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zeb

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Everything posted by zeb

  1. [quote user="andyps"] ......... We were surprised they said it was ok as we only have a 1000ltr fosse in a house which will have 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, not complaining though! [/quote] Just wondering how you got your planning ap passed if your fosse septique isn't big enough for the job?
  2. Or keep looking at forums for your area AI, TF etc. We've found that at this time of year, folks are changing their heating systems and there are more secondhand woodeburners around. I've just picked up a couple of bargains (from different sellers) with stainless steel flues for 450 euros the two. Both were fairly new models and retail at over 2000 euros. We are very chuffed as the saving will go towards the solar water heating kit.
  3. [quote user="zeb"] LOL - I've just finished after seeing 11 people off first thing this morning, doing the biz and then greeting (a very sweaty smile here in sunny Haute-Garonne) 12 people who arrived early. I'd spent all day changing beds and cleaning, changing light bulbs etc, then found that the portail de piscine was jammed!!! Had to call the guy who cuts all the grass as he has a key to the pool area and is quite beefy (the pool guy is en vacance!). Anyway, he managed to open it but it will have to be left open until the installers can come back and fix it. Luckily the pool has got a locakable, heavy cover which a child (or two) would never be able to lift. That all took an extra two hours to sort out and OH had taken the friends who are staying with us to a garden/pool party (they're not back yet so obviously having a good time without me!) so I'm sitting here on a Saturday night in an empty house. The gite guests are here for a fortnight so fingers crossed there are no more problems and maybe I can put my feet up?   [/quote]   Ha ha! How naive was I? It's day five and so far we've had the pool company out twice (problems with cover and pump, then guest called them out to clean the pool!); the electrician twice - had to mend bathroom shaver light then replace switch in bedroom; vidange gang with high pressure hose to clear blocked wc; and me several times (the gite is 20 minutes away) to try to placate angry guests when most of the problems were their doing. Me, I'm definitely giving up!    
  4. LOL - I've just finished after seeing 11 people off first thing this morning, doing the biz and then greeting (a very sweaty smile here in sunny Haute-Garonne) 12 people who arrived early. I'd spent all day changing beds and cleaning, changing light bulbs etc, then found that the portail de piscine was jammed!!! Had to call the guy who cuts all the grass as he has a key to the pool area and is quite beefy (the pool guy is en vacance!). Anyway, he managed to open it but it will have to be left open until the installers can come back and fix it. Luckily the pool has got a locakable, heavy cover which a child (or two) would never be able to lift. That all took an extra two hours to sort out and OH had taken the friends who are staying with us to a garden/pool party (they're not back yet so obviously having a good time without me!) so I'm sitting here on a Saturday night in an empty house. The gite guests are here for a fortnight so fingers crossed there are no more problems and maybe I can put my feet up?  
  5. Could be highly dangerous if you don't know what you are doing, and sometimes pretty scarey if you do, so best advice is to get a builder in. Will probably cost you between 1K and 2K euros depending on porte fentre and finish (stone reveals etc)
  6. Our first changeover on Saturday, and we had the same problem, although I'd left bags in all the house bins, and the large bins outside the kitchen door. When they'd filled these they started putting all their rubbish in the wheelie bins unbagged and unsorted; loads of food waste too. So, we had 5 large bins of smelly rubbish to dispose of and in this commune there are no large roadside bins; the rubbish is collected weekly or you have to take it to the dechetterie. We filled up the car and drove to the next department, dropping off rubbish at every communal bin we could find, and sorting it en route - yuk! The guests had been given rubbish disposal instructions in the household information booklet and by the meeter/greeter. We will deduct from their deposit (they'd all left for an early flight) but it was an unfortunate start to the day. Grrr - you should've seen the rest of the house (it's large)! But, on the plus side, they all had a wonderful holiday, and that's what they were here for after all.
  7.   Could be because the Gers has no motorway, and the road from the Bordeaux-Toulouse autoroute from Agen through Auch and down to Boulogne sur Gess or Lannemazan is a shortcut through the department to Tarbes. We lived in the Gers near Boulogne for three months and noticed that there were a huge number of lorries; however, many of them had 65,32 or 31 numberplates so were local. We moved here (31) from the Charente which has the RN10 running through from Spain and the amount of huge lorries using it (and the horrific accidents) was frightening; many locals avoided it like the plague.
  8. There's going to be some sort of increased duty for gas guzzlers from the beginning of next year, but I should imagine that the rates will go up for the carte gris when the car is first registered. Did anyone else follow this on the news yesterday?
  9.  It's free! We recently moved from 16 to 31, completing the form at the sous prefecture in St Gaudens and receiving the new cartes grises for two vehicles took five minutes. I bought the new number plates at Feu Verte, they where 12.50 euros each with a 10 euro fitting charge for each vehicle, but they fitted the new plate to the trailer for nothing.
  10. I popped across the border the other day and petrol was about 28 centimes cheaper per litre but I go to stock up on toiletries which are much, much cheaper than here in Haute-Garonne. Not sure how much cheaper diesel is though, sorry.   Err - is paint cheaper in Spain?
  11. Dog friendly gites at www.hotdogholidays.com and also by clicking the animal icon on the www.gites-de-france.com website. We usually book through GdF or Clevacances and have had no problems finding places where our two dogs are welcomed.
  12. [quote user="woody234"]people on the black means people you pay for in cash for building work and things like that, cutting grass is different, first year i paid for 3 cuts at 40 euros each (2003) for 5000 m2,  2nd year i paid for 4 cuts at 40 euro each cut (2004), 3rd year i paid for 6 cuts at 50 euros each cut (2005), i said to the french person who was cutting it why does it keep going up all the time and he said the more  it rains the more it grows, I said i cannot afford 300 euro per year to get  the grass cut anymore, and it has not been cut ever since, food and shelter comes before cutting the grass with me, it would probably be 10 cuts at 60 euros  this year to cut the grass if i had carried on with it, some french people think that because you are british you are loaded and naive and fair game, i dont blame them for thinking that[/quote]   Only 6 cuts a year? I hope he was using your equipment and not his!    
  13.   I do sympathise a bit. The farmer next door starts feeding and milking his cows quite early, and the folks across the road get their cars out to go to work at 8. Can't you suggest very nicely that they all walk to school - you know, like we used to do in the old days, before such luxuries as school buses. I know there is more traffic now and cars racing along small roads in France could be a bit dangerous, but if they walked on the verge they'd be alright..........wouldn't they? Then you could sleep in and not worry about what's going on in the real world.    
  14. You could try www.charentetree.com but i'm not sure how far they travel.   They took down a huge willow for me, quickly and very professionally.
  15. You could also try Blanchards near Intermarche at Savigny (next to Civray).   We've hired tools and plant from them occasionally.
  16. Will try to get there, but, after looking at the meteo, methinks only the brave and the foolhardy will be unpacking their vans that early!! Good luck. Will see you nearer midi, Paul.
  17. Yes, write to the Chambre de Metiers and your caisses (RMI, URSSAF etc) and send it - duh, like everything else that you want someone to take notice of - AR. We are doing so shortly, and have been told that cotisations will continue until they think we've paid enough!! Ha ha! With a bit of luck you should keep your health cover for a year or so. Good luck.....and let us know the outcome.
  18. Yes, you will need a woodburner with a flexi liner which goes up the chimney and is clipped to the top. You will also need a register plate which fits across the chimney opening in your room to stop the heat going up the chimney. Most woodburner stockists will supply and install. Friends have just had a super large Godin supplied/installed (by Weldoms) and the total came to about 2800, but as they live here permanently (fiscally resident), they could claim 50% credit back from L'impots on the cost of the woodburner; not the other parts or labour, but labour was charged at 5.5%TVA. Make sure you get one large enough to heat the space though. Your stockist will advise. Have a look at www.godin.fr www.supra.fr www.jotul.com
  19. Well, MOH and son came home buzzin so they must have enjoyed it!
  20. [quote user="woolybanana"] Is marriage essential? Why not live happily and sin maximinally? [/quote] I didn't have any choice but to marry. The bank (LCL) kept airbrushing my name off the cheque book!
  21. OK Samanta - we'll give it another go, but only because we really enjoyed the unbilled reggae last time!!
  22. The diagnostics now have to be done before the compromis is signed as the results are attached. We've just had ours done which were arranged through the Notaire. One guy did all 4 checks at the same time, cost 512 euros for a T4 plus dependence in Charente.
  23. We're tax resident in France and having sold a house, will have a few thousand euros to invest. When we first moved to France a few years ago with capital from our UK house sale, we took investment advice from our French bank and lost a lot of money very quickly. This was meant to be a low risk investment!! Consequently we don't want to go to them for advice now, and are tempted to send our money back to the Halifax which gives a good rate of interest, better than we have seen in France, and leave it there for a year. Obviously there are exchange rate implications and we do know that we have to declare any interest from capital. What does the panel advise?
  24. Thanks all - we are driving down again for several appointments with agents/vendors. If we have the same problems as a couple of weeks ago we'll seek help. We've found Abafim very helpful but some of the other agents........eek.!! Jane, we are also looking south of Tarbes and Pau. We've found that the bergeries/granges with a CU and services close by are very, very expensive now and others (without the possibility of a CU) are advertised as for leisure purposes only.
  25. Friends of ours have the aerothermic heat exchange pump to run their central heating system and heat the pool, but they've got rads not underfloor as the floors were already tiled and good. I seem to remember them saying that their electricity bills shot up last winter after having it all installed but will try to get a figure from them. It's a large house, and a large pool, but they also have solar panels + chauffe eau and an electric oven, so....mostly electric and no other bills (apart from the occasional gas cylinder for the hob and some wood). I've stayed there a few times and whilst the house is comfortably warm, the heat exchanger thingy outside makes a tremendous noise when it's running. Is this normal Cat? By the way, the whole system was expensive to install but they got some help (as they are fiscally resident in France) for the heating system to the house and the solar panels by way of tax credits and departmental grants.
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