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monsieur macon

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Everything posted by monsieur macon

  1. As already mentioned: i wanted to discuss the issue of legitimate concerns about an eventual exit of UK from the EU. Anyone can draw up a best of/worst of top ten list for the UK and many people no doubt have personal reasons for why they find themselves living abroad. All that aside, i'm legitimately concerned about issues such as health care and social security if the UK leaves, as these will have to be renegotiated between French and UK governments. Pretending that it will be business as usual is in my opinion naive. The French state does not owe anything to UK citizens, be that health care etc if the UK leaves the EU....if you have worked and paid into the system then fair enough, but all that could be about to change. That is my concern. Becoming a French national is one way around this, but i doubt weather all UK ex-pats have this option available.
  2. lol...yes what would Lefarge think of that???? i suppose French citizenship is one way out of the problem...if the French want us!!!!!!! Naturalization is a long drawn out process, but those of us who are married can obviously fast track. I've got kids born in France, so i guess at least they are entitled to French nationality. But the Prefecture told me last week that all new borns must now submit a demand for nationality as of 14 years old...its not longer automatic....
  3. I really hope that France and the other EU countries with large numbers of Brit expats will actually be as accommodating with us as we hope! I suppose that the UK could come to some kind of agreement with the countries individually, much like the Swiss have done, and to a lesser degree Norway. It's certainly not going to be a picnic, re-writting all the accords. Many ex-pat Brits (such as myself) do very well from French health care etc...there is no reason to believe that this would necessarily continue. Also, what about pensioners in France currently converting their sterling into Euros? Would the pound go into freefall against the Euro? Yes, i think it would, about 1€ to 2pounds - or some such figure....great for export from the UK however!!!
  4. surprise surprise....i've leaved in France since 1997 when I arrived at the age of 21...although I love the place, i've never known such a bunch of nationalistic, inward looking, intolerant people. Granted, i live in rural France, but if your not born in the village with 10 generations of ancestors then you are definitely an outsider!!!
  5. Things seem to be heating up back in Blighty. If Scotland votes to leave the union and UKIP thrash the cons next year, there could be a referendum on EU membership within three years. If Britain votes to leave (as 65% of polled voters indicated) what would become of expats in Europe??? What about health care, jobs, carte de sejor etc etc...???? Have UKIPERS in Europe really thought this through? Is Britain a little Switzerland???? You can kiss you visits to French hospitals goodbye!!! It's certainly alarming!!!
  6. i think for 150m2 of roof, i to would want a reputable builder with decenale.  You could look around for a "Couvrer" or "roofer" as sometimes artsians set themselves up in this one specilised area.  In any case, you will need the decenale "attestation" if ever you sell the property in less than ten years from the end of the work.  The notaire will ask for this, and to be honest if you cannot give it to him it may even come down to your own liability being engaged in the event of a problem with the work carried out.  Ask around neighbours and friends, try to find an artisan who has been working for donkey's years in the town and whos quote is neither too high nor too low....as much detail as possible on the quote..hope this helps.
  7. this might be a little off topic....when doing work at our house in le Gard, languedoc...we have done something that the french tend to often do when building an extension - once you have planning permission you do not necessarily need to tell the mairie that the project is finished, what is called 'fin de travaux'. This is the paper work that they send to the tax office which will increase your taxe fonciere and taxe habitation. Thus you can stay with the original calculations of the surface for your house. However, it would be a good idea to order your affairs, i.e tell the tax office about the increased m2 if you are intending to sell your house. The new owners will receive a form from the taxe fonciere people once they occupy aksing them to declare the M2 and in any case, the notaire will ask for precise calculations of the m2 of the house. Any anomaly good come back to haunt you!!! Unless you leave France for good.
  8. i go from top to bottom, that way you drop the excess on a non-pointed are of the wall and you can clean it off as you get to it.
  9. "breaking out", that's what i do after a "doube au singlier"....lol
  10. it may be on sale, indeed i even have one, but it is no longer DTU conform. That is, for new builds or reno jobs that include changing more than 30% of the existing surface and thus engaging the RT2012 new regulations... But like a lot of things in France, they just tend to ignore the rules, so when in Rome!!!
  11. yes, electricians use a very hot fishing ball and melt the foam behind the plasterboard. This method is however no longer in conformity with building regulations, but then again, who's gonna check!!!!
  12. of course, as said by another commenter - its up to you: I do the following, have done for around 13yrs and have never had any problems, each to their own however: - pick out all old mortar from wall, often with jackhammer - jet spray clean with special power jet - humidify just before pointing - start to point with either St Astier Tradi or pure Chaux Calcia (its up to you) - push in well to really fill all gaps and holes - trowl back any big excess just after you have finished - let the area start to go off, but not too hard - test an area with your brushes and if good, begin to brush back. The mortar should be neither to soft, nor too hard. You should not leave grooves in the joints with your brush. - clean up the face of the stones if they are a little covered - recuperate any mix for later use if you are using Chaux pure. hope this helps.....
  13. And remember, you want to work around the stones, to make them sit out very slightly from the wall...make sure all the little holes are filled....i jet spray with my aggressive "Kacher" nozzle for stone work, which gets the stones nice and clean....if you're really fussy, you could sand blast, but that's adding a considerable cost.
  14. Tradi Blanc, by Saint Astier, or if not "Renocal", cheaper but not as good. Or if you are a puritan, Chaux blanc by Calcia or again St Astier. White sand or the colour you want to use...fine grain. I usually go for 1 tradi, 2 sand....mix it well, not too liquid!!! a sort of plastic feel. The Tradi will go off quite quickly (depending on weather conditions), so be ready to brush with a nice assortment of wire brushes.....
  15. lol...yes, know where you are coming from. But trying to put hot water into a pool from the house, that takes the biscuit. I'll admit that some pools i've seen, early on in the season, have been a tad on the chilly side...around 20C. You really can do a lot by covering the pool at night, which means getting a pool man in everyday (nice!!! :-). I know some Auzzies near to Montpellier who asked clients to manually cover the pool every night, you can guess what happened there!!
  16. made me laugh, yes 28 to 29C is just fine and about the average here for pool temperatures....i'd avoid a pool system where the clients can tamper with the settings...i've seen a few pools go green thanks to over enthusiastic renters, one family even got a hose from the hot tap and put it in the pool - of course, they simply emptied the hot water tank!!!! And lost part of their deposit....
  17. if you've got bad access to the site and the job needs to be done in one shot;i.e. foundations, floors etc...then you really need to use the pump....not doing so will be a false economy....
  18. i imagine you have a traditional roof configuration, with the roof pitch visible from inside the rooms? In that case, i've always gone for the "sandwich" boards, i.e. BA13, insulation of around 150mm, wooden finish roof side ready for tiles. Not sure if you can do this, but the comfort factor and thermal resistance is very good. For modern known pitched ceilings, i.e French new builds....I whacked 300mm of "laine de roche", "rock wool" which has made a huge difference. Bear in mind that RT2012, or today's building regulations in force in France are for 300mm or RT = 8.00 for the roof.....but you can arrive at this thermal resistance however you wish.
  19. I like the photos...this seems exactly how you build a swimming pool out of blocks and concrete, with the iron work inside. Not quite sure why you would want to build a house like this apart from if you have seismic, thermal or other similar particularities concerning the build? I notice that the house is quite deep into the ground with obviously a garage or cellar on the ground floor. The compression of the earth against the house walls will of course be considerable once the earth is put back in around - again much like with a pool. Is there a reason why the house is burried this deep into the ground? Is there not going to be a risk of flooding or humidity (even with a solid damp course being used)? In any case. Im about to add an extension of around 30m2 to our house which is a 1993 construction. Whilst im not obliged to use RT2012 building regulations, I will be using RT2005, thus 100mm insulation for the walls: 300mm for the roof and probably 150/200mm for under floor. All windows will of course be purchased new, thus will be RT2012 conform.
  20. I cant imagine those chaps with the big blowing machines bother to leave the edges free of insulation!!!! I've always pushed it into the corners, being kinda fussy!! it seemed that the roof would be better insulated!!!!
  21. Thanks for the very concise replies......yes, i can well believe that a new build with RT 2012 must be extremely comfortable. I've heard of people almost heating the house with their cigarette!! Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but maybe i should take up smoking!!! It is certainly the way forward. I think France has relatively low energy costs, certainly EDF being practically all nuclear its almost the cheapest in Europe, as was pointed out in another message. Be that as it may, costs are going to increase, and anyone thinking of a long term investment or just not wanting to through euros quite literally out of the window, would be wise to invest in a well insulated home. Again, log burner was on for around 3hrs last night, this morning the house is at 25C and will be at around 22/21C tonight at 20.00!!! The laws of thermodynamics have been halted - at least in my house... Options for renovation which have had the chance to use are insulation by the exterior of the house. You attach the insulation required to the facades, essentially closing the house in a bubble of insulation - highly efficient, but a little costly!!!
  22. Following the thread concerning the heating of water, efficiently; it seems worth while considering the merits of fully insulating a house in the knowledge that energy prices are never going to come down, but in fact continue to climb. Having just moved into a house certified BBC "batiment basse consomation", with fully insulated roof (300mm), walls 180mm, floors150mm, i was astounded at just how little energy is needed to heat the house and how the house maintains this heat over a long period of time, without cooling. Having worked on a number of reno projects here in France, I have to say that on any future job I would certainly push the merits of thoroughly insulating. Is anyone on this forum now living in a RT2012 house of even a property that is certified "energy positive"....the kind of house you can heat with a lighter!!! ???
  23. Pertinent comment about insulation and a well thought out reply in general. I simple cant believe the difference in energy consumption and comfort a well insulated home offers. Our new house carries the RT2005 energy label, with added 300mm of "laine de rouch" in the attic and all new double glazed windows with a special gas in-between the pains of glass. We heat the 'insert' wood burner for about 4 hrs during the evening heating the house up to around 28C in the lounge and 24C in the other rooms (all doors open of course). This heat stays in the house for a full 24hrs, dropping to around 21C by 20.00 the next night Given that i cut most my wood, this is the first year we heat during winter almost for free! I'm currently building a new house with the RT2012 label, which believe me, is extremely tough and effectively makes the house practically energy positive (if renewable energies are used).
  24. I like your calculations......I have seen many a Brit and Frenchy go down the solar panel road. I hope they do it for the eco-green thing, because as you say, 20 yrs to get your costs back!!! Even if it was ten yrs, it still aint worth it given that the average stay in a house in France is 7yrs!!! EDF is going to have to increase radically in order for these alternatives to become attractive....
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