillers which will help to bolster our earnings and possibly provide us with an additional income for when we eventually make the move to France full-time in a few years time. It will also mean, she will probably practice on me so expect me to post pictures of myself looking permanently surprised.

Here are another few photo's of Gouhaut.

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