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Les Flamands

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Everything posted by Les Flamands

  1. vituperative

    Lovely word - what does it mean?

    Seriously though, there are some 'dickheads' on this forum but it is also a shame that the site is linked to the commercial interests of Living France which, I think, in the end will conspire to terminate this forum or perhaps transfer it to the apparantly non-commercial Total France operation.

    This site is a great FREE service and I personally think the DC scripts software is much better than ???? standard forum software. It would be a great shame if this Forum were to close due to pressure from LF advertisers who at the end of the day call the tune.



  2. >Does fitting a larger fuseboard need
    >to be done by the
    >EDF, a certified spark or
    >can I do it myself?

    Doing it yourself is fine

    >We're installing a 40amp 230v kiln
    >in one of our backrooms.
    >Obvoiusly I'll have to get
    >our supply lifted, but can
    >anyone else see any prob's
    >involved in this?

    No Problem, use a 45A fuse/CB and 10mm2 cable.

    Regards

    Charles



  3. I thought this was the purpose of the Frequently Asked Questions Conferences at the top. I'm not sure how it is meant to work - I suggest it would need someone at Forum Admin to copy useful postings on such subjects as Carte de Sejours, Septic Tanks, Registering a business etc.etc. to the FAQ conferences and a clear message somewhere on the Forum asking people to check these before posting the same old question for the hundreth time.

    Regards

    Charles
  4. Use 'Leutec' 2000 or 3000 longue duree, available from most builders merchants sometimes to order. If they only have the 'court duree' in stock that is OK as well (about 30 mins working time if it's not too warm).

    Regards

    Charles
  5. Normally each Artisan quotes and bills you (the client) directly and as such any claim is directly to him. A helpful Maitre d'oeuvre would help with any claim but "without prejudice".

    Regards

    Charles
  6. What you have is a mains pressure cistern. These are quite expensive installations but do give a good flush and probably use less water. The downside is that they look a bit industrial and can be a bit un-nerving the first time you flush.

    Regards

    Charles
  7. I've not read the article but I have noticed that French Property News is publishing more DIY related articles and often the information given is misleading or just plain wrong. When dealing with dangerous stuff like electrity I think they have a responsibility to check the accuracy of the information provided and not hide behind the usual 'not necessarily the views of the Editor' type of disclaimer.

    Regards

    Charles
  8. I'm sure that you will find there is plenty of work, but it does take time to get established. You will not be able to move from the UK one day and carry on working the next. It will take between 2 to 6 months to go through the process of registering with the 'Chambre de Metiers' and you need to spend some time finding out how things are done in France and where to buy materials etc.. Perhaps the best idea would be to try to find a job initially with a local carpenter/builder as this would give you some income, improve your French and give you time to sort out registering as self employed.

    Regards

    Charles
  9. 20 an hour for fitting plugs - nice work if you can get it!
    I know some of us on this forum bang on about only using properly registered and insured tradesmen and then everyone else complains that all the tradesmen are too busy, but if there is one trade where you must use a properly insured Artisan, it is your Electrician. A small electrical fault can burn your house down. If you don't have an invoice from a registered Artisan for any recent work carried out you may noy be able to claim on your house insurance.

    Regards

    Charles
  10. Do you already have the lintel in place? It is usual to build up the stonework to the dimensions of the window, fit or cast the lintel and then fit the window. You might like to look at my webpage with photos of the way we often do window openings - http://www.lesflamands.com/hr3.
    You can find sand/cement mix in the bricos in small sacks - I imagine you would need a lot of them, try 'mortier a batir tout pret'. Use a mix of 'Tradifarge' and sand for re-pointing ( plus colourant if necessary to match existing).

    Regards

    Charles
  11. Brand name paints are more expensive here but taps, sanitary ware and kitchen sinks are cheaper. Away from the Bricos, if you use proper builders merchants you will find everything is about the same price or cheaper than the UK.

    Regards

    Charles
  12. Standard Vapourising shell burner needs 28sec fuel (kerosene/paraffin) which is not available in France. PJ (Pressure Jet) models are available, the recommended fuel is 28sec kerosene but they will run well on French 35sec diesel. These burners make some noise but should be readily available secondhand, if not new.

    Regards

    Charles
  13. Basically if it is more than 170 m2 then get an Architect to do the plans for the 'Permis de Construire' only. This would normally cost about 2-3000 but shop around as prices vary considerably. Do not get the Architect to supervise the work because as a general rule they are useless. Try to find a good builder who can co-ordinate the works, but if you can't use a Maitre d'oeuvre who will charge about 8-10% on top of the Artisans invoices. He may visit the site once or twice but certainly won't be there all the time. Some Architects work for/with Maitre d'oeuvres but these partnerships tend to go the bigger jobs (Factories, hospitals etc.).

    Regards

    Charles
  14. LAST EDITED ON 04-Apr-03 AT 06:03 PM (GMT)

    LAST EDITED ON 04-Apr-03 AT 05:57PM (GMT)

    http://www.hmdiffusion.com offer four models of lathes and a range of good quality wood turning tools. You will probably have to order a catalogue which you can do on the website.

    Regards

    Charles
  15. Avoid Bricos and go to proper plumbing and electrical suppliers. For plumbing look in your yellow pages (probably under 'Chauffage') for a local Brossette-BTI as they are mainly self service (you have to ask someone for larger items). Omnium are electrical material suppliers whose shops are also self service. Both of these companies offer a much wider range of fittings etc. than the Bricos and you don't have to spend hours trying to open the cursed blister packs.

    Regards

    Charles
  16. In a traditional French septic tank installation the grey water passes through a grease trap but by-passes the septic tank and goes directly into the drainage field or soakaway, and for this reason the grease trap is very important. In my opinion, this arrangement is much better than the modern 'tous eaux' systems where everything goes through the septic tank and all the detergents from the washing machine and dishwasher upset the balance of the process. I suspect the grey water pipe is broken (maybe by the bamboo roots) and it did originally go to the soakaway.

    Regards

    Charles
  17. Virtually all materials manufacturers put their prices up between 3 and 10% at the beginning of this year and no doubt most Artisans will do the same. I'm not keen on per sq. metre costing, especially for barns as there are many more variables, but would think you should be looking at about 650 - 700 Euros per sq. metre of accommodation for all the basic works - it would be 10-15% more if it were to include all the finishing.

    Regards

    Charles
  18. LAST EDITED ON 22-Mar-03 AT 05:23 PM (GMT)

    Are you sure it is Termites? Capricorn beetle is much more common and whilst this should be treated by a specialist it is much less damaging to the wood. Xylophene, despite the claims on the tin,is only really effective for woodworm. Specialist treatment companies use much more toxic stuff and inject it into the heart wood via plugs that are inserted into the wood first.

    Regards

    Charles

    P.S. Termites tend to be found in timber close to the ground (cellar and ground floor lintels are the first places to look)as apparantly, they can't fly.
  19. She wouldn't tell you that the inspection had found that the place was riddled with termites as she wanted you to buy the beams.
    The first thing you do when you find your house is infested with termites is strip out all the infested timber and burn it, or if you are really clever, you sell it to someone else - did you get your money back?

    Regards

    Charles
  20. If you have the chance, check the beams under load - many barns have tons of hay stored on the first floor and it is worth taking the opportunity to see if any of the beams are sagging or splitting before removing the hay. When you refit the beams to form the mezzanine you will generally need to set them much closer together (40 cm centres is the ideal). You will also probably find that any beams that have been set in a stone wall will be soft at the end and will have to be shortened.

    Regards

    Charles

  21. >
    >On another topic-I have read with
    >interest Vals comments regarding window
    >installation. We have filled in
    >a 'declaration de travail' for
    >our 2 Velux. Our builder(English)
    >says that if we have
    >heard nothing after 2 months
    >we can go ahead anyway.
    >Is that right?

    True, as long as you have received the ackowledgement of receipt of the application which is usually within a week of handing ith declaration into the Mairie. This letter states that if you hear no more you can start work on a specified date.

    Regards

    Charles



  22. There are lots of sawmills in the area which manufacture 'parquet' (random lenght floorboards with matched ends, usually 23mm thick) in oak or chesnut. The end product is usually graded depending on the number and type of knots. The lowest grade is 'declasse' which can be very cheap (in chesnut).

    Regards

    Charles
  23. Not hard to do yourself if they are straight flights. I get some made but I also enjoy making them myself. To my mind, it should be the very last thing that is fitted in a barn conversion so it is often a good idea to knock up something temporary in sawn timber whilst you are doing all the messy stuff.

    Regards

    Charles
  24. Why not use Hydraulic Lime in sacks (Tradifarge is ideal). There is no great benefit in using putty versus modern hydraulic products which have additives to improve durability.

    Regards

    Charles
  25. The way we do it is:
    Dig out barn floor to 250mm from your finished floor hieght (can be less in many cases), then shutter up doorways, then level off with 'Toutvennant' which is the cheap sand and aggregate you can buy anywhere. Put in your heavy plastic membrane and fix it to the wall about 500 mm up using battens and Hilti gun (for speed, but screws and rawlplugs or masonry nails will do). Put in your insulation (we use 50mm extruded polystyrene sheet which are tongued and grooved). Now fit your underfloor heating circuits, you can get special clips to clip it to the polystyrene. Calculate the quantity you need (75sq.metres by 100mm =7.5cu.metres). Order two trucks one with 4 cu.m. and the second with 3.5 cu.m. (don't allow any extra, as it's a pain to get rid of). Now hire a powerfloat (helicopter - 50 euros for the day). When the readimix arrives show him the powerfloat and get him to add a lot of water. Tip it in, rake it out, it should level itself but it is useful to have a couple of extra hands as it can turn pretty quickly with all that water in it. Once it is just hard enough to walk on without sinking in, start with the powerfloat which is easy to use and if you keep going back and forth you will end up with a level, flat polished concrete floor.
    The result is so good you can tile straight onto it so you probably only need to dig out 150 mm instead of 250 mm which allows you 100mm for screed.
    You can put in wire grid for extra strength but it's not really necessary as the floor is all poured at once.

    Regards

    Charles
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