In last week’s blog I was unsure if there was only 1 week’s worth of work left to complete Granary (in reality we had 5 days left) and, if so, how fine we would be cutting things.
Now, I know the answer to both these questions. There was more than a week’s worth of work needed and, having re-read my own blogs to see what we have been doing for the last 5 weeks and not really believing we had been too slack, once again, we have cut things to the very last minute! It is certainly not, as one suggested, we were playing too much and not working enough – and that from someone who had distracted us for a week by coming to stay with us and occupy our time! We have however, with some early mornings, very late nights / even earlier mornings and assistance from others, prepared Granary to accept its first guests who arrived yesterday and we have built our centre piece flat pack dissembled piece of furniture in Priory. However, last week is not one that I want to repeat!
We knew that we were cutting things fine but we believed that, if we didn’t experience any issues, certainly not major ones, with some effort we could get things done. Inevitably however we experienced some major issues when we started some of the tasks and while we have resolved all, at least temporarily, and the guests, thankfully, very good friends of ours anyway, are delighted with the end result (as are we), there are a couple of items that we will need to revisit either in the days, weeks or months ahead.
One of the biggest issues we faced, which admittedly we had seen the week before, was the result of the damage which can be done leaving an old building unheated and unventilated over the winter. As you may know, we arrived at Kergudon in January and used all of the buildings initially for storage before we began our renovations. Also, for the last few years, the gîtes were only open in the summer months and closed over the winter so were not occupied. This had inevitably resulted in some damp in the fabric of the building which had caused some of the paint to peel. The extent of this peeling wasn’t evident until we prepared the walls for a new coat of paint and the previous coats fell off in large sheets back to bare plaster or render!
The last week has seen some long days and very short nights, a period when one breakfast was the only meal Dave and I ate in a 48 hour period; some swearing and cussing; a nasty looking injury to Dave when he dropped a cabinet on himself and Garratt spending more time amusing himself than we would have liked. Granary truly has had blood, sweat and tears injected to complete. We are very grateful to one of our neighbours, Olivier, who assisted us yesterday. Olivier has previously been kind enough to help by using his car and trailer to take a lot of the old furniture and unwanted items to the decheterie saving us at least 6 or 7 car trips. Yesterday he did the same but for a lot of packaging for the new furniture which we had opened. This was after a van load went on Friday with another friend, Lee. Olivier also used some of his own magic concoction to make the wooden stairs look amazing and identified that the new gas oven delivered on Friday was set up for mains gas and not, as requested, bottled butane. Thankfully he had the tools to change the burners and amend the oven and hob.
Also, you may recall from previous blogs that in May we identified we had not received all of the furniture we had ordered last October and had delivered to our shippers. The shipping company spoke with the supplier who provided a new one and they shipped it out to arrive with us last Monday so again all the dining room furniture matched – perfect. Many thanks to them.
So Granary is complete, but again not in sufficient time to allow us to take our better ‘marketing’ photographs. However, as you have read a lot up to now I have attached some quick pics that we have taken. I have also added some images to remind you of how things were before the renovations and, for amusement value, a couple of how each room looked about 6 days ago. I hope it’s obvious which is which ….
Master Bedroom En-suite bathroom:
Eaves bedrooms (update on last week):
With the assistance we received we didn’t quite beat our deadline between finishing the gîte and our guests arriving as we had another important task to complete and some furniture shuffling to do. The Granary master king sized bed had been used in Priory for the last 6 weeks while we waited for a new piece of furniture. With Granary complete and furnished, and the new item delivered, we could build a new bed for the mezzanine level. What do you think?
Our only regret is that we could not be the first people to sleep in it and our other guests, also great friends, arrived yesterday too.
So today has been one to relax, lie-in, catch up on some admin and also with our friends who are here for a week. Tomorrow we start in the last building, Stable. As fundamentally a single room with an en-suite shower room surely it can’t be that hard? At least we have a leisurely 7 days to turn that around!