Living and Building a home in the heart of France
28th February 2006
We seem to have been waiting forever for this day to arrive. Last Friday the electrician/plumber returned along with Monsieur Trichard and fixed the remaining drips, leaks and missing parts. The plasterers were supposed to come back on Saturday morning to sand down the bumpy joints on the living room/kitchen ceiling and put up some quadrant (which they call baguettes!) along the gaps between plasterboards and beams. We waited all day, no-one turned up. We painted the garage walls, while we were waiting.
Inside the garage, one wall is plasterboarded, the rest are raw breeze-blocks. All get painted white for maximum light, even the concrete supporting post.
After 2 phone calls and a fax to the plasterer (no response) and another fax to M. Trichard, finally the two men turn up on Monday and reluctantly, grumpily they made a short job last most of the day. I found something to paint, and a reason for being present, in the new house as I didn't trust them to do the sanding when they plainly didn't want to. When they'd left we still had to go up the scaffolding and finish it properly ourselves. Still, we just wanted them to 'finish off and f*** off'!
As soon as they'd gone, we gave the vaulted ceiling an undercoat of white, with the help of ladders and wobbly scaffolding. It's a lot further looking down than it is standing on the floor looking up!
Tuesday 28th February 2006, the day of 'Réception' - completion of the contract with Maison Provinciale. M. Trichard brings forms for us to sign to accept 'delivery' of the house. We also brought in Christelle again for translating and better understanding the process. He went round giving us explanations about the electrics, the heating controller, the water heater and such things technical. The three guarantees start today, covering 1, 2 and 10 years for construction, roof, equipment and so on. Today it ceases to belong to Maison Provinciale and becomes ours. There followed an uncomfortable discussion when we mentioned the penalties due for late delivery - a little over 500 euros - but we stood our ground and were told they'd be forthcoming in "2-3 months". Yeah. So we signed, one year four months and seventeen days after we signed the initial contract on 11 Oct 2004.
Of course, it's not habitable yet! So far the sinks empty into a puddle at the back of the house - we need Monsieur Raynaud and his trusty digger to connect the house to the village's drainage system, promised for next week.
Unfortunately Tony hasn't been able to get into his long-awaited studio, because the day after it was fitted the lock jammed! No-one has been able to persuade it to open, so they've had to send a man to drill it out and replace the whole locking mechanism. How frustrating is that?!
But I have to say it feels wonderful that the house now belongs to us, we have the only keys and we are free to kit it out at our own pace. No more muddy builder boots in our lovely new house!