Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Marching forward

March seems to be going by rather quickly. Our aim is to get the garage sealed and secure by mid April, when we are returning to UK for a week. With that in mind Ian has been putting in windows and doors. These are the latest pictures.
Back of garage 21st March

Double doors still needing fitting

End view; door still needing fitting
The roof is now completely finished, including cementing and pointing the ridge tiles. The large shutter doors still need installing and then the whole outside can be clad. I think I am going to call the garage the EBay garage as that is where much of the materials are from. The cladding is a type of fibro cement panel, popular in the United States. Ian saw it on EBay and had two pallets shipped from the UK. The windows are not EBay but special offer in our local DIY store and cost 70 euros each. The roll down doors, all the nails, the breathable membrane for the outside and all the tools required for the build (nail gun, stappler etc) were all EBay specials, and even with delivery have saved a considerable sum of money on the costs.

The garage is looking rather good now, to the extent that we were told by the local Maire that people are concerned that we are building gites, not a garage. I decided to make a joke of it (because it is a bit of a joke!) and told them that there was no doubt that the garage was going to be nicer than the house, but that was because Ian thinks his tools need a special place to live!

This week we have had our first real experience of French administration. Ian has been trying to register the car and I have been trying to exchange my drivers license for a French one. This has required three or four trips to various offices that are only open between 8.30 and 12.00 every day and very slow progress. One trip to the local town hall in Bergerac was the closest I have come to experiencing a visit to the DHSS in the UK. We are resolving to do as much as we can by post and email from now on, even  though everyone says you only get things done if you go in person!

The problem with exchanging the drivers licence is that as soon as you send it off if you are stopped by the Gendarme you can be fined for not having a licence. We struggled to find out the correct procedure in this case. The town hall suggested we asked the Gendarme and the Gendarme suggested that we asked the town hall! In the end we we to the village council and got a letter from them certifying that they had sent it all off to the appropriate people!


Chairman Bill said...

How much for the garage materials? We need to build something similar as an office space / guest accommodation.

Lovely's Blot said...

I think the total costs, including the concrete base, which was the most expensive bit is around 13,000 euros (base was about 6000)