December 2006

Roof blog 2006

After more than two months of builder-free existence, we are currently making plans for the next assault. Namely the two bathrooms and Perry's studio. The pow wow with the electrician, plumber and mason will determine the running order, timing and budget to get it all done. But more of that as it happens.

There are always things to do around an old house. One day, the chimney became blocked and finally a huge, sodden lump of saturated soot dropped into the hearth during a heavy rain storm. Time to get a rain hood on the thing. Perry sometimes suffers from vertigo, but the new skylight windows (velux) came in handy and made the ascent much safer.

on the roof
I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in...

caro velux
And now a word from our sponsor...

Builder free, but not electrician free...
Our computers have been flickering recently and the mouse just refusing to move the cursor around. Not condusive to productive, stress-free work. So we arranged for the electrician to rewire and earth the salon. Everything sensitive to dust and rubble was removed and Perry was effectively 'off the air' for the whole day.

electrics in salon
Cables, rubble and plaster made the salon out of bounds for the computer and Perry...

per outside
...who found an agreeable alternative.

12 new electrical sockets, telephone and TV sockets and lots of plastering later, we were back in action. Unfortunately the new wiring hasn't improved the mouse and static problem. We now think that the underground streams that run under the house may be causing the problem. They can often disrupt magnetic fields, affecting health, sleep and electrical goods. We have found a Geobiologist, someone who specialises in detecting and neutralising these energy fields. We're very curious what he is going to do. More of that in next month's Our House report.

the crack in the barn
The crack has been getting wider over the last two years

One item that has been on our 'To do' list has finally been ticked off. The smaller Antoinette barn has a large crack between the stone wall and the two adjoining earth walls. It would eventually be pushed so far out that it would collapse and probably take half the roof with it. After several attempts to get someone to take on the job of putting in two braces, we finally convinced Alain (the roofer) to help us.

alain drilling

He came with his work mate, André and they had the two braces in place within a couple of hours. Each brace spans the length of the barn, the ends closed off with a large cross. The braces are slowly winched in from the middle until the crosses clamp the walls and stop them from moving further apart. We can't squeeze the walls back together since they would just crumble. So now we will have to think about filling in the gaps that have appeared over the years. Having two barns as well as the house means a lot more maintenance to think about.

cross on the barn wall
The braces have been positioned close to the main horizontal beam, so that they won't
get in the way should we ever get it together to make the barn habitable.

A bientôt.

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