Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Promised Renovation Update

When we bought our house in 2005 there was much we wanted to do, but due to various circumstances (the economy being one!), renovation has taken rather longer than we hoped or intended!  The final phase of work was to make 3 rooms upstairs in the grenier (attic) of the barn, and last year I helped a friend put the ceiling into this area, with  insulation above. The latter is 300 millimetres (one foot) thick - the current recommended standard! - see here.

The kitchen and lounge renovation, if you are interested in going back, is here.

The very dark earth- floored barn at the other end of the house, which became our bedroom, is here.

Finally, what has been keeping us in complete chaos for the past few weeks, is HERE.  I have put these photos as a stand alone page for my convenience and I am hoping that this does not deter you from viewing them.

Meanwhile, autumn has well and truly arrived here, and the temperatures are on their way down, with possible frosts early next week, so the forecast says at the moment!

Our oak tree is dropping acorns everywhere, but sadly we have no pigs around here who might benefit!

These pumpkins  will have to be brought in this week, before the cold arrives

This is a whopper of a butternut; it's not really ready to come in, but it cannot survive a frost either!

The chard looks great and this is a fantastic survivor in cold weather.

and last but not least, the butterflies are still fluttering around. 
Small Copper - Lycaena phlaeas.
Thanks Noushka








 
See also - My Life Before Charente updated  7 October 2012 

90 comments:

  1. Wello done on being so patient and hard working. 6-7 years of work has probably paid off. You'll now have a beautiful home, i am sure.

    And that last picture is gorgeous.

    Red

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    1. Red we are so happy with the result now. It has been a long haul but other than a few small jobs we are pretty much there :-) Have a good week. Diane

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  2. You have done some ambitious work!

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    1. Meredith I feel like we have climbed a small mountain but compared with what some people do it is only a mole hill :-) We are happy though with the result. Take care Diane

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  3. Wow, you have done a considerable amount of rennovation over the past few years. It looks amazing. Ihope you are enjoying your new space. Thanks for sharing.

    Velva

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    1. Velva the new space has made a huge difference to us, we cannot believe the difference. Thanks for the visit, Have a great week Diane.

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  4. Love the Pumpkins and Squash. Wow, you've done so much work on your place, it's fantastic. Have a great week.

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    1. Horst I am very happy with the renovations, and also happy with the garden after a bad start. You have a good week also Diane

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    1. Thanks Torviewtoronto for the visit and the comment. Have a good week. Diane

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  6. You have done so much, and renovations can become so tiresome when you want it to be finished and it just goes on and on. We've had to do some sort of renovation to every home we've ever lived in over the last 40 years!

    Your pumpkins and squash look like they're thriving; we, too, had to bring in some of our little "crop" as it has gotten very cool in the last two days. Winter isn't far behind!

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    1. Deb we have never had so much renovation as we have had in this house but then it is 200+ years old! We have been through 8 houses since I met Nigel 31 years ago!!! This is final and I get carried out of here in a box!!!! Winter I suspect may be close. Last year we will still watching butterflies in November! Take care Diane

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  7. Howdy Diane! Hope everything went well on your side. Seems time flies pretty quick. Winter is almost arriving. You have such a fruitful season this year. Absolutely bundle of joy collecting them later on and that's what I like about gardening. Btw, I'm sure the renovation will be able to finish soon and you're going to have a brand new look of your house before Xmas. How exciting!
    Hope you're going to have a fabulous week ahead, dear.
    Kristy

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    1. Kristy apart from the bathroom, renovations are at an end. We have the rooms we want and from now on it will be purely maintenance. I brought in all the vegetables today, cold spell expected this weekend!! Take care Diane

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  8. Looks like you have done a lot of work on home. Your pumpkins and squash look so nice in your garden. Hope you have a nice week.

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    1. Words Of Deliciousness we have done a lot ow work but it was necessary. Other than the bathroom it is now at an end :-) Pumpkins and squash all came in today, cold weather promised for this weekend!! Have a good week Diane

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  9. Love the changes and worth the wait.

    Hope you're feeling all better now.

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    1. Gaelyn it was worth the wait, it looks pretty good now.

      Think the shingles at last is over though I am still not happy eating spicy food, hope this will not last as we both love hot spicy food!! The cough continues but that I have sort of got used to..... Enjoy your week, Diane

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  10. Have to say I'm very impressed. Not only with the work but the bravery in doing so.
    Some people dream and others DO. I know which you and Nigel are.

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    1. Hiya you two, think you are easily impressed, not much bravery in this but lots of hard work. Yes it was a dream and it has now pretty much come true, just have to get the bathroom sorted. We are very happy with the house now. Have a wonderful week and take care D & N

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  11. Oh Diane! We could do with those acorns, our pumpkins fit snugly in the palm of our hands, our courgettes numbered six, but the crook necked squash did better but I don't like the taste of them! Ah well, always next year to try and do better!

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    1. Vera I did think of you when I saw all the acorns on the ground...... Our garden ended up being quite reasonable after a bad beginning, but I have more time than you to spend looking after it. You have all the animals to see to as well. Hope the week goes well for you. Diane

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  12. Very very impressive, Diane. It looks beautiful -- both house and garden. It also looks exhausting!

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    1. The Broad, exhausting is over now, the time has come to enjoy :-) Thanks for the comment Take care. Hope the vote has gone through.... Diane

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  13. Replies
    1. Ola I am really surprised that the pumpkins have done so well after the lousy weather we had early in the year. Hope all is well, take care Diane

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  14. Your renovation is very impressive Diane. From someone who has remodeled a lot of homes, I know the work involved and the patience it takes to complete the job. Well done my friend.
    Sam


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    1. Sam I never thought that we were going to get there, but other than the bathroom to be re-tiled I feel like we have at last made it :-))) It seems to take ages but we are glad that we have reached the end. Thanks for the kind comment. Take care Diane

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  15. Lovely pictures perfectly in season!
    Your orange butterfly is the Small Copper - Lycaena phlaeas.
    Great to have acorns... If you keep some and put them out in winter you'll see the jays come for them!
    Keep well Diane and rest a bit!!

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    1. Noushka, Thanks for the identification much appreciated, Thanks also for the tip re the acorns, I will collect them up over the next few days and store them away until it is colder. Yes I am trying to rest, also getting up in the morning is suddenly much harder than it used to be! I cannot believe that I used to get up at 03h45 to go the stables to ride and work racehorses in the dark. I must have been mad when I was young :-)))) Enjoy your week Diane xx

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  16. It is amazing the difference renovations can make with a bit of imagination. You are doing better than us. We have been here since 2004 and still have one room to do and your vegetable garden is streets ahead of ours.

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    1. cheshire wife we have reached an age that if we did not get the renovations done now they would never have been done so....... We are very happy with the result and it has made a big difference with the extra space. Sure you will get your last room done soon. Take care Diane

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  17. The veggies are looking health a shame the frosts are coming. I hope you will be warm and cosy in your new /old house and you get rid of that cough before winter descends.

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    1. diane we are amazed the the veggies have been so good this year with the weather, we have been lucky. Think I am stuck with this cough for some time as it is apparently bronchi damage and treatment is very slow!!! The new part is very warm and cosy, masses of insulation and it is the warmest bit of the house now:-) Enjoy your holiday Diane

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  18. Replies
    1. Hélène thanks for the comment. Have a lovely day Diane.

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  19. Hello Diane,
    Very nice to see all these autumn seeds and fruit.
    The big pumpkins are so funny at this time.
    The last shot of Noushka is wonderful with the brightly flowers. Nice shots Diane!!

    Many greetings and have a nice day,
    Marco

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    1. Marco it is definitely autumn around here, the whole garden is proving it!
      You have a good day aw well and take care Diane

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  20. Remodeling can be so stressful. Great photos of the garden.

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    1. Pam you are so right and the dust gets into everything!! Take care and have a good week Diane

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  21. I had no idea you were so involved in building/renovation projects. And yet you take the time to share such beautiful, professional photos of your landscape. Much more appreciated now.

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    1. Judy we have been doing one job or another ever since we bought the house, only the bathroom to go now and that really is the end, other than maintenance which is of course on going in a 200 year old house. Keep well Diane

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  22. Dear Noushaka, It is getting cold here too. It looks like you have a beautiful harvest left to bring in. Just think of all the wonderful dishes you can make with these goodies.
    There were many butterflies here too, but all of a sudden they are gone.
    Blessings dearest. Catherine xo

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    1. Catherine my name is Diane, I thanked Noushka for the identification of the butterfly! Our harvest has been excellent and I am quite looking forward to cooking for winter though I do hate the cold! Thanks for stopping by and the comment. Take care Diane

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  23. I can "feel" your season from your photos Diane. Stay well and warm...Louise

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    1. Louise I think we may just move into the new rooms over winter. Masses of insulation and much warmer than the rest of the house! Have a good week. Diane

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  24. C'est tellement bien de voir enfin la fin des travaux.
    Ces photos automnales sont magnifiques.
    See soon.

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    1. Merci Nadji. Nous sommes heureux que tout est fini et nous pouvons maintenant profiter. Bonne journée. A bientôt.

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  25. I love your header Diane and the pictures look georgeous!!
    Love the garden pics! take care x

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    1. Gloria thanks for the visit and the kind comment. Take care Diane

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  26. It was fun to go back and see the before/after. You've renovated into such a lovely home.

    We're in Paris for another week. I was surprised to see such a spectacular garden in Jardin des Plantes. So much in bloom!

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    1. Freda I am amazed at how many flowers we still have in the garden as well, but then last year we still had butterflies in November :-)) Thanks for the comment and looking back a little in history. Take care and enjoy the last week of Paris. Diane

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  27. Your renovations have been superb. I was happy, when looking at the barn renovation pictures, to see that you closed what appeared to be a hole in the floor of the spare room; that could have been a real problem, right? ;) It looks like you've been really busy, but had a great result for all of your efforts. And the garden giving you fresh produce is just a superb reward!

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    1. Marjie we are very happy with the result, but it was a lot more serious than just a hole in the spare room. There was no floor at all, only a ceiling with insulation on top!
      Yes, the garden has done well this year despite it all being late because of the late frosts. Keep well, Diane

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  28. You must be delighted with the renovation results....I too keep saying this is the last, but the box never arrives to carry me out!
    They start the kitchen renovation here next week...more dust!

    That's a lovely head of chard...

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    1. Fly this time I am not going anywhere other than in that box!! We still have the bathroom to go and then double glazing in some of the rooms so the dust is not laid yet!! Hope the kitchen runs smoothly. That was on of the first things we did. The veggies have done well despite the weather :-) Take care Diane

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  29. Renovation is always exciting and stressful at the same time lol. I am doing some makeover on our bathroom and it's messy lol.

    Your pumpkins looks good!

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    1. Chubskulit Rose Renovation as you say can be exciting especially when it is finished :-)) Keep well and enjoy the weekend. Diane

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  30. looks like you've really done a lot of renovation for the past few years and i can say that you have now transformed your barn into a nice workplace! yea, the chard looks really great and grreeen!

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    1. Lena it has been a complete renovation but thankfully we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel at last. Have a great day. Diane

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  31. Thanks Diane, we had a great holiday. Your renovations look great as do your bumper harvest. You should be pleased on both counts as you've both worked so hard.

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    1. Kerry so glad you had a good holiday, hopefully you will be back here next year so we can show you what we have done. Yes we are pretty happy with the garden and the house this year, just want to get the last things finished and then it will only be maintenance I hope. Time for a holiday :-)) have a good weekend Diane xx

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  32. Whenever I look at your harvest photos, I feel so joyful, as if it's my own harvest :) I wish you good luck in all your projects. I still give an involuntary twitch when I hear the word "renovation" :)

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    1. Olga I know that twitch well, thank goodness we are nearing the end. My garden distracts me from the 'goings on' in the house. Take care good to hear from you. Diane

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  33. Renovation is hard work, funny enough we keep doing it... not quite sure why :-0. You veggie garden is a joy for my eyes!

    Have a good weekend

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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    1. Allesandr once the bathroom is done we are finished after that it will only be maintenance than goodness. My veggie garden has been good :-) Take care Diane

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  34. Hi Diane .. great autumn photos .. I'm looking forward in seeing the before and after photos of your renovation - it must be such a relief ... have a good weekend .. cheers Hilary

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    1. The main relief is having a room of my own that I can leave my sewing machine and easel out all the time :-)))) Cheers Diane

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  35. Your renovation is a huge success, Diane! That is quite an undertaking. And your garden is always wonderful. That squash looks huge!

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    1. Thanks Pam and yes you are right that squash was huge, I only work in metric, but thinking back it was well over a foot in length. Keep well Diane

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  36. Diane, I am sure you are very happy with the result of your hard work on your home. I know you guys can now relax and enjoy the fruit of your labor. Thanks for sharing your joy with us. You have everything in your garden and they all look so nice. The pink flower is so lovely. Have a wonderful weekend. XOXO

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    1. Quay Po Cooks we will only relax completely when the bathroom is done and the double glaze windows are in. Meanwhile we can get out of the mess and the dust in our new upstairs :-)
      Take care and enjoy the weekend. Diane

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  37. congratulations Diane !!
    so impressed
    wishing you a happy weekend
    anni

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    1. This is Belgium thanks for the visit and the kind comment, Cheers Diane

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  38. Bon weekend et à bientôt.

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  39. Oh my goodness Diane, that is an awful lot of work you have got going on there :)) It is looking great though - well done to you both!!!
    You garden pictures are looking great too - you certainly have a healthy amount of produce from it.
    You are obviously loving life in France :))

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    1. Ellie it has been a lot of work but oh the difference is so well worth it all. The garden has done well this year and as I did not expect it, it has all been a bonus. Have a wonderful Sunday Diane

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  40. Lovely photos Diane and I have enjoyed looking back over your renovations! Ye have a gorgeous home in France:) Happy weekend!
    ~Anne

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    1. Anne we have done a lot over the years, only the bathroom left to go and the double glaze windows now, nearly there:-) Have a good day Diane

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  41. I loved reading about your renovations and as a fellow "renovater" living in SW France understand the work required, which at times can be costly and more involved, than first anticipated yet hugely rewarding once complete :-)

    Also love your garden , it is stunning.

    Bon week-end, Leeann

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    1. Leeann renovation is part of moving to France I think, but as you say it all comes at a cost and not only money, there is a certain amount of discomfort at the same time!
      I am very happy with the garde and after the late frost this year I thought we had blown it!
      Bon week-end à vous aussi.
      Diane

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  42. Beautiful nature shots as usual, Diane.

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    1. Thanks JM I was lucky with that butterfly, only one photo before it was off and it came out pretty well!! Have a good weekend Diane.

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  43. Thanks for including the links! I'll go back and see what I've missed! I'm so interested in your life there!

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    1. lavender Dreamer, Thanks for the comment and taking the time to look back at less recent work. Much appreciated Diane

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    1. Jay thanks for dropping by. Have a good week. Diane

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  45. Diane, so nice to see all your updates in one sitting like this. Your acorns are so much bigger than ours (Live Oak) but we have a whole bunch of squirrels that enjoy them. Mika will stalk them like a cat...being a herding dog I don't think she knows what to do with them. So the squirrels better watch out...there is a new princess in town (our yard). :)

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    1. Lyndsey, I hoped that the renovations together will let people see how much we have done. It seems to be going on for ever, but we are (I think), starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel!
      Ha ha I would love to watch Mika, I wonder if she will ever catch one, they are fast. Keep well Diane

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