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monsieur macon

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Everything posted by monsieur macon

  1. crikey!!! 75euros per month for hot water....we pay 50euros for all our EDF per month....(we burn wood for heating, otherwise everything else is EDF. I'd get yourself a good mid-range price water tank from any good Brico shop, get your EDF onto HC and HC and have the Cumulus wired up during the cheap hours....you'll have all the hot water you good want, if you get the right sized tank!!!!! As for the solar panels, are they really doing anything?????
  2. "the EU run for ordinary people" its been a long time that the EU has been run by and for the benefit of a ruling elite. It seems very apparent that the UK in particular and to some extant France, also maintain a status-quo with a rich ruling elite. I'm not particularly left in politics, but living standards and salaries have been dropping in many western countries for yrs, the money being siphoned off via the finance sector into the hands of a tiny minority, production has largely moved overseas (with a few exceptions), job insecurity has probably never been so acutely felt since the 1930s. My Grandmother born in 1913 and passed away in 2012 often lamented that the UK and Europe were returning to a 1930s politics and economics...i do hope she was wrong because we all know what happened next!!!
  3. i'm not so sure about the Romania/UK comparison....Eastern Europe is up and coming, with plenty to develop and exploit, resources, land, farming etc etc...cheap labor, probably not that many labor laws, light government legislation etc. The UK has London and the bankers!! Merkel may well prefer to invest in Romania (factories, cars, producing goods, selling goods), than the UK. Apart from retail and banks, im hard pushed to see what the UK does economically, oh yer, speculation on the housing market....that's' a great British past time!!!
  4. agree with the sentiment of these posts that better in, than out of the EU. I've heard UKIP supporters comparing the Uk to Switzerland and Norway!! Switzerland and Norway we are definitely not! In all honesty, what would be UK be outside the EU? A very small island in a very disadvantaged position to bargain with the EU. I cant see France and Germany making a special arrangement with the UK out of sentiment, in business there is very little of that. The UK would no doubt have to import EU products (food mainly) under un-interesting terms of trade. Or would the USA come to save us???
  5. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/30/britain-european-exit-poll-gulf-eu-attitudes?commentpage=1
  6. In a British broadsheet the following article discusses the UK's move towards EU exit. If a referendum were held tomorrow, the UK would probably leave the EU. I would like to know what significance this would have for Brits living in Europe, namely France....would the UK have to renegotiate all the EU treaties? will we return to needing a visa to visit France (carte de sejour as was 50yrs ago)...what happens to Brits who work in France? Overall, it doesn't seem to rosy!!! Thanks Mr UKIP!!!!
  7. ive been using Makita professionnally (that is to say instensively) for about 8yrs...in terms of qulaity/price ratio for these tools, it is very good...if you really want pro-pro....then buy Hilti or Spit, which will set you back 700euros for the cordless drill....and i'm being very kind on Hilti and Spit. I have three Spit machines and a big jack hammer Hilti....they really are unbreakable and demand practically no TLC. But to be honest, who on earth is going to spend 1400euros on a jack-hammer?? apart from someone who uses it every month!!!
  8. just a small precision: nursing in France is in fact well paid and a respectable career....although it is dog-hard to actually become a fully qualified nurse, costing a fair few euros and a very tough entry exam...i guess this effectively closes the door to the vast majority of cheap foreign workers...I've been out of the UK for a very long time, but its just astonishing how much it has changed in ten yrs....and yes, i agree, many immigrants seem to be working in hospitality, catering, taxis etc....low skilled, unqualified sectors.....I wonder how many of these jobs the UK can provide.....? How many window cleaners does a small town need???
  9. a political hot potato by any means......I guess the DM can get a little OTT about eastern Europeans, and from some of the posts on this thread, it does seem that its not just a case of turning up in the UK and "signing on" for the dole, or whatever it is called now.... There does though seem to be a general problem with the EU mega plan of expansion, bringing into the fold countries with such totally different economies and standards of living, yes the Greeks obviously now fall into this category. Is there not a risk of a race down to the bottom for labour? I know a number of sectors in France (nursing, building, some IT work, agricultural work etc) that already tender out to the lowest wage, or SMIC. Moreover, in the BTP sector, we have a lot of clandestine workers from all over, ready to do a days work for perhaps 20euros, or less!!! Of course, they are technically illegal immigrants...Germany is now going to instigate their own SMIC, any ideas on how much this will be???
  10. the 1st January 2014, a number of eastern European countries have the right to free movement throughout Europe, live and work etc. Unlike the UK, the french benefit system, "chomage" or "RSA" requires the person to have paid into the system in order to benefit, likewise for the carte-vitale....why is the UK unable to adapt its benefit system to a similar form...and hypothetically, what would happen if the entire population of Romania and Bulgaria decided to move to the UK and claim benefits, which they are entitled to do under EU treaty law? Who would pay the bill? Do the UK politicians actually want an influx of cheap labor, perhaps to kick start the economy?? Just an idea...
  11. thanks for all the helpful replies....i have now made up some sur-vitrage panels from Castorama, cut 4mm glass and PVC profiles....the made to measure options came out at around 600euros for the three windows...the finish may be slightly better, but i've managed to DIY the three units for less than 200euros! There is a noticeable difference in drafts and the glass is less cold, given the space between the two pains....overall a good compromise compared to made to messure windows at around 1000euros a piece!!!Gosh!!!
  12. thanks for the reply....yes, i have to cover three very large windows, around 200 X 150cm in small pains of glass, very pretty but very ineffective in terms if insulation. Made to measure windows would be around 1500euros a piece!!! Thus i'll go for the PVC and glass fixtures that at least will increase the insulation properties and not considerably change the aesthetic of the windows......
  13. Has anyone installed these PVC or metallic panels to old windows in order to increase insulation and create double glazing? I need to fit them to a number of large very old but nice wooden framed single glazed windows. The cost of changing the windows would be horrendous, thus the idea of fitting these panels to increase comfort and save energy... thanks in advance....
  14. Tradi blanc maybe a cement mix with lime mortar, but its a good concession, if you don't want to use pure lime-mortar....i've used both pure and mixed on pointing and the pure will always work "crack" to some degree depending on humidity, sun exposure etc etc....The amount of cement in Tradi is quite low, around 10% which avoids cracking, it also gives a really nice finish....sure, i cant say what the pointing will look like in 50yrs time, but I've pointed locally in 2004 and it hasn't moved or degraded in any way. I think the lime mortar route is good if you want to be a puritan and you really know what your doing and have the time....in any-case, last time i used chaux-blanche i brushed down 12hrs later to re-seal all the cracks. I'd also go for a fine grain sand, this gives a nice regular finish, respect the quantity of water written on the product you choose, don't over water and over all, make the stones stand out when you brush, if not you see only render and a few stones.....but hey, like they say in French, les goûtes et les couleurs!!!
  15. i'd certainly recommend the following: its without a doubt the best lime-mortar mix i've worked with, and doesn't crack!!! http://www.c-e-s-a.fr/fiches-produitscctp/la-gamme-complete/ Tradi Blanc HL5
  16. yes, miss-read the email.....i suppose you could contact a local mobile/caravan park and negotiate long stay rental...although i should think the season will start around April in the Dordogne region, it starts in March on the Med as it is and the prices usually change. Anyway, all the details could be negotiated with a park owner who would like to accommodate a family for long stay. Have you thought about renting a house or large apartment, it might be more straight forward and not necessarily a lot more money? France does have pretty strict tenancy agreements though, this needs to be considered too...
  17. i know some poeple who live in their mobile home, its on buildable land and they will eventually build a house. Its often an issue of whether the Mairie will accept or not the parking of a mobile home and is the land equipped to deal with waste water etc, etc...contact the Mairie in the chosen commune and they will no doubt give you all the details. Mobile homes are widely availble on the "boncoin.fr" in all styles and at any price and often with delivery to whereever you want to park it.
  18. me thinks that the price is around 120euros per cube delivered...which is a good price compaired to mixing it yourself....however, if you need the pump then they shaft you on the price...around 400euros plus a tariff for every cube....its a bit of a ripoff, but i havent found anyone doing it cheap......
  19. good old RSI!!!!! Best thing you can do is get on to auto-entrepreneur as soon as possible, if you are permitted....pay all your charges, including RSI every three months, all in you pay is 25% tax on declared earnings, all included. If you owe RSI, go and see them, find an arrangement for a sum that you think you owe and they think you owe, be polite, even up against a Stalinist system.....they will and have sent bailiffs to collect unpaid funds, i had three at my house some yrs back, its no laughing matter....they will empty your house and you can be imprisoned if you refuse to pay, do not bury your head in the sand. The minimum RSI payment if you are URL, SARL etc is around 1600euros per yr, even if your business declares zero profit. RSI pays for your health care, so its not going to be for free, otherwise it is 47% of all declared earnings!!! Plus income tax, plus all the other taxes.... work out a monthly repayment amount and stick to it...get clear of the debt and start over under a different financial regime, such as Auto....over all good luck....
  20. "Ragréage" they call it, self leveling compound.....laying this product and then tiling are not amateur skills, ive been building in france for 10 yrs and still do tiling with a trusted professional tiler....its not a job you can improvise and if you botch it, it looks terrible. Self leveling compound usually can level up to 20mm, sometimes 30mm with two coats. The support should be clean and slightly damp so that the compound does not crack when you pour it. You must let the product dry completely before tiling...
  21. to be honest, when you need a large amount of concrete, i.e...more than 4m3, get it delivered by a local "centrale de béton"....Lafarge etc. They mix it up using computers and garantee the quality of the mix...you just have to pour it right. For smaller works, i'd go with a 3 for 1 mix...3 spades aggregate/sand for 1 cement...and as i said, easy on the water....all that said, that's how i mix on site with the cement mixer, if I want concrete for a suspended floor, pool etc....i'd get it delivered whenever possible...the price difference is around 10euros between self mixing and getting it delivered....its not cost effective to do large quantities yourself.
  22. Making concrete is not difficult but you need to get the mix right, otherwise it will often age badly or not work all together. 1 m3 of concrete for a floor for example needs to contain 350kg of cement, thus around 10 to 12 bags per m3 of concrete. This is what i have used in new builds for suspended floors as well as concrete poured on the ground. As a general rule, when you mix put 30 - 35 spades of gravel/sand mix for one bag of 35Kg cement into the mixer. Dont over cut with water, as the more water you add, the more you dilute the mix and render it fragile. I usually aim for an homogeneous mix that sits nicely on the spade and does'nt fall off. Try to make concrete when its not too hot, and not raining....I often lay large surfaces in the evening during summer....and last thing, never mix up and less than 5C - the concrete will not 'cure'!!!....
  23. its really about insurace...if you cannot give paper evidence of at least five years in your profesion then forget it.  It is illegal to work as an artisan in the Building sector in france without decennal and Responsibilitie civil insurance, which is not a bad thing, cuts back on the cowboys, except of course there are a lot of people working illegally. Call you local Chamber de metiers
  24. I have established a building company in le gard (30) and need a sub contract worker for some quite large jobs coming up.  Please, only qualified builders (at least 10 years in the sector) need contact.  Posibility of full time employment following successful trial period.  Jobs include tiling, facade work, roofing, walls, plastering a rather diverse mix.  Only serious candidates please. Contact by email or PM Thank you. Private details edited by a moderator
  25. Arriving in France at the age of 20, i've been an artisan for some time now and i can say that whilst you may have some cowboys in the trade, the artisanal way of life is someting you do from passion, and not because you think you are gonna earn heaps of cash.  France is not, i repeat not the UK, its a differenet economic climat.  tradesman in the UK can apparently earn big bucks, but here in france we pay dearly for our social securuty cover.  Frankly i appreciate the fact that i am well protected, protection though comes at a price.  I would rather be here anyday than in cut throat britian, from all that i've heard english people say about it.  Small businesses though pay more than there fair share of cotisations in france, I loose around 47% of my brut earnings.  Most Brits i know here are retired, they are outside of the work economy.   It is very easy to thus say that artisans are either late, too esxpensive, not festidious enough etc...an artisan is obliged to charge upwards of 250e a day...he is also obliged to juggle many jobs at once, if you dont you sink, simple as that.  My advice to any one searching an Artisan is go word of mouth....get on the waiting list of someone who is booked up for the next 6months....he wont let you down!!!!   Its like choosing a table in the packed restaurant...there's a reason why all the locals are eating there!!! hope this helps....
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