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Incroyable et impeccable :)

November 6, 2011

Monday arrived all too quickly and being Hallowe’en we started discovering more & more scary stuff. Marc & Sylvie returned on Wednesday and also the plumber arrived to begin the work on the bathroom and kitchen. Ripping out the remaining piece of worktop revealed even more nasty stuff, the work top behind the sink was completely rotten and the wall was covered in grease and other grungy stuff. The plumbing was a disaster – leaked like a sieve and was clearly headed for the dump.










Marc outlined the plan which as before involves completing the bedroom (wallpaper, crown moulding, carpet, skirting boards and wardrobe. By Friday he’d finished wallpapering and done numerous other jobs relating to demolition and plumbing supplies. He wasn’t available on Saturday.









We had already chosen new work surfaces which Marc will fit next week and we’d been shopping for the sink, taps, shower heads and so on.

The plumber has fitted the new hand basin upstairs so we have a working WC, hopefully the new WC will be fitted on Monday, when he is also due to complete the bathroom and kitchen plumbing plus put in the pipes for the laundry room downstairs in the sous-sol.









Marc had arranged for the heating boiler company to visit and check everything out and show us how it all works. The big laugh is that he spent an entire evening trying to decipher the manual for the remote control only for the guy to tell us the remote was an after-market thing and totally incompatible with our boiler! The boiler is functioning well; the guy serviced it and showed us how to program it – all done on the boiler control panel in French. He did speak a lot of English which was a great help to me but it does seem fairly simple. Then he discovered that the thermostat on the ground floor is in totally the wrong place and will never work properly; Marc will move it and the guy will come back to check the programming. He gave us a bill for the visit of €87.01 and then sold me an annual maintenance contract for a further €162 which covers an annual check up visit and free servicing (parts & labour) if anything ever goes wrong. 

June & I have continued removing wallpaper from the upstairs rooms and by Saturday afternoon we had done all but ½ a room which we will finish on Monday. We are both completely exhausted physically and mentally; this has been very hard work indeed and neither of us is as young as we used to be when we did this sort of thing over a long weekend. I just realized we did our last big wallpapering  job in 2002!! Next we’ll go for the big clean out and tidy up. 

We have learned two French words this past week – incroyable and impeccable (usually abbreviated to impec) – these two words have been used frequently and alternately as we discover new horrors or complete a piece of rebuilding. We are now convinced that the reason the owners would not grant us access to the house before the sale was legally complete is that we would probably have run away had we discovered just how bad some of it is. The standard of workmanship in places is awful, cheap materials, dangerous electrics, leaky plumbing and no maintenance at all.

Late on Saturday it became increasingly obvious that we would probably not be able to move in on Friday 11th as planned when we have to vacate the apartment and that we should probably start a contingency plan. Quick email to Marc confirmed this would be a good idea as the extra work in the kitchen and bathroom is slowing him down; after all we have only been doing this for four weeks so it’s pretty amazing how much progress has been made. We recalled that our neighbours, the farmers, have Gites for rent so I emailed them and Yes, we can have a gite for two or three weeks if necessary. Only snag is we can’t move in until 12th November so we decided to book a hotel for the one night in Elven. Then we’ll be living 100 yards from our house and we can quit commuting – YAY!  We’ll be able to spend more time there organizing and cleaning so all in all it’s probably a good deal. We’ll be sorry to leave Baden which is a nice community but not sorry to leave this tiny apartment which has been home for six months but not very comfortable.

 This weekend also marks the six-month anniversary of the shippers emptying our house in Fallbrook – it’s been an educational experience and it ain’t over yet 😉

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2011 20:24

    We feel for you! and your pain
    And we are learning from your experiences. However, we have to buy something very SOON or we will go mad and become the “Buyers From Hell” we are trying very hard not to become!
    Bon chance aussi!
    Jo 😦

  2. November 6, 2011 20:25

    Ooops – “non” Smiley in the wrong place….desole

  3. dorothy permalink
    November 10, 2011 19:59

    Oh my gosh June and David.

    Just had to say I wish it was better.

    We just returned from a few days in Bermuda (ducking while you curse….))

    Hoping to visit with a friend in March to try to snag a rental for June. Maybe we will do dinner or lunch or something!!

    Keep up the great work.

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