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  1. Does anyone have 'insider information' on plans for Angouleme airport in Dept 16?

    The plans have been flying around for a while and the latest announcements are saying it should get lift-off in Summer 07 (sorry for poor puns)?

    Any info much appreciated.




  2. Many thanks for all your replies.   .

    We have two wells which should help.  The concrete slabs are sloping and drain well.

    Is clay any better for retaining moisture than good earth?  There is plenty of clay in this region. 

    Appreciate your thoughts on this, as 20m3 of soil will take time and money and could potentially be a waste of time.


    Kind regards

  3. Thanks for your response.  The concrete slab seems to drain well as it previously housed cows.

    Kind Regards


  4. Bonjour,

    Any advice from green-fingered individuals would be much aprreciated.

    We have a large concrete slab of about 80 sq m which we would like to cover with soil and grow a reasonably good quality lawn.  The slab used to be used as a hard standing for cows and slopes inwards to the middle and then downhill - like a 'v' shaped valley gutter - where all waste water runs away from the slab.  The slab gets full south sun and is located in south Charente.

    Does anyone know if;

    • lawn will successfully grow on the soil-covered slab

    • Is it just soil that we put on the concrete slab

    • roughly how deep should we make the layer of soil

    • Is there any particular type of soil best suited to this project - in this area we have agricultural soil, clay and chalky stuff

    Many thanks for your help.



  5. We have brought two stoves from the UK to France at separate times.  The first was a Jotul, which we bought second hand at a price that was much lower than if second hand in France.  This has been installed and works very well.

    The second was purchased new from www.MachineMart.co.uk.  This was cheap but not the best quality finishing.  Its performance has increased since we stuck 8 mm fibreglass rope to the door joins, which has closed air gaps and improved the draw.  You get what you pay for, but as I said it is now working well.

    Both were brought to France on vehicles that were already bringing household effects, so it remained economically viable.  We saved 500 and 800 hundred euros on the stoves doing it this way.  Both stoves connected to standard fittings and accessories purchased in France.

    Another choice available to you might be to look at some of the Depot Vente shops where you would find second hand burners and stoves at a quarter of their orginal price.  These are probably being sold because they are no longer working properly as opposed to a room make-over, so be prepared to do minor work on seals and joins.  



  6. Thanks Ron for your kind response somewhat reassuring.  I had looked under reserach and saw refernces to new regulations possibly coming into force this year so thought it worth asking again.

    On question 3, I was thinking that if you laid the canal tiles (i think that is the correct name) firstly in a concave manner in the channels of the grey sheets, you could then put a second layer of the same model tiles on top in a convex manner a bit like that seen improvised below.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmm - second layer of canal tiles overlap the first layer of canal tiles

    uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu - first layer of canal tiles sits in channels of corrugated grey sheet

    wwwwwwwwwwwwwww - grey sheet at bottom





  7. Assuming I were able to qualify for a French mortgage, does anyone know whether it would be possible to apply for a french mortgage which would actually pay off a pre-existing UK bank loan?

    If necessary, it could be proven that the UK bank loan was recently taken out to finance the cost of installing a swimming pool and other renovation works on a french property.

    I have done this in the UK, but appreciate the differences in the two banking systems' regulations.

    Thanks in advance,






  8. I am thinking about the best way to replace an unsightly roof of an old cognac distillery which will later be converted into rentable dwellings.

    It's a large roof, about 275m2, perhaps 15-20 years old, which is covered with corrugated grey sheets (which I believe are asbestos) which undulate at approx. 15 cm centres.  The sheets look like the same stuff found on garage roofs etc in the UK.  Their surface is slightly dimpled in texture and (when dismantled and on the ground) it breaks with some force if you stand on it. 

    Hundreds of sheets are fixed directly to the rafters below with long bolts, many of which have rusted over time and would probably need cutting rather than unbolting if removed.  The rafters sit on purlins and these sit on a series of 7 kings beams set at 6 mtr centres along the length of the building.

    Some questions are running through my mind which I'd appreciate any views on:

    1. If these are asbestos sheets, do their properties pose a health risk akin to the same asbestos products that were used for roofing in the UK, and if so, like the UK legislation, must these be disposed of in a special way?

    2. I was told by a local Francais that there is a good second hand market for this kind of roofing, especially agricultures seeking to renovate a barn roof, so much so that the buyer will dismantle the sheeting themselves?!?.  Anyone come across this?

    3. If the sheets were left in place because they pose no health risk at all, could canal tiles be put on top of the sheets over the whole roof and offer an effective roofing solution?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Regards,



  9. Afraid I cannot point you to a supplier of this service, but I know what you are talking about.

    I have seen liquid concrete pumped through a 50mm hose under very high pressure using a large diesel compressor ie the type on inflatable wheels which gets towed by a vehicle. 

    The artisan mixed the concrete himself and this was then poured into a dustbin like resevoir which connected to a the pressure pipes coming from the compressor.  It was a similar arrangement of kit to that of an industrial sand blaster, if that helps.

    The liqued cement in this case was pumped via holes into old stone walls where voids needed filling. 

    You could try speaking to a plant hire shop and explain what you want to do.  They may be able to bring together the different pieces of kit so that you can do the job yourself or hire an artisan to do it for you.



  10. Hello Gabe

    I contemplated over almost identical issues when dealing with my renovation list.  My thoughts are more about what's involved rather than whether or not you should do it.

    Like you, my house is on a slight slope and surrounded by clay.  Unlike you, damp was rising through the stone walls, as clay retains alot of water and a small tarmacced lane adjacent to my house encourages alot of rainfall to collect on my flank wall. 

    Therefore I decided to dig a trench around the entire perimeter of the house, this being about 90 linear meters and this took 3 days of graft and one bent pick axe.  I did originally believe my digger would do most of the work, but then realised that the slew arm of the digger only reaches 45°.  It is therefore important to hire one that manages a 90° angle if the drain is to be installed literally at the base of the house perimeter.

    Whilst the trench was open, I flaunched the foundations with waterproof cement - about 2 cms thick.  I put in a layer of sand on the bottom of the trench, then put in the pipes with the slits on one half - facing upwards and then covered that with geo-textile membrane and then backfilled with 10-20mm gravel.

    These pipes connect all around and gradually drain down hill to a small pond about 60m2, which also collects gutter water.  The damp has gone and the walls can now be repaired.

    Good luck!






  11. Thank you very much for your thoughts.  It's a case of a watch this space!!
  12. Are there any well-researched members of the forum who would know what the current and future state is of the gite rental business in France?  Are we approaching melt-down and is the supply of rented accommodation outstripping demand?  Or, is demand still strong and is there information to suggest the future is positive? 

    I appreciate that there are many variables to the question, such as geogaphical region, target market pricing etc, but if there were any facts published (whether national or regional), these would help us contemplate over future investment decisions.

    Many thanks



  13. I have followed some of the threads in this forum with interest and thanks to all for sharing such vaulauable information.

    Knowing how well-informed some people are on the topic of non-compliance, I am keen to know, since the introduction of the legislation, how many pool owners/giteurs (and the like) have been penalised this year and what has been the value of these fines.

    Many thnks in advance.







  14. [quote]Mary If you have a wall which is greater than 1.1 meters high surrounding your pool then that will comply, however it must be smooth rendered (on the outside at least) not just pointed. PLease note h...[/quote]

    Sorry to drag this up again, but I wanted to clarify an earlier piece of advice.  It was mentioned by Andrew that the external face of the wall around the pool 'must be smooth rendered and not just pointed'. 

    My question is this; if the wall is 2 meters in height, does the wall only need smooth rendering up to the height of 1.2 meters - or must it be rendered all the way to the top?

    Many thanks in advance.

  15. Sorry to be boring, but can you recommend a good accountant in the Angouleme area for starting-up a business that involves place of work in UK, residency in FR.

    Promise I looked through the archives with no luck


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